Businesses across the U.S. are experiencing labor issues with unfilled positions and staffing shortages resulting from ill or quarantined employees. This is evident in the travel sector with cancelled and delayed flights, as well as in the industries of food service, retail and even healthcare. Small businesses seem especially susceptible to the challenges of a countrywide labor shortage. While long-term solutions are debated, companies need guidance on how to handle staffing shortages here and now.
Check out these five tips to navigate an employee shortage
to keep your remaining employees and your customers happy.
Acknowledge your staffing shortage.
We all appreciate transparency. Provide your stakeholders a conscientious plan that clarifies the problem and outlines your solution to minimize frustration and maximize productivity. Ideally, customers will respond positively to your validation of their frustrations with any delays in products or services.
Get the most of your existing workforce.
Incentive pay and commitment bonuses are one way to motivate your current staff to pick up more hours or take on more responsibility. Combining job duties and cross training employees can help fill in gaps. Many organizations are also requesting their leadership and executive level workers to assume duties of lower level employees. Reset the workplace culture so your employees no longer accept the notion of “that is not my job.”
Adjust hours or reduce services.
This solution will look different among types of businesses. For example, a retail store or restaurant may open later, close earlier or stay closed on one or more days of the week so that the available work pool can cover the hours. In healthcare, many facilities have reduced or temporarily eliminated elective procedures in the wake of a nationwide healthcare worker shortage. When you attempt to maintain status quo with a reduced workforce, those longer hours- even with overtime pay- increase the potential for employee burnout. Cutting back on business hours or services offered is not ideal, but may be vital in bridging the gap to business as usual.
Outsource and consider technology and automation.
Self-checkout stations are convenient for a quick grocery store visit. More retailers are ditching the 20 items or less sign and allowing all shoppers to use the self-service feature. Fast food restaurants promote ordering through an app or in store kiosks. Companies can also outsource entire departments including human resources, accounting, housekeeping and maintenance.
Revisit your work from home policy.
COVID-19 variants have many Americans staying home. Consider allowing your asymptomatic employees or those quarantining due to exposure risk to work remotely. Your cloud-based VoIP phone system from Gabbit helps your employees function seamlessly with a phone number and internet connection. This technology is an integral part of a successful business continuity plan.
Gabbit is your partner in VoIP
and cloud-based communication solutions.
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