Short-Staffed Survival-Tips and Tactics for Peak Performance


In recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in employment. Businesses are short-staffed, and people aren’t willing to work long hard hours for minimum pay. The price of everything is getting jacked up so $15 an hour is the new $7.25. It’s a revolving door of issues for small businesses.

If a business has no employees, it can cause major problems. Customer service gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list, employees get burnt out, and businesses fail. It’s the sad reality of the state of the workforce. Luckily, there are steps that business owners can take to stay afloat during these times.

10 Ways to Help Your Business While Being Under Staffed

Prioritize Tasks

Identify essential tasks that must be completed daily or weekly to keep the business running smoothly. Focus on these critical functions first. Making sure essential tasks are completed will give your business a good foundation to stand on even if you’re short-staffed.

Cross-Train Employees

Cross-training employees can help ensure that multiple team members are capable of handling various responsibilities. This reduces the impact of being short-staffed. If you have employees that only know how to do one or two things, you’ll run into issues.

When you have staff members who know how to do many different tasks, you can ensure that your business has a team that knows how to handle everything. But make sure you’re not putting too much on your cross-trained employees. This will cause burnout and further your staffing issues.

Offer Overtime or Incentives

If your existing staff is willing and able, consider offering overtime pay or incentives to encourage them to work extra hours during busy times. With the cost of living getting more and more expensive, employees may be more willing to put in extra hours, as long as their being compensated accordingly.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Invest in technology and automation tools that can streamline repetitive tasks, reducing the need for additional staff. This can include point-of-sale systems, online booking platforms, and more. Self-service kiosks have also proved to be great additions to short-staffed businesses.

If your business model permits self-checkout or self-ordering, the addition of a kiosk will not only help take some of the load off your employees but also save business owners money in the long run.

Adjust Business Hours

Temporarily adjust your business hours to match your staffing levels so that you don’t face short-staffed. For instance, you might close on certain days or reduce operating hours during particularly slow periods. This will save your business money and ensure you have as much staff as you can during hours of operation.

Implement Efficient Scheduling

Optimize employee schedules to ensure that you have adequate coverage during peak times. Utilize scheduling software to make this process more manageable. Having in-depth employee management software can really help organize work days. It can help employees have easier access to schedules, easier shift trading, and shift pick-ups.

Invest in Employee Training and Development

Invest in ongoing training and development programs to help employees build new skills and take on additional responsibilities, making them more versatile, but it also fosters a culture of continuous improvement within your organization.

By encouraging employees to expand their knowledge and expertise, you empower them to adapt to evolving industry trends and technologies, ultimately enhancing the company’s competitiveness in the long run.

Delegate Responsibility

Delegating managerial tasks to trusted employees is not just about reducing your personal burden but also about fostering a sense of responsibility and empowerment among your team members. It allows them to develop leadership skills, gain a deeper understanding of the organization’s operations, and build confidence in decision-making.

Additionally, effective delegation promotes a more collaborative and resilient work environment, where employees feel valued and engaged, leading to improved productivity and innovation as they contribute their unique perspectives and expertise to the overall success of the company.

Consider Remote Work

If feasible, allowing employees to work remotely, especially for roles that don’t require physical presence, can be a strategic move with several benefits. Beyond expanding your potential talent pool and mitigating short-staffed, remote work can enhance employee satisfaction by providing greater flexibility and work-life balance.

It also demonstrates a commitment to adapting to modern work trends, which can make your organization more attractive to top talent. Additionally, remote work can lead to cost savings for both the company and employees, such as reduced commuting expenses and office overhead, while contributing to environmental sustainability through decreased commuting emissions.

Stay Flexible

Finally, in the face of staffing challenges and evolving market dynamics, it’s crucial to be adaptable and willing to adjust your strategies as circumstances change. Small businesses, in particular, often need to be exceptionally nimble and responsive. This means staying attuned to employee feedback, market trends, and emerging technologies that can streamline operations or create new opportunities.

By fostering a culture of adaptability and embracing change, you position your business to not only navigate staffing challenges but also to thrive and remain competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. Remember, the ability to pivot and innovate is often the hallmark of successful small businesses.

Making Sure Your Business is Staying Successful

Adaptability is essential for small business survival in these difficult times of changing worker dynamics. You can overcome the personnel difficulties that frequently come along with the shifting work landscape by putting these tactics into practice and remaining adaptable.

Consider the particular needs of your small business while developing your strategy. Additionally, encouraging a good work atmosphere and showing appreciation to your dedicated employees will not only help you weather the storm but will also develop a devoted and motivated team prepared to face any challenge.