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How to manage when you are understaffed


Managing an understaffed company can be very frustrating. This can add stress, pressure and the lack of control to the rapidly increasing workload to your daily life. This frantic circumstance can affect your employees daily work performance and can damage the reputation of the entire company by hurting its productivity and work ethic. Budget cutbacks can cause a company to become understaffed which in turn creates the need to reduce the workforce. They may allow some of their employees the option of taking early retirement while younger employees will need to find jobs elsewhere. Understaffing not only affects companies' employees but it also has a negative impact on customers. What is the best way to manage when you are understaffed?

Try to stay focused and dedicated to delivering quality products and high performance to continually meet the needs of the business. This can be quite a challenge trying to achieve everything that used to be completed by more people. You may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, but don't let any of your employees sense your anxiety but instead stay calm and try to come up with different strategies to balance everything.


With increasing staffing distress, it is not recommend to do everything yourself. You will quickly wear yourself down, leaving your team members reluctant, your reputation affected and despite your best efforts, the workload will keep piling up. The solution to an understaffed organization is to improve and increase the effectiveness of your communication with your employees. Furthermore, you can consider, from time to time, hiring temporary help to assist you. You have to manage the stress level around the work area by keeping a positive attitude and implementing creative ways to help employees to stay focused on their job. Examine all areas where high and slow productivity patterns are experienced. Train employees to become flexible to perform multiple tasks, to stay efficient and continue increasing productivity. Make sure that have what they need to do their job. If you can, you need to take time to review employees daily work habits to make sure that they are using their time wisely and are working effectively.

When you are understaffed, make sure you hold regular team meetings. You need to keep the team focused on the company goals and acknowledge positive results and efforts your team members make every day. This process can get the team members energized and help them to stay effective to support long term goals.

It's essential to periodically reevaluate individual and team goals to ensure that their goals still match to the ones of the company. If an employee just can't seem to accomplish everything on his agenda, then he needs to choose one goal that is critical and focus on it until it is done.

If you take the time to honestly study and recognize your team's accomplishments, you can bring new ideas on how to make their work more effective, beneficial and productive. You can implement new technology. This can be painful in the short term, but can have long term benefits. You can bring them to focus more on what they can do differently to give better returns with better results.

If employees leave the company often or are constantly absent, establish a retention plan. Try to focus on improving communication. Offer different exciting incentives and come up with new programs to help them to enjoy coming to work each day.

Managing when you are understaffed can be done with tactics and with a very positive attitude. Keep yourself mentally fit to face everyday work challenges and stay focused on one project at the time. Make sure you have good communication with your team so you are aware of what's going on at all time. Keep the stress level down by letting yourself enjoy life from time to time.

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Posted by DF
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