How to deal with being understaffed in your team

How to deal with being understaffed in your team

No matter how well you plan and prepare, unexpected health issues, family emergencies, or an employee quitting can leave you short-staffed at work. Overlay the implications of the pandemic and being understaffed is a continual challenge. 

When this happens, your company goes into triage mode, and if the situation is not handled correctly, morale can plummet, and productivity will certainly decrease. 

Here are some suggestions on handling being short-staffed at work.

Focus on your priorities

Having a clear idea of where to focus your efforts during your short-staffed days is critical because some parts of your work may have to be put on hold or dropped entirely in order to move on. Develop a plan of action to prepare and organise your team for the workload ahead. Determine which tasks are most important and urgent, work out the time needed to complete them, and allocate the right people to deal with them.

Emphasise teamwork

When you're missing a member of your staff, and there is more work than staff, teaming up is the only way to ensure that workforce performance doesn't dip. Let your employees know that they may need to work on tasks that are not part of their duties to ensure that all high-priority tasks are completed.

Communicate openly and frequently

One of the most effective ways to deal with low staffing levels is to openly communicate with your employees about the situation. Allow them to share their input and encourage them to speak up when they are facing challenges. Doing this will help ensure that everyone is on the same page, therefore improving work performance.

Praise your team

Short-staffed days can leave your employees pressured and overwhelmed, so ensure that you acknowledge them for their efforts and ability to work in challenging circumstances. This will help boost their morale and motivate them to work harder. 

In addition to that, if you notice someone is anxious or upset, give them a brief time out to get themselves together. While this may seem counterintuitive, allowing employees to take a short break helps them recharge, therefore increasing efficiency.