When employee numbers are low, workplace efficiency can take a downturn. On top of this, the stress and exhaustion of having to wear many hats can bring down staff morale.

While you always want your business to operate smoothly, the reality is that life is unpredictable. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself understaffed due to family emergencies, workload spikes, health problems, employee stress, or many more issues.

Knowing how to handle short staffing issues is crucial to keep your business moving efficiently in times like these.

What Is Understaffing?

Understaffing generally means too few staff members are employed to complete daily tasks.

This can occur either:

  • When you don’t have enough staff employed at your business
  • When you lack staff at any one given time

In the first scenario, you are understaffed because there aren’t enough people to carry out the work required to operate your business smoothly. In the other, several employees have taken time off at the same time. This may be due to personal or official business reasons.

Understaffing can last for a long period and could negatively impact a business when not resolved promptly.

This makes it all the more important to learn how to handle short staffing issues early on. Unfortunately, you may not realize you’re facing staffing problems until your productivity has declined.

What Are the Challenges of Staffing?Woman quitting

When you have quality employees, business growth comes easy. However, the constantly changing job market and current workplace situation can bring about these common staffing problems.

  • Sudden Vacancy: The sudden vacancy of a critical position can seriously impact a business, especially when the role is hard to fill. Daily functions that remain unfinished can hamper the business flow.
  • High Turnover Rates: Whenever employees leave, it can burden the remaining workforce, decrease product or service quality, and demoralize other workers.
  • Candidate Screening: When recruiters lack resources to screen applicants or use outdated hiring practices, a company may end up with bad hires. This can result in lost productivity and high turnover costs.
  • Business Ebbs and Flows: While a smaller workforce may suffice during leaner months, you may need more employees to get you through busy seasons. However, if you’ve already thought about how to handle short staffing issues, you can prepare for workload fluctuations.

What Causes Short Staffing?

Both short- and long-term staff shortages can harm customer service and the well-being of your workforce. Some frequent reasons for short-staffing include:

  • A shortage of qualified applicants
  • Business downsizing
  • Increased sales
  • High employee turnover

Regardless of the reason you find yourself short staffed, other team members will end up taking on more responsibilities than they should.

What Are the Dangers of Understaffing?

If you don’t learn how to handle short staffing issues, you’ll miss out on growth opportunities because you won’t have the capacity to meet your customers’ needs.

Here are short staffing issues you may face.

  • Lost Business: When there’s not enough staff to take calls and attend to customers, it can mean a loss of revenue.
  • Damaged Reputation: Poor customer service can earn you negative reviews and hurt your brand. Additionally, you can damage your reputation if you fail to deliver goods or services to new clients due to a shortage of workers.
  • Stressed Employees: With the extra workload, employees can become overwhelmed or overworked. They may soon request more PTO or quit their jobs altogether.

How Do You Deal with Staffing Problems?

Thankfully, there are ways to deal with understaffing effectively.

1. Outsource Tasks

One of the most practical steps is to outsource tasks. There’s no excuse to suffer deficiencies in your customer service department—not when partnering with the right call center can get you back on track. They can offer expert advice on how to handle short staffing issues and provide professional and reliable assistance based on your needs.

Services such as front desk management, call transferring, and other support services can help you save on operating costs while improving your overall customer satisfaction ratings. In addition, you can choose to outsource your entire customer service department or select staff seat leasing options. Outsourcing is scalable, so whether you need a little or a lot of help at that point in time, there’s no reason to be left scrambling.

2. Use Technology

Another solution is to use technology to facilitate your work and that of your employees. With many tools at your disposal today, you can cut down the need for certain roles. These tools can help manage projects, act as communication channels, give you status notifications, and more.

Solve Short Staffing Issues with ROI Solutions

If you are already short-staffed, it is crucial to maintain a good attitude toward team members. You’ll need to exert additional effort to operate cohesively, which will help reduce work-related stress and foster a positive work environment.

Consider turning to ROI Call Center Solutions to solve your customer service staffing issues. We offer call center services that may assist you in mitigating and preventing understaffing concerns via the use of a variety of customer support services in your business operations. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.