Most businesses and organizations will go through periods of economic uncertainty or downtime. During these uncertain times, many employers must make cutbacks in staffing to save money or simply stay in business. But what harmful effects does prolonged understaffing have on a business and its current employees that are left to pick up the slack?
Risk of Employee Injuries and Illnesses
When you do not have enough manpower, your employees inherit more work than they can safely handle. Often, this can result in employees rushing through processes and physically overdoing themselves. When your staff is overworked, they are more likely to make mistakes resulting in serious injuries. When your employees are overwhelmed, they tend to push themselves past their limits to get everything done. As a result, your employees’ stress levels may elevate.
If your staff remains under such pressure for an extended time, their mental and emotional health can suffer greatly, and they will be more likely to become ill. Over time, this can negatively affect your company’s productivity, efficiency, and quality of work.
Increase in Employee Turnover
A perfect example of a stressful, unpleasant work environment is high levels of employee turnover. When your employees are quick to quit, this negatively affects your company in several ways. For instance, you waste time and money training a new set of employees; employees that will probably end up leaving you in the short term. Your business will also make a bad name for itself as an undesirable place to work. This will prevent candidates from applying and could even stop customers from supporting you.
As your current employees continue to be overworked without relief in sight, they may become dissatisfied with management and their job in general. Low morale leads workers to lose motivation, miss deadlines, and lose interest in their jobs. These factors all lead to lower overall productivity and higher turnover.
A Financial Hit
Both of the warning signs above will impact your bottom line over time. If your employees are putting in more hours, but it’s not translating into results, you’re losing money; this will cost your business more in the long run, particularly if your team fails to reach productivity levels. Happy customers also contribute to your bottom line. If the turnaround time is too long or customer service is poor, it will deter customers from doing business with you in the future. The cost of vacancies continues to add up over time. The longer understaffing remains an issue, the larger the impact is on your bottom line and your employees’ productivity.
Solution to Understaffing
Do not let understaffing affect your productivity, customer service, or bottom line. See how a recruiting agency like Johnson Search Group can help your team reduce stress and turnover by ensuring you have the staff on hand to efficiently run your business.