The combination of the pandemic, The Great Resignation, and the difficulty some organisations are having in recruiting new staff, whether for new roles or to replace those employees who have moved on, has had a knock-on effect on the workload of everyone left in the business.
Staff still employed are increasingly expected to take on more responsibilities and tasks to plug the gap left by the workers who have departed. For those employees in this position, they often can feel that there is no end in sight for that situation to change, so not unsurprisingly this ultimately brings additional issues, for example:
- Role expansion – over time those who have found their job descriptions increasing due to necessity can become disgruntled in that they are not being recompensed adequately for the additional workload. This can also lead to the same people being classified as disloyal, or not a team player if they raise this as a concern. Sadly, these employees will ultimately become very disillusioned and potentially unproductive or will leave, causing even more issues for the business and those left behind.
- Company Culture – can be badly affected by understaffing and overworking issues. Maintaining a happy working environment for your employees can be difficult and often low down on the priority list when they feel they are being put upon, but now more than ever it’s so important and once lost can be hard to get back.
- Mental Health – not surprising, the increased pressures on employees can have a hugely detrimental effect on people’s mental health and wellbeing, which could lead to burnout and sickness levels increasing, thereby exacerbating the situation even further.
Business owners and employers should not and must not bury their heads in the sand and assume that ‘all will be OK’ or ‘that it’s only temporary’! Even a short-term shortage in staffing can cause considerable problems…so what can you do?
- Clear and regular communication – talk to those involved, be clear about the situation and review workloads to support what is happening in the business. Are there lower priority tasks that could be put on hold for the time being so that the focus is on the critical and higher priorities first? How is everyone feeling? What help do they feel they need?
- Provide help and support – do employees taking on additional responsibilities have the right level of training and knowledge they need to do the job properly? Time and time again it has been demonstrated that those employees who have access to a personal development programme feel more appreciated and valued, and therefore in a better place to work more effectively.
- A supported environment – now more than ever it’s essential to look after the wellbeing of our employees…this can, as a result, have a massive impact on their morale and productivity. There are many ways in which businesses can implement a programme to benefit staff and not break the budget!
Kirsty Craig Associates can support you and your business so YOU can support your team with practical HR skills and training programmes.
Contact us on 01244 732070 to talk through what it is you think you need, and we can go from there.