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How to Handle a Workday When Short Staffed

How to Handle a Workday When Short Staffed

During the holidays, flu season, or currently during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find that you don’t have enough employees to handle your current workload. While this will not only cause you much anxiety, it can also affect your performance, reputation, and customer experience. Luckily, if you do find yourself short-staffed on a workday, there are several things you can do. Here are just a few steps you can take to improve the situation and ease everyone’s stress levels.

Focus on Necessary Tasks

When you are short-staffed, only focus on all tasks that must be done that day, including customer service. Don’t worry about the projects that are important but are not facing immediate deadlines. By prioritizing the most important projects, you will feel more accomplished at the end of the day and better able to manage your time. 

When you foresee that you will be short-staffed, take time to determine which tasks are essential. Next, work as a team to complete those essential tasks first. After those have been completed, utilize your less busy moments by moving onto projects with later deadlines. Do become fixated on lower-priority tasks that are not accomplished right away.

Take Your Communication Up a Notch

It is important to communicate well with all of your staff members every single day, but when short-staffed, this communication becomes even more critical. It will also help all team members know what tasks should be a priority. As a manager or supervisor, make sure you are available for communication all day so any questions or concerns are not delayed and time is wasted. 

Team Up

You may have to do things a little bit differently to ensure that all high-priority tasks are accomplished. For example, you may need to team up employees so certain tasks can be finished twice as quickly. Emphasize to your employees that they may also need to step outside of their comfort zone and work on tasks or projects that are typically not on their to-do lists. The better that your employees can work as a team, the more smoothly your entire day will be.

Praise Your Team

Make sure you are praising and thanking your team members. When you are short-staffed at work, your employees can feel immense pressure. Make sure you are acknowledging them for their efforts and for doing a good job in the challenging circumstances. This will help to boost their morale and make them leave work happy and tired, rather than angry and exhausted. 

Facing a workday when you are short-staffed is no simple task. It can leave you feeling defeated and exhausted. However, by being prepared and keeping the above items in mind, you will better face the day and will be amazed at just how much you can accomplish.