5 Ways to Manage an Understaffed Team

5 Ways to Manage an Understaffed Team

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Working with an understaffed team is a common challenge for small business owners. 

It is even more challenging in the era of The Great Resignation and a generation obsessed with “quiet quitting.” If you are working with a lean team, you have to focus on creativity, flexibility, and teamwork. 

Today, we discuss five ways to manage an understaffed team so your small business is primed to succeed.

1. Improve Communication

Understaffed teams are under strain and face more concerns and challenges than the average worker. 

Opening the doors of communication and allowing managers and employees to share feedback helps improve productivity. It identifies roadblocks that could hold the team back. More suggestions from the people who do the work is the best way to improve processes and reduce unnecessary tasks.  

2. Prioritize and Redeploy Workload

An active approach to managing workload requires ongoing prioritization. 

This ensures critical work is handled quickly while also putting less pressing tasks on the back burner. You can also look at work across the entire small business operation to see if there are opportunities to redeploy workload from busier departments to departments experiencing a lull. 

Cross-training allows employees to work where they are needed most while also opening learning opportunities for career development. It’s a win-win.

3. Ask for Volunteers

When new projects arise, ask for volunteers. 

Discuss new projects with your entire small business team and discover hidden talents and skills team members might be excited to share. Team members are paid for their work but volunteer to get involved in roles they might not traditionally handle. 

This is a great way to share responsibilities and unload tasks from one overburdened person or department to someone willing and able to do the work.

4. Spot Leaders & Share Workload

Whether you have managers or run everything independently, assigning project leaders helps keep work moving forward. 

Identifying those willing to take on extra responsibility in the quiet quitting age helps manage the burden of work effectively without making anyone feel they are being “put upon.” At the same time, managers should be willing to roll up their sleeves and work in the trenches to help their teams when things are busy.

5. Hire Wisely

Lean teams call for a meticulous hiring process. 

It would help if you focused on finding people who will work well in a small business where the culture often focuses on teamwork and support. Hire someone with the skills to do the job you are hiring but also bring additional skills to the team so they can take on other tasks. Be sure to explain this comes with the territory, so you manage expectations and only hire someone amenable to a flexible workspace. 

Look for people who need minimal training and supervision and are likely to thrive in challenging environments. Be sure the job posting is engaging and describes company culture and the outcomes of the role. 

Your understaffed team has an opportunity to contribute to your business in a meaningful way. These tips help manage your team and encourage a company culture where everyone is engaged, appreciated, and productive.

About Focus HR, Inc.

Focus HR, Inc. uncomplicates the people side of business by providing small business owners with outsourced HR, project HR, and Leadership Coaching. For more information, please contact us today! If you liked this post, please subscribe to our blog. You can opt out at any time. To learn more about FocusHR and for updates, please like our Facebook page and follow us on LinkedIn.