Many organizations go through busy seasons when all resources are overstretched, with the staff barely managing to meet needs. Being short-staffed can be very problematic for a company, and unfortunately, there is not a quick fix for it.
A typical reaction to a stressful environment is a staff suddenly quitting and leaving the company even more strained. The first step in addressing understaffing is to understand why some of your team resigned or why you are struggling to find people to hire. Once you comprehend the problem, you can apply a proper solution. Luckily, here are some tools you can utilize in the meantime to ease the workload in your company when short-staffed.
- Freelance Platforms
Short-term hires are readily available on hundreds of freelance platforms if your busy period is seasonal. You can find freelance help to fill in while short of staff and have their contracts last the duration of the demanding spell.
The platforms available make finding and hiring freelancers a breeze. Many part-timers are available immediately or on short notice. You also benefit from a broad pool of qualified professionals in diverse subject matters.
Freelance platforms have the added advantage of taking out the administrative work of handling the freelancers. Such systems handle communications, deadlines, and payments for you. The contractors are likely to deliver quality work on time because they value their track record.
- Advanced Communication
Effective communication internally and externally makes all the difference in a short-staffed team environment. Most of the time, people are busy trying to meet deadlines and may overlook sharing critical information. Communication is essential among a small group of staff to ensure they are on the same page and working efficiently.
It may be challenging to find an employee to manage everything if your company has a lot of phone and conferencing needs. Using advanced phone systems like VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) makes handling phone communication simpler. Any gadget connected to the internet instantly transforms into a calling device.
You can also use automated tools like easy dial-in generation and multi-level IVR (interactive voice response). Such features route calls, taking out the manual work of picking up calls. Other communication apps like messaging systems or video conferencing apps can also boost communication.
- Project Management Platforms
Project management platforms are your perfect tool if you oversee teams undertaking various activities simultaneously. A project management platform can be a lot of upfront work but will save you time and money in the long run through orderly workflows.
The platforms keep track of multiple projects, timelines, and assigned tasks. This approach eliminates the time spent getting updates from teams and communicating work requirements and feedback. The platform dashboards show the current status of various activities, instantly identifying any backlogs or stalled status.
Project automation enables you to develop remedial actions as soon as bottlenecks show up. You can also set the platform to send automatic updates and reminders regarding particular projects.
- Data Analytics
Data analytics generate insights to improve your business. Through analytics, you identify process gaps and establish how to optimize resources in the organization. Running data analytics does not take a lot of people as there are tools available to make this very easy.
You can run analytics on customer info, operational efficiency, financials, and much more. Using data to drive your decisions ensures you use your team and resources to the fullest extent. You can also forecast the expected periods of high turnover and plan accordingly.
Customer data analytics enables you to gain in-depth knowledge of your customers and anticipate their needs to serve them better. Happy customers mean more pleasant communication between them and your team, easing the pressure during peak seasons.
- Customer Relationship Management
Customer service staff are critical for many organizational operations. Even if you lack people to fill other departments, customer service is non-negotiable. If you are short-staffed, systems are available to ease the customer management process.
Consider using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that makes communicating and tracking your customer info easy. The system stores all customer information and communication details. A CRM software can link to your website for artificial intelligence messaging, eliminating the need for staff to do it.
Other benefits of CRM include better knowledge of customers for segmentation, faster communication with customers, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Manage Optimally with Limited Staff
Efficient operations do not necessarily mean a lot of working staff. With the right management tools, you can sail through even when short-staffed periods effectively. You only need to identify appropriate tools that work well for your business.
You should also sufficiently motivate your employees and empower them not to feel the downing effects of work pressure during busy seasons. Empowering employees to be accountable makes them feel in control of their work.