The summer season can encourage a lot of UK employees to pack their bags and take advantage of annual leave, which means businesses of all kinds often experience a staff shortage. If staff shortages are not managed properly, ultimately businesses – and even their customers – can suffer. Join the Esme team as we share our top four tips on how to overcome staff shortage to ensure that your business and its customers won’t feel the effects of a smaller workforce.
Depending on your business and its size, you can make the most out of your employees by cross training them. By teaching them a range of relevant skills that can cater for a number of jobs within your business, you will create a more flexible and adaptable workforce that will be able to help cover a variety of duties when your business experiences a shortage of staff.
This strategy works particularly well if your business experiences a downtime in the summer season, as it means your employees may not be as a busy as usual and will have time to cover additional tasks for staff who are away.
If your business is busy during the summer, hiring flexible or temporary staff can be hugely beneficial. Not only could they support you and your business when other staff are on holiday, but they could also help cover staff during sickness or offer additional resources during busy periods. If you are looking to hire temporary or flexible staff to cover staff shortages, you can either hire them directly or work with an agency who can provide temps at short notice. Students can also be great provisional recruits as the flexibility a temp roles offers can often suit their schedule as well as yours.
With most businesses, employees are required to inform management when they’d like to take their annual leave – this is usually within a given time period before they wish to go. This approach allows businesses to plan and manage the absence of a team member in advance. As soon as you are aware that someone within your team has booked holiday, it’s important to plan and decide whether help is needed so that you can prepare your business or get extra help in advance. Which can save your business money and you a lot of time and effort.
It can be hard to say no to an employee’s holiday request, but if you have a relatively small team and someone is already away, it can leave your business with a lack of resources and a large shortage of staff that could potentially bring your business to a halt. You may have to initiate a strategy to determine who gets priority when booking time off; for example a first come first serve strategy. This could also encourage your team to book time off early, giving the added benefit of providing you with more time to prepare your business for their absence. To stay on top of this, you can create a staff holiday planner that shows which days people have taken off, so that everyone within your team has access to it and can see what dates are available or remaining.