We are hearing a common “good news/bad news” theme among our small business clients. Let us know if it rings true for you, too.
Business is up—or at least trending to pre-COVID levels. That’s the good news. The bad news? Many of our clients are facing supply chain shortages—and we wish we had easy solutions if that’s what you’re facing.
But at INFINITI HR and Inspiring HR, we’re also seeing another shortage with our clients, which we’ve invested our careers into helping our clients to solve:
You don’t have enough hands to get the work done.
- Key employees have followed the siren song of recruiters and other companies promising more salary or more flexibility in working from home.
- You’re trying to hire new employees, and finding out the job market is decidedly in favor of the job candidate, and not the employer.
- Your employees are taking time off and making up for missed vacations due to the pandemic.
So what do you do?
Well, you could complain—but that never seems to work. You could throw bags of money at prospective employees to lure them into your company—but you’ll go out of business fast with that strategy. You could tell your employees not to take vacation—but you already know how that movie will end. So, then what do you do?
Our recommendation: find flexibility.
- Find flexibility in how you manage your employees.
- Find flexibility in how you delegate.
- Find flexibility in how you run your business.
When we’re stressed (as many of us are these days), we tend to double down on what got us out of a tough situation before. But maybe this time, see if you can be more creative—and more flexible—in your problem-solving. Here’s a starter list of questions to help you find more flexibility—and better outcomes—for your business.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND MORE HUMAN CAPITAL FLEXIBILITY
• Is your out-of-office process up-to-date to address the procedures when team members cover for each other when colleagues are out of the office?
• Does your business plan/operations plan address the critical functions that must occur to run your business—especially when you are short-staffed?
• Have you managed your clients and trained your team on good expectation setting? Most people are reasonable with delays in returning calls and emails and completion of projects—if you are proactive and set proper expectations.
• How do you ensure someone who is on vacation gets REAL time off? We know you love hard workers as much as us. But burnout is a real thing. You want your team to take time off so they come back refreshed and ready to get back in the game.
• Can you be additionally flexible over the summer? I get that you might be making up for lost revenue from 2020. But if your clients are also reducing their productivity to go on vacation, is summer a good time for you to do the same?
• Have you thought about what day of the week is the lightest in terms of incoming emails, calls, requests? After all, if there is a day of the week that is least hectic, you can coordinate time off around that day of the week.
• Does everyone need to work on Friday? (I’m serious. You should really consider this question before you diss it.)
• Can you rotate employees so that some have Friday off and others have Monday off? We’ve seen this work really well with many of our clients’ organizations.
• Are you flexible with your worksite (onsite/remote)? We know a lot of companies are telling their employees they want them back in the office full-time. That decision is squarely up to you. But we tell our clients: many of your employees thrived working from home and do not miss the commute. Be very thoughtful before you yank a job retention benefit away and tell everyone to return to the office full-time.
We know that running a business has its own unique challenges. There never seems to be enough of anything like financial resources or employee talent.
Interested in other current employment trends? Click the link to view the recent blog: Small Business Leader: Redefine Work/Life Balance to Avoid Burnout or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance, and benefits.