Overstaffing your project or business is never one of those problems you can see coming. It always rears its ugly head once assignments have been given and contracts have been inked. Having to then lay off your highly valued personnel can decimate morale and leave your employees and clients alike questioning your management abilities.

Staffing issues can often be misdiagnosed. Make sure you understand your busier seasons, and how and why they exist. Instead of being overstaffed, you may just be experiencing a temporary decrease in workload. Look at the productivity of your workers alongside your financial statements. If one cost or another has risen but sales are stagnant, there could be several reasons behind this, and it’s possible that overstaffing might not be the primary culprit.

When you’re not sure if punctuation is grammatically correct, you have two options: you can spend your time and resources adding and/or subtracting from the sentence, or you can just rewrite it. While this might work perfectly well in the context of writing, as words and clauses do not have feelings or families to support, managing human resources is quite different. Layoffs seriously impact morale and therefore productivity. Low morale can lead to increased turnover, which further complicates the fragile environment that influences your staffing decisions. Opting quickly for layoffs can also be dangerous because it can often fail to address the core issues behind your perceived overstaffing. By rethinking how your staff engage with their duties, their customers, or their coworkers, you can make sure that your staff are where you want them to be, and where they want to be, ensuring longevity for you and them.

Another factor to consider is not just how employees spend their time, but when, where, or on what. Comparing your revenue streams directly with your payroll figures can lead to some illuminating conclusions. Excessive labor costs may seem unnecessary, but pair your data with the often unquantifiable feedback you receive from managers and coworkers. Understanding whether you’re overstaffed, or just need to make adjustments in another area of the business, can be a simple as addressing seasonal issues, cross-training your staff to engage in other duties during downtime, or pursuing a flexible staffing solution with firms like Marathon TS.