Getting by with Less: How to Succeed with Less Staff
Staffing is a primary issue for many businesses today. Signs on storefronts everywhere advertise open positions. It is so prevalent that customers have come to expect a lower level of service as workers try to do the job of several people. Some have even had to limit the services or products they provide due to the inability to staff adequately.
All business areas are affected when any department is operating at less than optimal staffing levels. Your marketing team is critical for brand awareness, keeping consumers current on your products and services, and creating brand loyalty through customer engagement. These are all vital components to your success and longevity. However, there are ways to create and manage your marketing campaigns, even if you are currently understaffed. In the interim, you can get by with optimizing your marketing team without sacrificing your business.
Plan Further Ahead and Don’t Improvise
Planning is essential in any industry, whether you are building homes, catering events, selling socks, or performing services like tax preparation. You need to consider seasonality, order materials that accommodate expected demand, create a schedule, and assign tasks to allow every department to contribute to fulfilling the customer’s request. The same level of planning is necessary with marketing efforts during staffing shortages.
You mustn’t improvise with your marketing campaigns. Both near and far-term planning is critical for the best results. Strategic planning allows you to be more efficient, as you have time to do high-level planning in advance and offer guidance and input on marketing materials. Your plan should also include assigning responsibility for tasks, as it helps your department plan how to rearrange, reassign, or reschedule other duties.
Prioritize Your Most Essential Elements
You’ve no doubt heard the adage, work smarter, not harder. It has never resonated more than when operating with reduced staff. Consider what is truly essential to achieve your objectives and eliminate anything that doesn’t directly contribute to the task at hand. That could mean reorganizing priorities, postponing some endeavors, or removing everything but the most crucial components of your marketing efforts.
Prioritizing your most essential elements is a worthwhile effort. It lets you and your staff evaluate core functions and identify ways to optimize the workflow. When you need to scale back, you know what you cannot sacrifice to keep working toward your business goals. It gives you the peace of mind that your team can perform essential tasks while providing flexibility in times of need.
Rely on Other Staff to Handle Responsibilities
The one thing any business or industry can count on is change. The pandemic may have triggered the most recent staffing crisis, but there will always be influences beyond our control. Whether it is changing consumer behavior, listener preferences, economic impacts, health crises, supply chain problems, or more, business owners must always be prepared to pivot when necessary. That means looking beyond any single department to consider managing efforts across the enterprise.
Cross-training your employees helps you manage staffing shortages should they arise. Dividing up a single role among several people helps to expand the capabilities of your employees, minimizes risk, and maximizes efficiency. For instance, consider how you would cover for your primary sound technician if they became ill. Training multiple staff members and periodically allowing them to switch roles to keep their knowledge current. It also helps them hone their skills, gives them options for career advancement, adds variety to their day-to-day schedule, and provides you with a backup plan.
Balance Your Talent
Keep in mind that it isn’t just owners and managers that feel the strain during staffing shortages. Your employees want to meet deadlines and perform job duties with the same quality and attention to detail as before. That may be difficult or impossible when they are severely overallocated. Burnout among your existing team members is another impact of understaffing.
Burnout can lead to mistakes, diminished morale, decreased productivity, health issues, absenteeism, and more attrition. Planning can help you anticipate the risks from extended human resources issues like prolonged stress or distractions that can lead to dissatisfied customers or wasted time and money on ineffective campaigns. Planning also allows you to fairly distribute everyone’s workload so you can avoid overworking any singular employee.
Cut Corners Without Sacrificing Quality or Losing Sight of Goals
Staffing shortages are a huge inconvenience. However, like any business risk, you can mitigate and manage impacts with careful planning. Consider ways to optimize efficiency and maintain productivity. Stop looking at job functions as silos and consider ways to spread knowledge. It not only gives you options when the need arises, but it offers a chance for your employees to expand their skills.
Consider ways to lighten the load on any one role by rethinking responsibilities. Perhaps that means temporarily suspending some efforts until you are back to your total capacity. It may mean shortening the lifecycle or combining efforts from some endeavors. It could also involve reimagining some job functions.
Cutting corners while creating memorable and engaging radio marketing campaigns takes strategic planning. There are many roles and tasks you can outsource effectively. Working with a media partner is an excellent way to navigate staffing shortages and prevent burnout among your team members. It is also a highly efficient way to achieve your business goals by handling your marketing requirements even during unprecedented times.
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