In response to COVID-19, the staffing landscape has been fluid and changing almost daily. Disruptions and slowdowns have become second nature to us as we try to combat a pandemic with productivity. To deal with such complicated work conditions, our recommendation: ensure you are moving with passion and purpose:  strong enough to produce required results but flexible enough to change with these new “abnormal” times.

  1. Assess current resources. To determine the necessary staffing levels, companies must measures and benchmark existing human capital resources. Questions you should ask:
    • How many employees do we have?
    • What employees are essential?
    • At what point will we lose more staff due to specific employee separations?
    • What are the current costs of compensation and benefits?

For a majority of the world’s workforce, being laid off is a looming threat.  Employers have a right to terminate employment as result of economic impact; of course, a fair number are not very comfortable with the idea. Oftentimes, employers may benefit from voluntary measures accepted by employees. Some teammates would rather agree to reduced pay (and work hours) as opposed to not working at all. Establish these agreements in writing to help determine how much of your current resources can still be utilized. Be sure to document the associated cost savings.

  1. Estimate future needs. Employers must accurately project future manpower needs of their company. Questions to consider:
    • How much work will we be producing in the coming months?
    • What is the impact on our bottom line?
    • Which costs are inevitable and must receive a high priority?
    • Can our work be done remotely?

By logically planning, you can determine your preferred areas for cost cutting.

  1. Plan your response. The most popular response to the pandemic has been switching to a remote business model. This keeps people employed and business costs low. Even a partially virtual method could ultimately save a company significant dollars. If on-site work is absolutely necessary, consider switching to rotating shifts to maintain social distancing measures.

We have had to write the “Staffing Optimization” playbook over the past six months; it has gone through several iterations over the past 25 weeks.  Bottom line: Companies are only as good as their teams. Be balanced in your approach; maintain profitability while keeping those key players will pay real dividends in the long-run!