There are a lot of different reasons to increase your staffing: increased demand for product, rising customer needs, breaking into a new market. But many businesses can't truly tell when it's time to increase their staff until it's too late. Use these indicators to determine whether it's time for you to expand your staff.
Indicator #1: Your Workforce Management System Thinks It's Time
Savvy businesses know that a workforce management system does more than just help connect managers and employees. It also tracks productivity indicators. The first stop when assessing whether to add a position to your company is to check with your workforce management system to see if your indicators have been showing a need for additional staffing. If you have consistently seen a need for overtime hours or customer needs, it may indicate a serious need for more staff.
Indicator #2: Your Employee Morale is Dropping
Employee morale can be impacted by many different factors but one of the main reasons employees cite a drop in morale is being overwhelmed with work. If business keeps growing, your staffing stays stagnant, and you notice morale dropping, a new staff member to take on some of the additional work can create a better work environment and a more productive workplace.
Indicator #3: Your Business Branches Out
All business owners know that the vision they had when they started the business isn't set in stone. Some dreams need to be scaled back while others pique an interest and get developed as the business grows. If your business has identified a need for additional services or products, you probably need to expand your workforce not only to meet growing demands but to hire employees with unique skill sets. Businesses need to tread carefully when expanding into a new product or good and if they do expand, they need more staff.
Indicator #4: Customers are Making Waves
While customer complaints can't always be addressed, if customers are consistently complaining about poor response time or long turnaround times it may be time to assess whether your business has grown beyond your current staffing. Customers often recognize a drop in the quality of service long before upper management does. Businesses need to listen to their customers and take concerns about staffing into effect when considering adding positions.
Indicator #5: Rearranging Isn't Helping
Sometimes businesses recognize a need for more manpower in certain departments but want to remain lean. Before adding any staff, smart managers try to make due by rearranging job duties and redistributing current staff. When that doesn't cut it, it's time to add more staff.
Indicator #6: You Have the Funds
While your business can be meeting all these indicators, if you don't have the capital for salary and benefits, more staff isn't a possibility. Take a good look at your funds and how an additional employee would benefit the business. While you may have a need for another employee, you also need the funds.
Adding a new employee shouldn't be taken lightly. Not only does the business have an obligation to their customers but also their employees. Hiring new employees without truly understanding the risks and benefits of that decision is foolhardy at best. If you're grappling with hiring or getting lean, consider whether you meet these indicators for adding a staff member before putting out a want ad.