We all love hearing about large organisations creating new jobs in Ireland, think back to last year when Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced that it would be creating 300 new jobs in Limerick.
However, for most businesses that massive investment is not realistic. Most operate on the basis that every euro counts, they need to be lean and their focus is on making the most significant impact possible with the most efficient use of resources. Being lean is critical to success for most businesses regardless of sector, and keeping staff numbers low is part of that strategy.
Whether you are in banking or construction, there is a point where you are a little too lean, and its time to invest in expanding your team.
Here are five signs that your team need you to invest in recruiting.
1. Overloaded staff
Getting the most out of staff is great, but you be sure that you are not pushing them beyond what they are able for. Listen to what your team is telling you, if they are saying that it is impossible to get all their work done or that they are stressed by their workload, that’s a warning sign that they might be overloaded and they need help to complete their work.
2. Not taking breaks
Your staff may not say anything to you, but have you noticed that the same people are working through their lunch or working late every day? Have you stopped to ask them why? These nonverbal cues are important, they might mean that your staff have too many tasks to complete.
Staff who aren’t getting breaks are at risk of burnout, and you may notice that they are more stressed or irritable than normal. If it’s not resolved, these employees are likely to leave for a better work-life balance elsewhere, creating an even bigger problem for the team.
3. Increase in overtime
So you have staff working late so that they can get the job done or you have gaps your roster, and you use the same few people to fill those shifts. Big signs that you have an under-staffed team.
The staff that are working late or filling the gaps are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime is not the best solution, it’s costly and it increases the risk of staff burnout. Rather than spending money on overtime, invest in additional staff to take the pressure off your team and get better quality work done.
4. Turning down projects
Have you turned down a project or delayed the start of a project because you don’t have the people resources? That is a sure way to stunt your business growth. If you hire someone to join the team, then you are creating an opportunity to accept new projects and drive new revenue.
5. Quality is slipping
Are you listening to what your customers are saying about your business? Have deadlines been missed or met? Is someone available to respond to customers quickly? Are orders late or going unfulfilled? It can indicate that you need more staff.
This is a clear sign that you are understaffed and you need to recruit before your customers take their business elsewhere. Customers are going to get frustrated if they are left waiting for orders or waiting for someone to pick up the phone and respond to them.
Having a lean strategy for your business is critical to success, but business owners need to be careful not to take it too far. Being slow to hire or not hiring at all can be damaging to your business. Regardless of your industry, by adding to your team, you reduce the likelihood of burnout and create opportunities to grow your business.