Adequate Staffing

February 15, 2023

Our timely Round Table topic for February is also the subject of discussions at our Annual Leadership Summit on March 17 at the University Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This event will feature guest speaker David Robb, Co-Owner and Managing Partner at Express Employment Professionals, and Tracy Brower, Ph.D., for an in-depth discussion on today’s employment trends and solutions and work/life balance. Special message on hiring and retention from entrepreneur Andrew Crapuchettes, Founder of Red Balloon.  See to register.

Our leaders discussed solutions to this common concern.

Do You Have Idle Capacity?
What are the critical functions and processes in your business and how much time do they take to perform?  Consider performing a job function analysis of your critical functions just like you would in a production facility.  One member was asked to perform a job function analysis of an accounts payable clerk that was unproductive.  They asked this individual to start counting the number of transactions processed weekly and how long each transaction took to process.  They learned that the workload only took 1/3 of a week to complete.

There may be a lot of idle capacity with your current staff.  They may be able to become more productive and more meaningful to your organization.

Consider Part-Time Employees
The mindset of employers may need to change.  There may be folks with the skill set you need that want to work part-time.  They may be semi-retired but looking for part-time work.  These individuals will not respond to your employment ads offering full-time work.

Is the Job Function Transactional?
Currently, there is an accounting staff shortage.  Consider a fractional CFO.  Businesses need to examine all aspects of a CFO position.  How much of the job function is transactional?  For example, 80 percent of the job of a chief financial person in a small company is transactional work that can be performed by a clerk.  We only need 20% of a CFO or CPA.  Some organizations offer fractional CFOs.

Maintain your Hiring Standards: Dramatic but True Story
It is important to be careful to not lower your standards when hiring.  One member’s manufacturing client lowered his standards when hiring laborers.  The owner called our member for help one day because he noticed that many of his new hires were wearing pagers.  Our member noticed that the pagers would go off and the employees would go out to the back parking lot, where a car was waiting for the employee to perform a drug transaction.  They had to fire multiple employees that day.

Remote or Offshore Workers
One member of a CBRT Round Table had offshore staff with an extremely high turnover rate.  He realized that offshore employees wanted the same thing as office employees.  They want to know that their work matters and that their boss cares about them.  To combat the turnover, this leader asked each employee to send him a picture of themselves and a biography.  He wanted information on their careers and family.  He posted all the pictures of his offshore employees on his wall.  He took a picture of this wall and sent the photo to all his employees.  In his meetings, he called each by name and communicated with them as you would an office employee.  These actions helped reduce turnover by 80%.