Being a successful entrepreneur or a manager is a not an easy task. From learning new things to managing the employees while tracking the business growth or project progress, there could be a gazillion things vying for your attention. This can quickly snowball into a crisis if you are short on staff. One of the most stressful situations for an entrepreneur or manager is being tasked to deliver on a high-priority project, and to do it with an understaffed team. Whatever the reason for the situation, it’s a situation if not managed properly. But with the right approach, it can build camaraderie, open opportunities, and set the stage for a professional growth.
Here’s how you can keep your game face on during those crunch times:
1. Outsource: Sometimes, when you are short of staff, depending on the skillset you require, you can always find people to work for you as consultants or on freelance basis. Sometimes, it’s more efficient and cheaper to outsource than to try doing stuff yourself, losing productive hours in the bargain.
2. Communicate Effectively: Whenever you are facing a crisis, especially in a small environment, it is better to be open about it rather than hiding the facts. In fact, people tend to close ranks with you and help close out tasks when you bring in transparency. The only way is to effectively convince management that you're understaffed and that they need to do something about it.
3. State your Priorities: By focusing on everything at once, you end up doing nothing perfectly. Rather create a list of things which are important and has to done immediately and delegate among your team members. By spreading the work equally, you take a little bit of stress off them.
4. Take a Step Back: Often, people get so overwhelmed by work and the attendant chaos that they forget to take a deep breath. Remember, panic feeds on itself. So, lean back, relax, take a deep breath, do some in-chair exercises to get that circulation going, and visualize success in the task at hand. Do this several times. You will feel renewed vigor coursing through your veins—enough to take work head on!
5. Recruit Volunteers / Interns: Depending on the type of job, you may be able to utilize interns or volunteers to help. Not every workplace lends itself to this solution, but if yours does, take advantage of volunteers. But interns can suit for many jobs.
6. Distribute the Difficult Tasks First: As the manager you know which tasks need to be completed first, and what not to prioritize. One way that you can ensure that you staff stays productive is to assign the most time consuming and difficult tasks at the beginning of the day and not when staff may be mentally exhausted. This way you can get the work done at a lesser time.
Long-term staffing may require hiring new employees, but you can shift some responsibilities and emphasize teamwork. This can be planned with your boss, or business partner. Importantly, don’t let your stress affect your work and don’t let everything pile up.