The Growing Labor Shortage: How to Survive with Less Staff


From the rise of remote working to the current labor shortage, the US job market is undergoing a profound transformation – leaving many employers wondering how to adapt to the current state of work.

The 2021 labor shortage and what it means for your business

As pandemic restrictions are gradually lifted across the country, offices and workplaces are reopening - but will there be enough employees to fill them? Maybe not. The latest figures from the US Bureau of Statistics tell a worrying story with the number of available job openings soaring to a record 10.1 million at the end of June 2021.

It's tempting to blame the numbers on federal relief programs. However, while it seems plausible that pandemic-related benefits would remove the incentive to work, the reality is somewhat different. Most states have already begun reducing or eliminating their relief payments, and a recent report from financial analyst BTIG suggests that only six percent of unemployment recipients would be willing to return to work when their benefits come to an end.

Instead, most are on the hunt for something different. Some are searching for a better work-life balance, others are considering a career side-step into something more challenging or meaningful. Buoyed by the rise of remote working, many want more flexibility, or simply the challenge of starting their own business. 

Whatever the reason, workplaces are emptying. With the shortage showing no signs of slowing, an increasing number of companies are being forced to pivot and strategize over how to do more with less.

Why productivity is paramount

A staffing shortage can be devastating to businesses – harming morale, productivity and ultimately the company's bottom line. Productivity management is key. Identifying inefficiencies and problem areas becomes even more important when you have limited capacity. Making the most of the employees you do have can help alleviate, and in some cases even eliminate, the gaps left by those who are no longer at their desk.

Stress is also a consideration. Teams who find themselves shrinking due to staffing shortages are in real danger of burnout. Knowing who’s working overtime and who’s slipping behind allows managers to monitor employee workload and reassign tasks if necessary. 

And, of course, understanding productivity becomes even more important when you’re heading up a remote team. With so many still working from home, it can be tough to keep the momentum going. Managers have the added challenge of ensuring everyone’s on the same page from disparate home offices that, in some cases, span different countries and/or time zones.

Whether your workforce is remote or in-person, having a solid system in place can make the difference between a team that's overwhelmed and under-performing, and a team that's delivering on deadlines and crushing its KPIs.

Of course, keeping track of productivity isn't just a way of boosting the balance sheet. It's fundamental to the overall health of any workplace. Removing those barriers to profitability helps your employees feel valued and supported as they can contribute more fully to their team's progress. Staff members who can see that they’re making a difference experience high job satisfaction, which leads to better employee retention. 

How Prodoscore can help

Prodoscore is a productivity intelligence tool that can help you bridge the gap when resources are thin. Our innovative software allows managers to check in with their employees and see how they're interacting with various tools during the working day.

This provides management with the visibility they need to gain real-time insight into their teams daily productivity and identify opportunities for improvement. It also gives senior staff much-needed peace of mind that they’re not pushing team members too hard, and ensures employees don’t take on too much.

Prodoscore integrates seamlessly with your cloud platforms to provide you with an easy to use dashboard where you can access your team’s data. This data can then be used to improve engagement and accountability across all departments. 

To find out more about Prodoscore, or book a one-on-one consultation, get in touch with us today.