The COVID-19 virus has left many “essential” businesses scrambling for staff.  From parents facing closed daycares and schools to employees with underlying medical conditions or a mild illness to those who have either been in contact with a COVID patient or are one themselves, it all adds up to a crucial shortage of trained workers.

Meanwhile, you’re responsible for the day-to-day functions of a business, which critical to meeting the nation’s needs during this time of crisis.

It’s looking like one of the many lessons learned from the Coronavirus Pandemic will be resourcefulness. A valuable characteristic at any time; this skill is becoming a crucial lifeline as our nation and the world face times of unprecedented upheaval to our daily lives.

So, let’s strategize a resourcefulness approach to managing the sudden shortage of trained workers with these six pro-active steps.

1. Gather the management team, in person or via video conferencing, and toss out these first things first questions:

  • Who is the best at what they do in each department? Who knows the ropes and has naturally become the “go-to” person in their department? Call on them to assist in a smooth operation.
  • Who are the best “teachers” in the company? Who is not only excellent at their craft, but can impart their skill and knowledge to others? These are the men and women you need teaching others – including temps – what to do.

2. “But what if those are the people currently unable to work?”

Chances are some of these folks will be found on the absentee list. That’s where the resourcefulness approach comes in.

  • Conduct daily check-ins via video chat.
  • Utilize email and instant messaging to share information and keep communication lines open.
  • Encourage the go-to and teacher-type persons to type up detailed instructions, for those who prefer written documentation, and record video demonstrations for the more visual learners.

3. Perform a company-wide skills assessment

Bill may always have been in receiving at your company, but transportation experience from a previous job may be just the ticket to fill gaps now. Don’t assume each person’s skill set is common knowledge.  Gleaning a list of skills from every currently-on-the-job man and woman, including those working remotely, may uncover valuable hidden skills. Ask employees to identify the roles and tasks that tweak their interest.

 4. Light a fire under cross-training endeavors

Cross-training enhances production, retention, and even morale. It also takes time and thought – two commodities in short supply during this health crisis.   Capitalize on any in-progress cross-training with approval for overtime hours to complete. Since no one knows whose name may appear on the absentee list next, jump-start every possible cross-training opportunity ASAP. Use those “teachers from #1.

5. Initiate rotations between positions

Rotate workers between especially taxing physical or mental areas and among those new to a post. It will reduce fatigue and the stress that can be associated with a new position. Recognize that on-the-job stress may be just the tip of the iceberg for employees during uncertain times.

6. Partner with a reputable staffing agency

With industry-specific resources and a pool of qualified, ready-to-work candidates at their disposal, a professional staffing agency can make all the difference in the world during these critical times.  With one phone call, a team of employment professionals can get the ball rolling, solving your most challenging staffing situations in a timely fashion, enabling the company to continue to meet the nation’s essential needs.

Make Flex-Team, Inc. that staffing agency partner. Flex-Team represents your go-to resource for associates who are the best match for your long-term and short-term staffing assignments. Take advantage of our resources and let us make the connections for you. We will work to keep you competitive, productive, cost-effective and protected from unemployment risk. Contact us today.