5 staffing challenges and how to overcome them

As we start to get back to some kind of normal, the staffing landscape will come with its own set of challenges. The change that the pandemic has caused, means you are likely to face certain barriers and challenges. The Appointments team are in touch daily with our clients and from the information we have gathered, we have put together the top 5 staffing challenges and how to overcome them.

1. Hiring not firing

As we come to the end of lockdown and our new normal, many businesses are finding themselves in a position where they can no longer keep their staff. Before you make anyone redundant you must ensure you have taken good legal advice. It goes without saying the process has to be fair, however making redundancies could leave you with other challenges too such as disgruntled or nervous employees. Don’t forget to support the team that you do have too – You may find our workshop Making Redundancies Fairly of interest, please email kerry@appointmentspersonnel.co.uk for further information.

2. Retaining top talent

The pandemic has affected us all in different ways, whether it be experiencing ill health or getting to spend more time at home with the family. Your top talent may have had time to reflect and reassess their personal needs. Things have taken a serious turn as employees personal and professional lives have been disrupted.

  • Communicate
  • Be transparent
  • Be present and supportive
  • Lookout for signs of burnout or mental health problems
  • Value your people

3. Employees refusing to return to work

Even where an employer has put in place a safe system of work, individual employees may have particular concerns about returning, where their commute involves public transport, they have childcare concerns or due to the employer’s safety measures being inadequate.

As a first step, we advise too:

  • Understand the concerns
  • Communicate what steps have been taken to reduce risk
  • Discuss if anything more can reasonably be done to address the concerns

Acas guidance recommends that an employer should listen to any concerns staff may have and carefully consider the individual’s personal circumstances, while treating requests consistently. Assuming the employee’s role cannot be done from home and no alternative tasks can be given to permit this, can you adjust the workspace area where risks can be reduced further? If the commute is the concern, it is important to ask questions on different shifts that could help them.

Taking disciplinary action or withholding pay for a refusal to return could also be discriminatory, particularly where the employee is in one of the clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable groups and may be entitled to adjustments including paid suspension if pregnant or disabled.  (Note that under UK domestic law a claim of indirect discrimination by association is only possible if the claimant themselves has the protected characteristic, and therefore is not possible in relation to a requirement to return to work disadvantaging an individual because they live with a disabled person)

4. Managing remote workers

You may have decided to continue with work remotely for health and safety reasons or just that is suits your business better, many large companies are embracing working from home but how do you do it successfully? Remote working comes with its challenges ranging from staff not unplugging after work, loneliness to staying motivated.

  • Communicate regularly, use zoom, teams
  • Check in personally and create genuine connection
  • Set clear expectations
  • Trust your team
  • Ensure everyone has reliable tools to do their job

5. Recruiting effectively

At present we have 13 million people not working, 9 million furloughed , 2 million self-employed and 2 million unemployed, we expect to see that employment to rise to 4 million unemployed – so what does that mean for you

  • More candidates looking for work but not necessarily the right candidates which means you need a robust recruitment process
  • Create a remote recruitment process
  • Review your induction plan

We hope our top 5 staffing challenges and how to overcome them puts your mind at ease that you are not alone in experiencing current obstacles. Take a look at our blog on getting back to the office pain free during this difficult time.

After the on-going positive announcements from the government, remember to remain positive and know we are here to support you with any questions or support you need.

Stay Safe