Getting your staffing levels right is a fine balancing act. Employ too many workers, and the profitability of your company suffers; take on too few, and the quality of the goods or services you supply deteriorates. Although your human resources may be among your biggest business expense, skimping on them could cost you dearly.


Appropriate staffing levels help your company meet customer expectations and deliver superb service. Employing too few workers or taking on cheap employees who are under-qualified results in mistakes and delays that cost your company business. If your staffing levels are on a knife-edge, a bout of illness among your employees could result in your business being unable to fulfill orders. This could damage your reputation and lose you repeat customers.


Health and safety considerations could be ignored if your business is understaffed. If your existing employees are under pressure to deliver, it could become tempting to cut corners and ignore certain practices that are designed to ensure you're running a safe place to work. Employing the optimum number of properly-trained workers can help you make sure you're meeting your responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Failure to do so could land you in court.


Maintaining proper staffing levels can boost the morale of your employees and reduce staff attrition. If your workers are stressed and approaching burnout as a consequence of having to take on extra responsibilities due to poor staffing levels, you could see an increase in sickness and staff turnover. This would put further pressure on your remaining staff. You'd also have to recruit and train new workers to replace any who quit.


Keep a close eye on your firm's staffing levels to make sure you've got things right. Monitor your business to work out if you need more employees at certain times than at others. If you find you do, recruit people on flexible contracts that allow you to alter your staffing levels according to business needs. You should also solicit feedback from your staff about how comfortable they are with their workloads.