Maintaining Adequate Staffing Levels

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We have developed guidance and practical steps for you to implement each of the ten areas of focus when creating an effective Safety & Wellness Program at your organization. The following guidance correlates to focus area number six: Adequate Staffing Levels.

Finding qualified candidates and retaining employees is a consistent challenge for non-profits—especially in the tough market we currently live in. There are many reasons why finding and retaining staff is difficult. Often times, organizations have to work under time constraints that don't allow them to recruit the most qualified candidates. Budget constraints and the market pressures also limit their ability to hire qualified staff and maintain salary budgets. However, maintaining adequate staffing levels at your organization can prevent employee and member injuries. Therefore, we have identified both short-term and long-term solutions to help organizations maintain staffing levels.

In order to determine what your organization's safety and staffing needs are, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Currently, when does minimum staffing levels leave my organization vulnerable to risk?
  • During each shift, how many active programs or moving parts are going on?
  • Are critical safety tasks getting done routinely, or are they being prolonged due to inadequate staffing levels?
  • Do you have a backlog of maintenance requests?
  • Are employees working overtime?
  • Has your staff turnover increased due to workplace demand or workplace fatigue?
  • Is staff communication and response slower than the expectation?
  • Have you evaluated customer satisfaction?
  • Are contract labor costs increasing?
  • What are the applicable state or local laws, regulations or standards surrounding staffing levels?

Once you have evaluated the safety and staffing needs of your organization, some short-term solutions that you could implement are:

  • Complete a time study measure of each department for one week. A time study measure tracks how long it takes employees to complete tasks. This allows you to evaluate any inefficiencies and duplications. You will also be able to identify down time that can be re-assigned to other critical services or programs.
  • Cross train all your employees so that if an emergency were to happen or an employee were to leave, someone could step in.
  • It is also important to determine your protocols when a workplace safety crisis occurs. Practice during an in-service training. Make sure all employees are able to identify: who is on call and who is cross-trained in their position and can fill as a backup.

Changing the way that your organization maintains and recruits staff takes time. The following resources were designed to support you in implementing new strategies and practices at your organization that will help retain and hire the best staff:

The Impact of Organizational Culture
Read about the impact a positive organizational culture has on employee engagement, and how you can begin to build your own organization's culture.

The Importance of Impact Hiring
Impact hiring offers employers a new approach to recruitment, hiring and retention. Read about how you can implement an impact hiring strategy at your organization.

Building Pipelines and Career Paths
Read about how you can build a robust and diversified talent pipeline and develop a career-pathing program to structure how you put your pipeline into practice.

For more information regarding employee safety or our Workers' Compensation coverage, please contact [email protected].

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