Copier Careers® Poll Results & Comments

Poll: Is Your Company Understaffed?

Copier Careers® Toner in the Blood

Many Consequences for the Understaffed

Last month we discussed the challenges of hiring in a candidate’s market. So we were curious to hear whether your own company is currently understaffed and what the worst effects are, if so. We had a solid turnout of 13,111 votes this month!

The runaway worst consequence for an understaffed company was having to leave money on the table (62%). We’ve been sounding the alarm on the workforce shortage for this exact reason. You can have the best organization, territory. products and services but they do you no good without the people to sell, service and administer them.

The remaining consequences aren’t any prettier. Strained staff and collapsing departments both took 15% of the vote while brain drain took 7%. The remaining 1% said they were understaffed but trying to keep a positive attitude. Tellingly, only 18 out of 13,000 thousand folks said they were unemployed. Similarly, 17 total people said they were not understaffed.

Here are the full results:

Is your company understaffed? If so, what’s the worst effect?

  • Leaving money on the table – we have more work than we can do (62%, 8,092 Votes)
  • Strained staff – we have to cover for the empty desks (15%, 2,017 Votes)
  • Collapsing department – the more folks leave, the worse it gets and then more folks leave, etc. (15%, 1,999 Votes)
  • Brain drain – we lost our experts and problem solvers (7%, 885 Votes)
  • Sure we’re understaffed but it’s fine, we’re fine. This is… fine. (1%, 83 Votes)
  • I’m unemployed (0%, 18 Votes)
  • We’re not understaffed (0%, 17 Votes)
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Some comments from y’all:

  • “When you offer packages to 55 and older to leave. you are losing the best and brightest!”
  • “For some reason work loads are less than normal.”
  • “Techs with 20-30 calls on their screen are doing the ‘Hit and Run’ each day with their service calls.  They clear a lot of calls each day and appear to be keeping their head above water, with the long term effects not getting noticed because the traditional role of service center manager has become that of zoom call master rather than mentor to their team. Numbers get discussed from time to time, improvements are promised but the cycle continues.”
  • “Between the worker shortage and the additional stress of the continual backorder situation we’re stretching our employees to their maximum.  We traditionally have a very healthy culture and people love working here… But the continual stress is making people start to consider their options.”
  • “What company doesn’t keep it understaffed? In this day and age, when profit margins are all the stockholders care about, keeping companies under staffed means less money on labor, which means more profits. It’s unfortunate so many places view their employees as an expense, rather than the reason their company is profitable in the first place. Invest in your people, and the profits will come!”
  • “More experience techs and management are leaving because of the stress of doing 3 people’s job and making the same or less money than they did 3 years ago.  No one to replace them.”
  • “Technicians are understaffed and overworked. Car allowance has not changed in 10 years. No extra money to be had. I guess its cuts into managements bonuses, because we sure don’t get them.”
  • “Lets talk about strained staff. My driving mileage increased big time due to the fact I need to cover other areas now. Call load has now increased with offices getting back to a somewhat normal. Can not keep parts stocked. When the weekend arrives it is crash time. It does make the week go by being busy.”
  • “We are staffed up now, but not long ago we were short-handed and lost some of our expertise and tribal knowledge. Now we have lots of new people who need development, but not enough manager time to invest in them all.”
  • “To be completely candid, it is a real toss-up between ‘collapsing department’ and ‘brain drain.’ We are suffering from both. We just lost another tenured technician. And every time one of them goes for greener pastures (meaning higher pay), we are just expected to fill the gap with no increased benefits or pay.”
  • “My observation as a technician has been that employers almost always staff at a level which assumes everyone is available. But the fact is, you will always have one or more people out for training, vacation, illness etc. So the team is always running behind. I’m sure there are some companies that have a floater tech or two to cover those predictable gaps in coverage, but I’ve not worked for one.”
  • “Had to let people go over the pandemic and some left on there own for other opportunities, those that took other jobs are now realizing those jobs aren’t as good as what they had and are coming back to work for us now that business is picking up, so we had been understaffed but are now ok.”
  • “We are understaffed from a sales standpoint but who isn’t? We have enough people to adequately support our current base and new hires coming in monthly. Those new hires will do a little work with the current base but will focus on net new unless they are a seasoned professional.  All is good here!”
  • “As a small company, we have to cross train our staff to meet the demands of our customers. This tends to stretch our work staff thin.”
  • “Cannot find any sales talent. Most of the good ones have left.”

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