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78% of businesses are currently understaffed, survey reveals

50% of businesses are losing customers due to staff shortages 

New research by WorkJam has revealed that almost 50% of the business leaders surveyed have been understaffed for 5-6 months, while 36% have been understaffed for 3-4 months, and 78% are currently understaffed. A further 48% have lost customers because of staff shortages.

The survey of CxOs, Directors, and VPs in industries including retail, manufacturing, consumer goods, transporting, and warehousing found that for 30% of businesses, the shortages have amounted to between 16 and 20% of their workforce in the last 12 months. An additional 26% lost 11-15% of their staff during the same period.

There is little doubt that these results seriously impact day-to-day performance while putting additional strain on the employees left behind.

The survey also found that for 64% of businesses, churn levels have stayed the same (33%) or are somewhat higher (31%) than in the previous 12 months, with little chance of imminent improvement. In addition, more than half (53%) of those surveyed did not expect changes to hiring issues over the next 12 months. Fifty percent also expected retention issues to remain the same.

Reasons for employee churn included

  • Employees feel that their hours are too long or there wasn’t enough flexibility in their position (25%)
  • Diversity and inclusion issues (16%)
  • Dissatisfaction with salary (14%)
  • Dissatisfaction with benefits (10%)

Fifty-one percent of the survey respondents want to solve retention and hiring issues by providing better employee perks or benefits. A further 30% are investing in HR or frontline technology, and 27% are investing in learning and development.

Mark Williams, Managing Director EMEA of WorkJam, commented: “We’re in the midst of a global recruitment crisis. While it’s no secret that key sectors have been struggling to find and retain talent since the start of the pandemic – if not before – the figures revealed by our survey really put the problem into context. And the difficulty is that the issue is self-sustaining. Churn puts additional pressure on existing employees, increasing the likelihood that they, in turn, will seek employment elsewhere, again heaping pressure on those left behind.”

“Executives are faced with finding solutions that will aid retention and recruitment without necessitating a price hike in the middle of the cost-of-living crisis. According to our research, a quarter of businesses have already had to raise their prices. But this carries the risk of further deterring customers. It’s a difficult balance to strike.”

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