Are you asking too much of your staff?

More than half of Australian employees believe they are operating under extremely low staffing levels, with a massive 82.1% saying they are expected to do far more work today than they were five years ago.

More than half of Australian employees believe they are operating under extremely low staffing levels, with a massive 82.1% saying they are expected to do far more work today than they were five years ago.

The results were revealed in a survey of 2703 workers by recruiter Talent2. The company’s chief executive, John Banks, says some of the results are worrying.

“In fact, 71.7% say they currently do the job of more than one person. This makes for a very stressful and unproductive workplace.”

Employers in WA are piling on the work according to respondents, with 59.6% of employees admitting that their workplace is completely understaffed. Queensland employers are not far behind, according to 58% of those surveyed, followed by Victoria (49.6%), NSW (49.3%) and SA (48.8%).

“It is a knee-jerk reaction to cut staff numbers to the bare minimum as it creates a false bottom line. Yes the salaries go down, but so does productivity and output,” says Banks.

“There are lessons in the austerity from the last recession, and certainly it is unreasonable to expect employees to do the job of more than one person for an extended period of time.

“Across the board, the sales/marketing sector has been most affected with 74.7% of employees in that industry asked to do additional work. The manufacturing sector is also guilty of asking staff to cover the work of more than one person with 74.2% of those surveyed dobbing in their bosses, and the legal sector is not too far behind at 70.4%.”

He said redundancies and mass firings affect enormously the morale of the workplace and have an impact on client confidence, not to mention the loss of IP and goodwill.

“However, there is one confidence-building aspect to this survey. More than one third of the employers polled say they will be keeping staff levels the same as they are now for the next six months,” adds Banks.

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