Magazine article USA TODAY

Understaffing Is Becoming a Problem

Magazine article USA TODAY

Understaffing Is Becoming a Problem

Article excerpt

With fewer downsizings reported, more than half of North American corporations say they expect to be understaffed in 1998. This situation is causing increased levels of employee stress and turnover, while hindering deadlines, business expansion, and customer service initiatives. Apparently wary of future economic conditions, however, executives report hiring plans include greater use of part-time and temporary employees, outsourcing, and consultants, according to the Olsten Forum on Staffing Strategies, an annual survey of North American vice presidents and human resources directors conducted by the William Olsten Center for Workforce Strategies, Melville, N.Y.

Twenty percent of the respondents report layoffs, down from a peak of 39% in 1993 and 26% in 1996. Forty-five percent say they are understaffed and 52% are projecting understanding during 1998. The executives report that these conditions are having significant negative impact on their companies' operations, with 86% (vs. 77% in 1996) feeling that understanding is increasing stress levels; 48% (vs. 44%) reporting increased difficulty in meeting deadlines; 39% (vs. 26%) indicating difficulties in expanding operations; and 38% (vs. 20%) citing decreased customer service. …

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