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When an employee leaves, managers are tasked with replacing the person or running the risk of having an unfilled position. But the hiring process takes time away from tasks that might be seen as more productive to the department. It can be tempting to diffuse the responsibilities of the departing employee among other employees.

However, there are many risks associated with having unfilled positions. Here are some of the most significant.

A loss in productivity

In a well-run department, employees are productive. In fact, one of the methods of calculating revenue per employee is to divide the annual salary by number of days in the year, and then multiple by two.

Even if your existing staff picks up the slack, they simply may not be able to work at peak productivity to cover the vacant position. If it’s a full-time position, that’s roughly 40 hours per week of productive time to be absorbed. Chances are, existing employees will only be able to do a certain percentage. You need to work at peak productivity to realize peak productivity.

It can take several months to replace an employee even if you start immediately. It also takes several weeks to train an incoming employee. If you make do with existing staff for a while, bringing your department back up to optimal productivity can take even longer.

Existing staff may become frustrated

Shifting the work can also cause your remaining staff members to become frustrated. They can be overworked, unable to do things satisfactorily, and, ultimately, resentful. If you’re expecting them to work longer hours, they might consider it unfair. That can cause morale to plunge.

If your employees become frustrated with overwork, they may begin to look for other employment. In a tight labor market like the current one, that can be bad news that impacts your department productivity even more.

You may lose headcount and budget

Although it may seem like a great solution, for both time and money constraints, to use existing staff when an employee leaves, it’s in fact very risky. Your managers may see your ability to operate without a staff member as a sign that you really don’t need the number of reports you initially had.

Upper management may put you on a list to review your budget, or even cut the budget without discussion. If that occurs, you’ll have an ongoing problem to fix that’s much greater than the time and money involved in hiring a new person.

Contact Us for Staffing Help

Gainor Staffing can help when you need to replace an employee quickly. In today’s vibrant employment market, we have access to a large network of highly qualified people.