Up to a certain point, a startup or a small business (if it turns out to be a successful one) skyrockets, its progress charted as a vertical line with an arrow pointing upwards.

Because of this initial growth, most businesses feel compelled to take on far more challenging projects – which usually leads to a “we just bit off more than we can chew” situation, causing the business to stumble. It’s no one’s fault in particular, and it’s everyone’s fault at the same time.

New demands require new skills. To be capable of handling these new projects, your talented staff needs training and you need to take a close look at how you manage workflow.

But how to get there quickly, before stakeholders give up on your business and label it as incompetent? Your HR department should focus on the following points.

Evaluate Your Employees

Sometimes, hard-working employees fail to reap fruitful results because of ineffective task delegation. If your employees spend most of their time sorting out priorities, their productivity will take a permanent hit. So – first thing’s first – for you to know where to head next, you need to know where you stand. This can be easily evaluated by your HR department. Based on that data, you’ll be able to delegate future tasks with ease and confidence.

Question Your Business Model

employee shortage

Do you see your business model as a sacred one that can’t be touched or changed? Many rookie business leaders believe this to be true.

But that would be like claiming there’s only one way for you get to home. Sure, one route may be the fastest, but speed isn’t always your priority. If you allow yourself to change your route and drive down Creativity Lane, take a walk in the Park of Inspiration, and dip your toes in the River of Efficiency, the world will be a better place.

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. If the way you do business is obviously not functioning, you need your employees to adopt the specific skills that will get the job done.

If they are constantly swamped with administrative tasks, you can be sure that their enthusiasm and creativity will vanish. Therefore, put some effort into cleansing your business model–extract outdated or unproductive processes to give your team some breathing room.

If your HR department combines this with delegating tasks in accordance with the skills of your employees, a significant change will occur.

Gaze into the Future

For your business to move forward, your employees must embrace professional development. So, this paragraph is dedicated to ambition.

When a team consists of people who have mediocre aspirations, perfectly satisfied with working from nine to five without ever leaving their desk, they are on the wrong track. However, not everything is their fault – as their leader, you are there to inspire and motivate.

If staff motivation has stalled, call for one-to-one meetings. Ask your employees to tell you where they see themselves a few years into the future, what exactly they are doing to achieve the goals to get them there, and what they expect from you.

The insight you gain from these meetings might reveal other issues. You should also pay attention to your management team and see if they might be a cause of a problem.

This way, you’ll know the cards you have in your hand, and which moves you should make.

Cross Train

Just because employees from accounting have never participated in the creative team’s brainstorming meetings, doesn’t mean they can’t.

Consider a new approach – someone with a completely different mindset can provide you with a fresh point of view. So, why don’t you mix and match departments as a cost-free way to conduct cross-training?

By doing so, you’ll enable your employees to develop different skills.

Encourage Mentoring

Mentoring shouldn’t be reserved for new employees only, should it? A good way for your experienced employees to acquire a new skill is by letting them teach each other. When an employee shows a desire for progress in a particular area, match him or her with a suitable work-partner who excels in that area. If you can move them physically closer to each other, so that they can work side by side and collaborate more often, even better.

Other than making your team more skillful, this will also have a positive effect on team spirit in your office – and that is always a great productivity boost.

Provide Continuous Training

If your business is in a rut, so to speak, learn from the situation and do your best to avoid repeating it.

There’s one certain way to do this – your HR department needs to learn more about continuous professional training options. Finding quality online HR training software should be your starting point; a proper tool can save you a lot of time and energy.

The second step is to explore Learning Management System (LMS) software and what it can do for your business. Using LMS software, your HR department and the rest of your employees can build training courses to serve as interdepartmental learning aids, methods to train new employees, or helpful tools for mentoring.

With LMS software, your HR team will get a fine ally to assist them in bringing employee skills to a whole new level. In addition, you can may be able to sell your courses and use them as a source of income.

Explore Outsourcing

Although outsourcing has been called unsafe and unpredictable by wary business leaders, it is one way to lessen the workload of your full-time employees or gain access to an expert who can serve as a consultant.

So, you can outsource administrative processes, contract with freelancers, or temporarily hire a CEO who can help you with a business reorganization. With some luck, you might even find promising talent who, with proper mentoring, can contribute to your business permanently.

Just learn how to outsource properly. Be aware of the pros and cons, and most important– make sure that you communicate clearly and often with those responsible for the outsourced work. If you are careful, there’s no reason to hesitate from using this method.

Let Employees Guide Your Organization

Continuous skill development is vital for a lasting company – there’s a good reason why experienced professionals and influencers focus so much on training. If you fail to upgrade the skills of your team regularly, then each of their jobs – yours included – will become a dead-end.

So, explore each of the methods listed above carefully, beginning with those your business needs the most. Afterwards, implement the rest, one by one, and make sure they become a constant in your company’s strategy to manage growth, not just a temporary aid.

Kamy Anderson

Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system and eLearning authoring tools. He is currently associated with ProProfs.


  • Avatar Karen says:

    A detailed report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that 95% of contractors have serious problems finding skilled workers for their projects. We need to start investing in skills development.

  • Avatar Madison says:

    The United States is currently enjoying one of the longest job growth streaks in its history. As of February, 2017, unemployment stood 4.7%.

  • Avatar Smith says:

    Advanced training is the key to solving the skilled labor shortage.

  • Avatar Kristina says:

    Cross training and looking internally for employee potential is probably one of the most overlooked solutions to the “skills shortage.” Often times HR waits until its a problem to solve it instead of proactively working with local education institutions and internal employees for forecasting, planning, and training.

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