(ModernSurvival.org) – Many businesses in America are facing a serious issue as customers begin to surge back: a shortage of workers. From major corporations to small businesses, the lack of laborers to fill critical roles is beginning to force companies to cut back hours of operation, or even close their doors altogether.
Companies that are unable to get new hires are leaning harder on their existing employees to cover the slack. This means having their current workforce come to work early, stay late, and pick up extra shifts. While this may increase their employee’s paychecks, it isn’t a sustainable solution.
The Bigger Issue
Not everyone is excited to carry the burden of an understaffed job. In fact, more American workers are leaving their jobs right now than at any other point in the last two decades. This, of course, adds even more stress and responsibility to the shoulders of those left behind.
So why is this an issue? Beyond the obvious inability to cover the growing demand from consumers, an understaffed and overworked business is a breeding ground for bigger problems.
- Productivity Suffers – It’s pretty simple. Overworked people become less productive. They get tired and slow down. Not only does productivity take a hit, so does the overall quality of their work.
- Customer Service Tanks – Overworked people are stressed out, and this can make them overly emotional. A once level-headed employee who is focused solely on getting the job done may snap when faced with an unhappy customer or an unexpected problem.
- Important Tasks Get Overlooked or Forgotten – This is a big one, especially in areas where public health is at risk. An understaffed and overworked restaurant may not have the time or resources required to stop and clean workstations, tables, or even ice machines.
- Safety Issues – As employees are forced to work longer hours and extra shifts, they get burned out. Just as important tasks can get overlooked, so too can safety protocols. This can lead to employee injuries or injuries to customers.
Why This Matters to You
For those who are interested in their long-term survival (which should be everyone), the labor shortage means a greater level of situational awareness is required. One can no longer trust that the system is fully functioning and looking out for their best interests.
Going to a restaurant now means checking to ensure utensils are clean, ice dispensers are mold-free, and the dining room isn’t contaminated by the previous customers. Not to mention the need to check that food is fully cooked before consumption. The issue extends far beyond the food industry, though.
Look at the medical industry, for example. Hospitals have been under unimaginable stress since the beginning of the pandemic, and staff shortages are only making it worse. This is where the situation gets scary.
A study from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 identified medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States. That was pre-pandemic. With the coronavirus still raging across the nation, and with hospitals understaffed, the risk of a misdiagnosis, incorrect medicine dosage, or surgical error is arguably much higher now.
If that isn’t enough to make a person start to worry, consider the impact that the labor shortage is already having on the supply chain. Not only are manufacturers struggling to keep up with demand, but the distribution of goods has also taken a massive hit. Many people are finding shelves picked over at grocers and big box stores.
The current problems growing in America are the perfect example of why the average person needs to be practicing situational awareness at all times. The longer this labor shortage lasts, the more each person needs to keep their eyes peeled for threats they never had to worry about before.
For information on how to develop situational awareness, check out our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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