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How to control overstaffing

By Tony Mutugi | Jan 21st 2022 | 2 min read
By Tony Mutugi | January 21st 2022
An overcrowded office leaves some workers idle. Managers may come up with new operations in departments to keep them busy. [iStockphoto]


Overstaffing happens when a company experiences a sudden rise and an instant drop in performance. The result is employees who are getting paid to do nothing.

Managers desire to see steady growth in their companies and in the event that overstaffing happens, the company may experience bankruptcy.

Therefore, professional mechanisms are installed to see things are under control.

Staffing theory is a social psychology theory that explores the effects of behaviour settings being either understaffed or overstaffed.

Understaffing refers to the idea that there are not enough people for what the behaviour setting promotes, whereas overstaffing is the overabundance of people.

These are some of the ways managers can control overstaffing:

Hiring temporary employees

Professional staff have a legal ground to stay employed regardless of the financial constraints in the organization.

staff acquired on a temporary basis are installed to cut costs in that when the company goes bankrupt they may always be re reinstated afterwards.

Relocating employees to new projects

Shifting employees to new departments may save the company budget and still maintain productivity.

Employees have knowledge of the business and will easily adjust in new departments within the same company to increase efficiency.


This strategy may help ease time wastage.

Workers may be requested to work on voluntary hour reductions.

Staff on duty report to work fewer hours than usual and leave to allow another group to work.


A layoff is like being fired unexpectedly but the difference is on the grounds of the company’s inability to afford a worker’s salary.

Managers settle for layoffs as the last resort. It’s an unpleasant thing to lay off staff to save a collapsing company.

Managers may stop salaries for staff according to the urgency of the matter.

Offering time off

Mangers give compulsory offs to full-time members.

They also capitalize on weekends, off-work hours and holidays.

Keep staff busy

An overcrowded office leaves some workers idle. Managers may come up with new operations in departments to keep them busy.

For instance, staff maybe engaged in rearranging files on a daily basis in contrast to when they did so on a weekly basis.

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