How To Bring Your Skeleton Staff To Life

Posted on Aug 3, 2020
By Kerry Anne Nelson
3 min read
Western suburbs Business growth for Processes
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Today, let’s spend a few minutes looking at how you can bring the skeleton staff you’re running back to life and vibrancy. The phrase “skeleton staff” automatically conjures up pictures of skeletons going to work. Despite this image, there is potential for life and vitality, even if you’ve had to trim your team back over the last few months.

In May the ABS did a study, indicating that just over half of all businesses (in fact 53%), reported that the hours they worked have been cut. A quarter has reported reducing the total number of employees working for their business. From this, you can see that staff cutbacks are standard right now. It’s a devastating reflection of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on business.

Western suburbs Business growth for Processes

 “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.” Nathan W. Morris, author and finance expert

With this said, trimming back and running a skeleton staff is not the end of the world. With a little bit of work, it can mean your business will survive and thrive. So let’s run through five points for you to make it successful.


The first thing you need to do is trim away all unnecessary tasks. So many things constitute busy work in a business, particularly when you’re looking at maintaining social media presence and marketing. Not to mention regular admin and dealing with customer inquiries. Making sure you’re focused on only the most productive areas is one way to keep vitality in your staff, even if you’ve had cutbacks.


The next thing to do is to optimise your operations. This means finding the fastest, most effective, and efficient ways of doing things in your business. If you’re spending a lot of time on complicated processes, it means that time cannot be spent in other valuable areas.  Trimming out unnecessary steps from your vital tasks is important. Doing so helps make sure your smaller team stays focused and productive.


Third, automate as much as you possibly can. There is so much software geared towards reducing task time or even eliminating the time spent on a task completely. Look for apps and websites that can do a job for you. They are often efficient and cost-effective as well. Importantly, make sure that your team knows how to use any software you adopt, so your work machine will keep running smoothly.


Fourthly, you need to monitor and support your team. You know, it might feel like a devastating loss to have, cutting your staff back, or having their hours cut back. Yet the people remaining in your care will need your help. They need to know you are supervising them, you are there to ask questions, and you’re willing to invest your time with them. Support them now, more than ever.


This leads me to the next thing, which is rewarding excellence. This is the final way you can make the most of your trimmed back team. Make sure when your reduced team does a great job, that they know it. Instil a sense of pride in a job well done. They will feel acknowledged and be motivated to do it again. A business is its people, and motivated people make for good business.

Despite having to cut back, this is an opportunity to build your business. By making sure that everyone remaining is working efficiently and happily towards the same goals. With this in place, you will come out the other side of this pandemic better than ever.

Kerry Anne Nelson

About Kerry Anne Nelson

Kerry Anne Nelson is the founder of Operation Verve and is a qualified first-class Honours graduate with more than 8 years of experience in education.

Kerry Anne Nelson is a workplace processes architect and uses her Lean Six Sigma training to maximise her years of experience in business management, education, and team leadership to help clients achieve lasting business growth.