Managing a Business/Manpower


Which is better for an organization, manpower surplus or manpower shortage ? Explain

The question is quite diplomatic in nature and it has different views from different perceptions and angles. We have pros and cons for every situation. On one hand if it is believed that excess of anything can be dangerous, the shortage of same can result into risky situations sometimes. So for an organization, taking a decision on shortage or surplus of manpower is always pretty difficult and this tricky situation most of the times lands up with the HR department of the organization who have rights to take decisions on having resources on-board as per the requirement. They have to manage the count in such a way that the need of the business can be fulfilled without any repercussions of having less or more resources. Without pontificating much on the topic I would like to put my views on the same and some of the bullet points for both the situations are mentioned below and later we will check the results and then we can determine easily the better situation for the organization.
Manpower Shortage:
•   No worries to manage large count of the resources
•   Economical situation of the organization remains balanced and most of the times profitable
•   Multiple leads or mentors are not required.
•   Internal bonding between the resources is comparatively high
•   People know each other by name and face
•   Heavy load on the resources as the count is limited
•   Extended working hours and thus mentors/leads have to make extra efforts
•   Possibility of brain-drain and retaining the resources becomes difficult for HR people
•   Limited scope for extra business so no organizational growth
•   Limited scope for extra learning so no resource skills growth
•   Matching client expectations is always a challenge

So here we have seen the pros and cons in the situation of manpower shortage, lets now identify the details when the manpower is comparatively high or there is a surplus manpower
•   Not much load on resources and thus the scope of learning new technologies is increased
•   Organizations have much scope to get more business as they have high number of manpower
•   Client expectations can be met easily by introducing new resources for any extra work (may be on temporary basis sometimes)
•   Lesser possibility of brain-drain as there would be surplus time to grow one’s aspirations
•   Downsizing or rightsizing can be done easily if the count of resources is exceeding the affordable limit
•   A team is always ready to take up new work and there is always a back-up of the active team
•   More workforce to show the client and the scope of getting more business increases
•   HR team has to always keep an eye on the excess workforce
•   Mentoring and upgrading the skills of the idle workforce is a challenge as the team sitting idle most of time doesn't get motivated to learn new skills without having assignments
•   Maintaining the culture and image of the organization after downsizing is a challenge and it may result in the bitterness, anger, negativity and also impact the productivity of the active team
So now we have identified the merits and demerits of both the cases and if we go through each aspect we can see that the surplus of workforce doesn't directly impact the organizational growth and also chances of getting more and more business is the show-stopper for this category. On the other hand the organization has to always strive hard to gain the new business and also retaining the workforce is tough task. Downsizing can be considered as a negative catalyst in the branding of the organization but if the proper planning is done by the accountable and responsible parties the risk of downsizing can be mitigated and the personnel can be trained and their skills can be upgraded for future endeavors.
Thus in simple words “Manpower surplus is better and affordable than manpower shortage”. Also there is popular saying, “It’s better to have things extra then falling short of them”

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Managing a Business

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Aniket S Sharma


I can answer questions related to business analysis, requirements gathering and management, requirements assessment, solution validation and assessment, Risk analysis, Gap Analysis, SWOT analysis, knowledge areas of business analyst, Use Case estimation, Functional and Non-functional requirements, business case and plan, business communication, presentation skills, conflict management, ITIL processes, Service Operation, Service Transition, Change Management, Problem Management, Incident management and many more.


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