The shortage of skilled workers in Germany has a negative impact on everyday working life and the satisfaction of many employees. This is the result of a study by the Competence Center for Securing Skilled Workers (Kofa) of the employer-related Institute of German Economy (IW) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics.
According to the representative survey, 61 percent of people experience staff shortages in their immediate work environment. The higher workload manifests itself in different ways for those affected. 31 percent are afraid of not being able to fulfill their tasks. 55 percent feel stress regularly. 58 percent say they have to forego the necessary care in their work. 69 percent often or sometimes work overtime and extra work. 71 percent take on tasks outside of their area of work.
People who work in companies without staff shortages are significantly less likely to complain about such problems. At the same time, their overall satisfaction with the job is higher. 80 percent rate the working atmosphere as good, 82 percent have fun at work.
A total of 5,026 employees subject to social security contributions and only part-time employees between the ages of 18 and 65 were surveyed in spring 2023, including 3,074 people from companies with personnel shortages.
Every second company cannot fill vacancies
According to the study, there is a significant need for action for these companies. It could “become a business risk if the quality of services suffers permanently and orders have to be rejected repeatedly,” says Gero Kunath, skilled worker expert at IW. "Companies should take countermeasures - otherwise there is a risk of a vicious circle. Because staff shortages also lead to more frequent health problems and higher sickness rates among the affected workforce." As a result, it is to be expected that staff will leave and the situation will worsen.
In order to counteract bottlenecks, Kunath believes it can make sense to recruit career changers or semi-skilled employees or to digitize work processes. This would make it possible to relieve existing employees and increase their satisfaction and productivity.
According to the recently published skilled workers report by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one in two companies is already unable to fill vacancies, at least in part. As a result of the shortage, four out of ten companies expect that they will have to limit their offerings and reject orders and lose them because the necessary personnel are missing. Almost 60 percent of companies expect labor costs to rise as a result.