Workplace Scarcity Causes More People To Act

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workplace scarcity

Workplace Scarcity Causes More People To Act

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“It was important because it seemed like it was our last chance.” Sound familiar? Workplace scarcity often drives people to action. Is that a good thing?

It seems like the U.S. economy is thriving on the concept of scarcity. Everything from home appliances, to building materials, to canning jars. Nearly every day someone has a story to share about something that they wanted to buy only to find little or no supply. I think it all started about a year ago with toilet tissue.

Fear compels people to do irrational things. It encourages quick decisions that are sometimes thoughtless and reckless.

When it comes to sales, the principle of scarcity is not a stranger. Sales teams often thrive on the principle of scarcity.

You can even observe it in television shows such as American Pickers and Pawn Stars. These shows often illustrate that the price increases when there is a belief that the item in question is scarce.

Does it affect behaviors and decisions in your workplace?

Workplace Scarcity

Almost everything is a rush. There is a race against time to produce faster, newer, fresher, and always be the first to ship. It doesn’t matter if it is services or products, it is a race.

The pace of business today often results in a lack of patience for decisions. Patience is not the same as procrastination, and a lack of patience is often created when there is a feeling of scarcity.

We need to hire someone fast.

Stock up, there is going to be a shortage coming soon.

Rumors are that the only supplier on the east coast may go out of business.

Through advertising we often see things implying scarcity.

Hurry, last one.

Limited collector’s edition.

This item won’t last long.

Is scarcity working for you or against you? Are there issues connected to trust when it comes to scarcity?

Have employees been scared into hasty decisions so many times that they are immune to the thought? Does it create a failure to act when action is required?

Acting fast is often important. Acting right now, may imply a different spin.

Scarcity can be both a sword and a shield. It can be the difference between saving a situation or costing you dearly.

Awareness of how scarcity springs people to action is important. It is as important as trust.

Leaders are role models for behaviors. How you communicate, advertise, and make decisions will become part of your culture.

If you’re thriving on selling with scarcity tactics you can expect the same with your team as they make decisions and choices for what happens next.

One thing often follows scarcity.

Buyers remorse.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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