5 Signs of Overworked Employees and What You Can Do
Posted on February 06, 2019 by Danny Leffel
Has one of your most productive employees been acting strangely? Maybe they’ve been absent or working more than normal, and you’re not sure what to make of it. As management, it’s your responsibility to notice when something is wrong with your team, and burnout is one of the leading causes of employees quitting their jobs. Below are five signs of overworked employees and what you can do to help them.
Have your employees been missing more work than they normally do? Absenteeism is a strong suggestion that your team is overworked. If they can’t be bothered to show up anymore, they’re probably feeling undervalued and underappreciated. Turn things around by letting them know you appreciate all of their hard work. In some cases, you may need to evaluate your employees’ workloads and lighten those taking the brunt of the work. Be quick about these changes. Absenteeism is just one step away from an employee quitting.
If you have absent employees, your team may benefit from using the Crew App to notify each other when they won’t be in for work. Because messages can be sent and received directly from your employees’ smartphones, the app fosters team communication, which means you won’t be scrambling to find someone to cover a shift when an employee doesn’t show up.
2. Poor Performance
Everyone has bad days, but if your employee is consistently underperforming, they may have too much on their plate. Check to see how often they’re working and if they’re picking up too much slack from other employees. The problem may be that they’re simply trying to do too much. As much as we like to think that we can multitask, splitting our attention among several tasks makes it almost impossible to do any of them to the best of our ability. Once you’ve isolated the reason for the overload, take steps to correct the problem.
3. Working Long Hours
Working long hours isn’t necessarily a sign that an employee is overworked. Sometimes they’ll just want to pick up a few extra shifts to earn a little more money. However, the frequency with which they work long hours can be telling. If they consistently stay later than everyone else, they may be struggling to finish their job in a timely manner.
In this case, you may want to schedule a meeting with your employee to discuss what’s keeping them so late. Maybe they don’t understand the processes as well as the others and could benefit from more training. Or you may be able to help them streamline something that’s taking a long time to accomplish. Whatever the reason, it’s best to talk with them. Without a meeting, you’ll only be guessing how to fix the problem.
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4. High Emotions
If emotions have been higher than normal for some employees, they may be overworked. Job stress can wear someone down pretty quickly, especially if they don’t have an outlet to express their frustration. Employees may be more likely to snap at customers or co-workers for simple mistakes when suffering from workplace stress, so it’s important to heed this warning sign and take action. In addition to easing their work responsibilities, you may also want to consider implementing wellness programs that help your employees manage stress.
5. No Advancement Opportunities
You’ll need to evaluate your company’s hierarchy and promotion policies for this one. Figure out how many employees moved to a higher position within the last 18 months. If your number is low, ask yourself why that is. Were there not any positions available? Did you hire outside of the company to fulfill the roles? If it’s the latter, your employees will notice that they’ve been passed over for a promotion.
Chances are, if your employees knew about the open position and were interested, they were working harder to be considered for it. If they have nowhere to go for all of their hard work, they’ll feel used. To avoid this, create advancement opportunities in your company. It may be easier to institute a mentoring program that trains employees to do other jobs within the company that interest them. Make it a point to promote a specific number of employees during the next 18 months.
Because employees have a tendency to work harder to prove they’re valuable to the company, modern employers need to be watchful for the signs of burnout. Promote a healthy work-life balance and a 40-hour workweek as part of your company culture. If you don’t make changes now, the cycle of overworking your employees will just continue.