In the business world, we all know that it takes a lot to stay ahead of the game. We have to push ourselves to meet deadlines, make sales, grab new clients, and more. This is a given and as a part of that, we often end up asking more of our staff than we may realize.
If you are concerned that your employees are struggling to keep up with your demand, it may be time to look at how things are being run. You could be demanding an unfair workload from them without realizing it. For this reason, we decided to explain what a stressed workforce looks like, the six signs that show you may be overworking your staff.
Six Signs You Are Overworking Your Staff
Workplace stress is very common. We often don't even realize it is there until we are miserable. Unfortunately, it can lead to a variety of health and wellness problems for everyone, both yourself and your employees. Anyone who is overly stressed in the workplace may have many symptoms.
Even though you didn't set out to overwork yourself or your employees, there are still very obvious signs that it is going on.
These signs may include:
1. Displays of Emotion
Are employees happy when at work or are there random bursts of anger toward you or other employees? Do your employees spend a lot of time apologizing for failing at a task?
Emotional displays that are anything other than happy could mean that you have big problems coming for those who work within your company. It doesn't have to be anything extreme. Someone shouldn't have to bust out in tears to make you or fellow employees see that there is a problem. Often, it is much more subtle than that.
Solution: An easy solution for negative emotions at work is going to be helping people cope with it. For instance, encourage employees or yourself to step out of a stressful situation for a few moments, breathe deeply and slowly, and try to take part in other relaxation exercises.
2. Lack of Teamwork or Clique Formations
Is there no teamwork or only a specific group of people that are still working together? A lack of teamwork means that it is every man for himself, and this is not good in most business environments. Not when we encourage collaboration and teamwork. Contrarily, a select group that always works together and provides a majority of the workload, could mean that everyone else in the office feels alienated and unimportant. Both can mean bad things.
Solution: If you notice that you have not heard ideas from someone in a while, ask them what is going on. Ask them to meet with you to discuss ideas. Remind them that they are valued as an employee and that you want them to be more a part of the team. You may also encourage the "cliques" to separate and work with others to gain new ideas. Otherwise, things could become stagnant.
3. Frequent Late Arrivals or Absences
Let's say that you have a group of people who frequently show up late or miss work. Chances are good, it is because they don't really want to be there. They are no longer concerned about keeping you, or others that they work with, happy.
Solution: If someone is frequently late or absent, you may want to ask them what is going on. If they have issues at home, try to help them find a solution or offer them vacation time. In the event they are stressed at work or not enjoying the grind, offer them options such as working from home in the mornings or one day a week, if it is at all possible.
4. Placing Blame on Coworkers
If you set a task, such as closing a big deal before the end of a specific time period and the group assigned to it fail, do they accept the responsibility or spend time saying it was "someone's fault"? It could be that they feel "John" was late or absent too often or that he wasn't pulling his own weight on the project or task at hand. Either way, finger pointing within a group means that there is a larger issue going on.
Solution: First, find out what may be going on with "John". From there, offer the group other ways to work together-without placing blame. Maybe change up the group a little so that they are working with not just each other, but with others who may be a better fit for them.
5. People Quitting Suddenly
If even long-term employees are now saying they are done, looking for a better opportunity, or just walking out-you have serious issues within your company. Every business has a turn-over, and even people who have been there for years may decide to expand. However, if there are several quitting at one time, it is an indication of something more going on. Either your employees are staying too stressed, or they feel as though you aren't encouraging them to reach higher goals, income, and other things.
Solution: This is probably the hardest problem to solve because the people who quit suddenly may not give advance notice. You may not be told the "why" of them quitting. In this situation, you should look to the people who are left. See if they know of an existing issue that caused it. Then, offer solutions that may discourage others from making the same escape plans.
6. Less Customer Satisfaction
Unhappy employees could ultimately mean that your customers are unhappy as well. If you are getting a lot of negative feedback from people that do business with you, you really need to look at what is going on behind the scenes.
Solution: Perhaps it is time to encourage training for customer services within your business. Offer employees the chance to talk to someone, if not you then a therapist, about issues that may be going on that makes them struggle with satisfying the customer.
Employees Need to Feel Special, Too!
A sad truth is, in Canada alone, 9-out-of-10 people feel that they are overworked at work. A lot of it is because they feel unappreciated for the time that they spend working with you. To improve it all, you need to take their needs and wants into consideration. Otherwise, productivity, morale, and even revenue will all suffer, which "adds fuel to the fire" and makes it harder for everyone to enjoy working.
We understand stress in the workplace. Our goal is to help everyone step beyond it and into a better way of "adulting". If you are interested in having a 4-day work week or want happier employees working for you, you can feel free to contact us. We will do our best to help you over the rough stuff.