Question: What is one telltale sign that my employees are overworked?
When Good Employees Making Simple Mistakes
"The No. 1 sign that employees are overworked is making simple mistakes. If he or she is normally on top of typos or produces clean calculations, pay attention when the easiest tasks become an issue. When you see employees making simple mistakes that they normally don’t make, they are probably overworked. Start a conversation about their workload."
When the Atmosphere Diminishes
"In our industry, it’s unusual to have just one person overworked. Usually, everyone starts feeling it around the same time and the mood of the entire team follows. The most important thing to keep an eye on is how different team members are relating to one another. If everyone is getting snappy with each other, some action is definitely needed to ease the tension."
When Unplanned Absences Rack Up
"In a recent webinar hosted by The Good Jobs and Delivering Happiness, discussion revolved around how to create sustainable company culture. When asked how to measure culture, it was identified that a key indicator of organizational health was the number of unplanned absences. Happy, productive employees plan on attending work. Unhappy, overworked employees burn out and attendance becomes spotty."
When the Work Environment Tenses
"When the office begins to feel a little tense because everyone has been putting in long hours, it’s time to implement something to inspire change. Let them leave work a little early and host them for a happy hour or treat them to a wellness activity like mini massages. When there is a positive work environment, everyone is more productive and motivated."
When Irritability and Frustration Abounds
"You know you have an overly stressed employee when that person seems irritable and frustrated. Knowing the team member well is a requirement, and then you can usually detect this attitude change quickly. It may appear in the form of snapping back quickly during brainstorming, not being as enthusiastic as normal and even physically looking tired. This may then, in turn, result in less solution-oriented thinking."
When Employees' Health Diminishes
"If your employees are calling in sick a lot, it’s probably a sign that they’re overworked. Work-related stress can cause a variety of health problems, preventing employees from coming to work and having productive days. Encourage your team to leave work at a reasonable hour and to use their paid time off and take real vacations."
When Innovation Is Lost
"When employees are overworked, they don't have the mental energy to help you take your business to the next level. You may have more difficulty as a group in outsmarting the competition with fresh solutions. Giving creative people that precious time to sit and think is critical for intrapreneurship to flourish."
When Passion Diminishes
"Your employees may not be falling asleep on their keyboards, but that doesn’t mean they’re not overworked. When employees are stressed, passion is one of the first things to go. Just maintaining their spirit becomes an exhausting job. Keep an eye out for employees who don’t seem to have the energy they once did, and address it immediately -- lack of passion and effort can be contagious. "