1. Decreased Productivity and Quality of Work
An overwhelmed employee is likely to have trouble focusing and feeling motivated to complete their tasks. This results in a decrease in efficiency and engagement, as well as the possibility for more mistakes and inaccuracies.
When your employees have too heavy of a workload or are dealing with personal or family issues it can be difficult for them to stay focused on their tasks or to get them done in a timely manner. When they’re over worked, they may never seem to take a break. Coming in early, staying late, or working through lunch may not be a big deal if it only happens occasionally, but if they seem to be doing this regularly it could be time to talk to them about their workload and find out how you can help.
2. Changes in Disposition
A change in personality is probably one of the easiest signs to spot. An employee who was once engaged and motivated may become withdrawn or negative. The overwhelmed employee will have an aura of frustration and it’s typically because they’re feeling overworked and underappreciated.
Showing appreciation for employees can be as simple as creating employee wellness programs, as these show that you care about their health and wellness. Encouraging them to make use of the employee benefits that are offered, as well as personal leave and vacation time are other ways to show that you value their efforts at your company.
3. Use of Personal and Sick Time
This one is a bit trickier to spot, as an overworked employee may avoid taking any vacations at all or they could seem to take an excessive number of sick days.
When an employee feels that they have more work than time, one might avoid taking a vacation, or if they do manage to take one they may work the whole time. Another might in opposite, take a lot of sick days in order to escape their overbearing workload. Though, these indicators depend on how an individual chooses to deal with stress, either way it’s important to address the issues these employees face, as both types will burn out eventually.
What to Do
The most important thing you can do to avoid these situations entirely is to maintain an open line of communication that is judgement free. Employees need to feel comfortable telling you when they’re truly overwhelmed without fear of criticism.
You can also help the employee decrease time-wasters that become a source of frustration for him during the work day. An example may be having to sit through meetings that don’t pertain to you when you have a lot of work to get done. By creating a relevance test for meeting organizers or requiring that an agenda be sent with the invitation so that attendees can determine their own relevance to the discussion, you can improve your employees’ morale and since time is money, you will also avoid what is ultimately a waste of resources for you as well.
Another popular trend to relieving workplace stress is to encourage employees to step outside and rejuvenate mid day. Some companies have even established walking trails or a meditation garden on the campus for their employees. A quick 15 minute break in the fresh air can not only do wonders to relieve the stresses of an overwhelming workload but can be tied into your company’s overall wellness objectives.
If a tight project deadline exists and there truly is no time for a break, then encourage a “walking meeting” or set up an outdoor meeting pavilion. Two or three key team members can address work related matters while still taking advantage of a moment to step away from their desk and rejuvenate their minds.
Remember, improving the overall health of your workforce both physically and mentally, can go a very long way to controlling health plan costs and improving productivity. Using a creative approach to offering employee benefits that encourage work life balance is also something that differentiates you as an employer of choice in today’s job market.
At Summerlin-Roberts, we understand the important role that a creative employee benefits package can play in helping employees to feel valued and engaged in their roles. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you create comprehensive benefits packages, and engage your employees in these benefits, to give them a bit more security and comfort.