Tips to Recognize you are Overworking your Employees

Sometimes bosses expect quite a bit from their employees and they do not realize when their employees are working too much.  When you walk through the office, what type of environment do you sense?  Were people more or less friendly when you were in the room?  Paying attention to these warning signs can help you and your organization succeed.

Change in Attitude – Watch your positive employees that are always smiling and see how they are when you encounter them.  Watch them in meetings and determine if they are still feeling positive or if they are losing their positive energy.  Pay attention to employees that never complain if they are suddenly speaking up about getting behind or feeling overwhelmed at work.

Watch people’s hours – When you come into work, notice who is already there and working and check when you are leaving work as well.  If you notice someone pulling too many hours, you may need to see why they are having to work so much.  You can also check and see if you can reassess the work load of your staff and possibly hire another person to help with the overwhelming tasks.

Absenteeism – Pay attention to the sick days that and determine if there is an increasing pattern of those who are taking time off.  The amount of time off increasing may correlate to stress levels and employees may be eating and sleepy poorly.

High Turnover – This is usually a very important sign that will let you know things are not going well at your company.  If you are training individuals to work at your facility and they are not sticking around long enough to make a difference, it may be time to take a good, hard look at the way your company is running things.  Ensure you are getting exit interviews, so you can see why employees are leaving your company.

Investigate – Once you start to notice changes in attitude and lost hours with high turnover, it is time to really get to the bottom of the issue.  Pull people in that you trust from all levels of management and non-management and give them an open forum to discuss all concerns they have.  Ask them to specifically discuss their workload and determine if they believe it is reasonable and acceptable on the daily.

Re-prioritize – Once you have completed your investigation, it is time to re-prioritize tasks and truly determine how many people are needed to perform the daily tasks of the agency.  Shift duties to people that are well-suited for the task.  Create a hierarchy that works well under pressure and that knows how to pick up the slack if necessary.

Encourage – Now that you have a re-organized staff, you need to ensure you are advocating for a healthy work-life balance.  If you have happy employees, you have a group of people that will bend over backwards for your organization and never resent you for the hard work they are putting into their agency.

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