You need your employees to give their best to their jobs, every day. And in return, you compensate them fairly and treat them well.
Every once in a while, however, this fair exchange is thrown off balance, in one way or another. While many things can be at the heart of this problem, today we’re focusing on one cause in particular: the employer asking too much of the employee.
Sure, there are times when everyone has to work just a little harder, to meet a deadline, fix an urgent problem, or make up for another employee’s absence. But if you consistently ask too much of your employees, you might start to see major problems coming to the surface.
Here are some of the signs that you are asking too much of your employees.
People are having to work extra hours.
Overworking your employees is a great way to burn them out. If your staff is having to work nights and weekends just to keep up with their daily tasks, then they’re working too hard, and they probably won’t last long at that pace. If you notice that someone is consistently working outside your normal operating hours, it’s time to have a conversation with them. Why are they struggling? You might need to hire someone else, restructure responsibility, or make another change to ensure each of your employees is carrying a reasonable workload.
They don’t want to talk to you.
When an employee feels like they are being pushed too hard, it’s easy to take it personally. They might become more withdrawn, and less willing to talk to you about projects and problems. Since open office communication is crucial in every workplace, this lack of communication can be a real problem. If this is something you’ve noticed, pave the way for open and honest conversation, and give the employee a chance to speak her mind.
Emotions are running high.
When people are overworked, they tend to get tired and emotional. This could manifest itself as an increase in office drama, collectively, or as a single employee having a string of rough days or even needing to take some time off. Healthy emotions aren’t a bad thing, even at work, but if those emotions are brought on by being overworked, they’re likely to come across as frustration and resentment. Keep track of the morale in the office, and take care to give people room to air out their grievances in a productive way.
They’re making more mistakes.
When you’re trying to do everything at once, it’s a lot harder to do everything right. Employees that have too much on their plates are much more likely to make mistakes. Sure, everyone makes mistakes (even on good days), but a consistent decline in performance could mean something bigger. This could also look like a veteran employee making “rookie” mistakes. Whatever it looks like, mistakes are hardly ever good for business, so this is a problem you’ll want to address right away.
Employees quit (or talk about quitting).
Turnover is costly and time-consuming, so it’s something that most employers do their best to avoid. If employees are unhappy with their workloads, however, they’re more likely to look for another job. If someone quits, make sure you conduct a thorough exit interview that gives them the opportunity to explain why they’re leaving. The problem might be that they were feeling overwhelmed. If that’s the case, take steps to correct it, before other employees follow suit.
As an employer, you want to hire hard working employees that will bring their “A game” to the office. One of the best ways you can empower your employees to do their best is to make sure that you aren’t asking too much of them. Keep them happy and set realistic expectations, and you’re much more likely to have high-performing employees for years to come.
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