Are Your Staff Working Too Hard?
Written by Geoff Newman on 22/09/2014
For many organisations, the culture of working long hours exists. This puts staff at risk of ‘burning out’. Though this shows a high level for dedication, staff that regularly over-work themselves could start to suffer. Here at Recruitment Genius, we have listed some key signs that show you staff are working far too hard and what you can do to help them.
You rarely see them away from their desk
A key sign for over-working staff if that they you hardly see them get out if their seat. There is always something for them to do and they simply don’t have enough time to have a break. In fact, 20% of those surveyed by AXA PPP took less than 30 minutes for lunch, with 12% not taking one at all. Regular short breaks and lunch are important for your staff. It gives them a quick break to refresh and come back feeling more productive.
As their manager, you need to encourage them to take ten minutes, during the working day, for themselves. That way you can help keep stress levels
They come in early and leave later
Staff who come in before their shift starts and stays after it ends are also at risk of ‘burning out’. Research from insurer AXA PPP found that nearly half of respondents worked four or more hours overtime a week. Over half were not paid for working those extra hours either. Though this shows their commitment to the job, this isn’t healthy for them. It is important to encourage a work/life balance and to rest up. If the overtime they are working is vital for the business then you need to ensure that you pay them for it.
They’re missing out at home
Furthermore, according to the survey a fifth had missed their child’s events such as school plays or parents evenings in the past three months. More than half admitted to continuing work after putting their children to bed. This shows that some employees tend to take work home with them.
As their manager you need to encourage them to make sure they are not sacrificing too much time with their loved ones. You can do this by helping them “switch-off” after working hours. This can be by suggesting they turn off their work phones or by letting them finish on time to have dinner with their families.
They hardly ever ask for help
You see them with a heavy workload but will hardly ever ask for help. Though they may have great time-management skills, they may benefit from a little bit of help. If you notice that they are struggling then delegate their workload to other members of staff. Anything to help reduce their pressure to get their jobs done will be highly appreciated.
They don’t take all of their annual leave
As well as all the above points, they hardly have any time off. All staff need to have a break from the office once in a while to restore and rest. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to take a trip, spend time catching up with their recorded programmes and having quality time with their families. Therefore you should encourage employees to take annual leave once in a while so when they come back they feel refreshed and ready to work.
They look unwell but won’t call in sick
Employee burnout can cause stress, exhaustion and unhappiness. This can increase turnover rates and decrease productivity within your business. However, for some employees that may not be able to afford to have a sick day. Working through sickness could cause them to be less productive and decrease concentration. If a member of staff is struggling, let them go home. Once they have rested they will come back into work with a clearer mind-set and a healthier body.
Though managers value employees who work very hard, working too hard could affect your business in the long run. You don’t want to lose an employee who cannot deal with their workload or who is too ill to come in. As their manager you need to show you care about them. Encourage them to rest, ‘switch off’ and to have a work/life balance. By doing this you show that you care about them, notice their efforts and will help them where possible.