Few things bring more joy to the workplace than a set of dedicated employees. It’s heartening (and profitable) to have the kind of staff that will work all manner of overtime to achieve the company’s goals.
But just because they are willing to work that overtime, doesn’t mean you should let them.
Think of dedication like gasoline for a car. Burn through all the gas in your tank, without stopping at a service station, and eventually, your car will sputter and die. Similarly, if you let your employees burn through their dedication for their jobs, they’ll eventually start looking for more appealing opportunities elsewhere.
Meanwhile, just like the empty-tanked vehicle coasting to a halt, your overworked employees aren’t going to get you very far. Being overworked leads to mistakes and diminished effectiveness. Not only are you chasing away good employees, but you’re hurting the overall work.
With that in mind, here are four signs that your staff might be overworked:
People Working Weird Hours
You start getting emails at 3 AM. You show up in the morning and people are already there. You turn out the lights on your way out, only to hear someone protest, “hey, I’m still here.”
Meanwhile, employees will start missing personal events. They skip a kid’s birthday party to work on Saturday or end up sneaking into their parent’s retirement celebration late because they chose to work until 8 PM tonight. If that happens, don’t praise them for being a “team player.” It may seem beneficial to the company, but you’re just burning through that dedication.
When you work more hours, you’re likely to get more done. Pretty simple math. Because of that fact, a look at total output might not identify an overworked staff. But, instead of looking at the overall numbers, turn your attention to efficiency. How much are they getting done per hour?
Overwork leads to mistakes and an overall decline in quality. This can get masked somewhat by the sheer fact that total hours have increased.
But ultimately the increased output could cost you in the long term. At a certain point, the extra hours become more expensive than they’re worth. Instead of adding to the bottom line, employees end up using the additional hours to make up for the negative impact that overwork has had on their ability to perform.
Things Get Chippy
As people get tired, their nerves fray. Tempers flare. People start to lash out.
Sometimes, this will get directed at you or other members of management. You might receive a snippy email, or a terse text, or think you hear some muttering as they leave your office.
More often, though, employees will remain relatively respectful to their managers. Instead, they will lash out at each other. If you start to see an increase in petty office feuds or in inappropriate sniping, you might want to rethink the workload of the employees involved.
The ultimate sign of worker unhappiness comes from voluntary turnover. If people regularly leave you for what they perceive as better opportunities elsewhere, it suggests that you have potential deficiencies in the way you relate to workers.
Eliminating these unnecessary departures can quickly boost the bottom line. Turnover can be distracting and expensive. By limiting the workload you impose on employees, you might decrease output in the short term. But higher efficiency and decreased turnover should allow you to make up for the lower output on your income statement.
Find Top Talent
A productive and effective team will get work done without having to resort to increased hours. Finding the right team will help you stay efficient and profitable. LaborMax can find these high-performing workers for you. Contact us today to find out how.