You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and you expect the same of your employees. But at some point, hard work can become overwork. And overworking can become overwhelming.
If your team is constantly burning the midnight oil, you will eventually start feeling it in your bottom line. And not in the way you might imagine.
A disruptive mentality
Perhaps you’ve used words like disruptive, innovative, and revolutionary to describe your company’s product, service, or culture. Many business owners and leaders view these qualities as universally positive. Necessary, even. But from an employee perspective, they can be exhausting.
How many people genuinely look forward to spending extended work days engulfed in disruption, navigating constant change, or leading a revolution?
For a great purpose and over short periods of time? Sure! But non-stop every day until forever? Not so much. Of course you want your employees to be excited about and invested in their work. But that doesn’t mean they need to live and breathe it 24 hours a day.
Your best employees aren’t necessarily the ones hyped up on energy drinks, working back to back shifts, and staying up all night. They may appear to be overachievers but in reality, they could be costing you big time.
Revolution has a price
Workplace stress is real. And real expensive.
When people are overworked and stressed out, they are more likely to develop physical and mental health issues. Many stress-related health problems can take your employees out of the game completely. When they do show up, they’re more likely to be distracted and make mistakes.
A few quick facts about workplace stress:
- 83% of people reported being stressed out by work.
- 63% of employees don’t feel like their employers provide sufficient resources to help them manage stress
- The number of people who reported experiencing “extreme stress” jumped from 18% to 24% in just two years
So how do you make sure your employees are working hard but not burning out?
Look for it
If you tell yourself everything is fine, that’s exactly what you’ll believe. But as with most problems, recognizing workplace burn out is half the battle.
Start looking around for subtle signs and symptoms, and check in with your team to assess levels of stress within the organization.
Evaluate potential causes of burnout, such as:
- Excessive workloads
- Outdated technology
- Poor communication
- Workplace conflict
- Unhappy co-workers
- Toxic clients
While you’re at it, look for telltale symptoms:
- Accidents and mistakes
- Missed deadlines, goals, and numbers
- Employee disengagement and turnover
- Issues with absenteeism and/or presenteeism
- Increasing chronic illnesses and accommodation needs
If you’re not comfortable playing the super sleuth, you can always go directly to the source.
Conduct an anonymous employee survey to see how company expectations match up with employee expectations. And where they don’t.
Once you’ve determined you have a problem and identified your causes and symptoms, work quickly to find and implement solutions.
Ignoring these things might seem easier in the short term, but letting issues simmer under the surface creates a breeding ground for increased tension and potential blow ups. If you really want your staff to achieve balance, you can’t just talk about it. At some point, you need to give them the tools to make it happen.
Start with leading by example. If you tell your employees they should strive for a manageable schedule and a healthy work/life balance, but your leadership team is working 14 hour days and rewarding those who do the same, no one is going to believe you really mean it. Check in with yourself. Have you fallen prey to the 24/7 mentality? Are you feeling worn out, less productive, and more on edge?
Stress is stress, no matter who you are and what your title is. Reducing your own stress will naturally reduce the stress of your team. And when your team is healthy and happy, your bottom line will be as well.
At Raffa, we help clients identify organizational challenges, create big picture strategies, and put customized solutions in place. From tailored benefit programs to custom retirement plans to risk management services, we’ve got you covered.
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