You want your employees to work hard, be dedicated and often go that extra mile for you, but you need to be careful you are not pushing them that bit too far. You like to think you know your employees, you work with them every day and so you have a pretty good idea about who is more likely to cope with increased workloads or imposed deadlines and those that need to take things a little slower. But not really knowing the signs that even your most driven employees need a break, can be bad for everyone.
Here are some of the signs to look out for…
Tetchy/Agitated behaviour. It’s never ok to be rude to people and it should not be tolerated in the workplace, but if you notice someone being particularly snappy towards their colleagues or to you, check that their workload is manageable and that it’s not putting unnecessary pressure on the individual.
Constantly “unwell”. That’s not to say they are always off sick, although that it something to look out for too, but do they seem to just be under the weather all the time? When you are tired, your body finds it harder to fight infections and so you are of course more like to pick them up too. If this is something you have noticed, encourage your employee to rest and if they have been absent make sure they are truly ready to return to work.
Erratic Behaviour. We all know how kids get when they are “over-tired” they seem to bounce of the walls and act over excited all the time, well adults can show the same behavioural signs with lack of sleep so make sure you encourage them to rest, as this erratic behaviour can have a serious impact of the rest of your team.
Sleeping on the job. Do you have an employee that looks ready to nod off all the time and it’s affecting their productivity? It is really important that you talk to them and encourage them to get the appropriate sleep they need in order to perform their duties effectively. Unfortunately we can’t all have a sleep pod area at work!
Change to eating habits. Now I pretty much know all of the eating habits of my colleagues, they like to take their lunch at certain time, some are always trying to be healthy while others are grazers and are nibbling the whole day through, so if there was a sudden change I think it would prompt me to say “are you feeling ok today”? Extreme tiredness can seriously disrupt our normal eating patterns, so make sure you check with them that there isn’t something else going on prompting this change, and always ensure you give your employees plenty of time to take a lunch break.
Depression. No-one is asking you to diagnose your employees with depression or even try and manage it yourself, that is not something you are trained for, but be aware of the signs. Physical tiredness can have a knock on effect on your emotional state such as a general lack of interest in work or life in general, so if you notice any change try talking to your employee and see what’s really going on and be prepared to listen offering whatever support you can. The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2014/15 was 440,000, so it truly should not be ignored.
If you need help with any of these issues or are concerned you may have an employee that is starting to struggle, then get in touch today.
Luckily for us all it is a Bank Holiday weekend, so relax and recharge those batteries…