How to Deal With the Easily Overwhelmed Employee

Posted: January 10, 2012 by Alison in Office Politics
Tags: , , , , , , ,

by Tia Benjamin, Demand Media Share

Sometimes, no matter how hard or how long an employee works, his tasks aren’t completed. This causes employee stress and adds to feelings of being overwhelmed, often causing him to work harder in a futile attempt to catch up. Constant stress can reduce productivity. In a small business with a limited number of employees, an overwhelmed worker can significantly affect the bottom line. Managers must provide ways to help the employee deal with his stress.

Step 1

Require employees to take regular breaks and a full lunch break. A mental break and time to step away from the job help employees stay refreshed and feeling less overwhelmed. Avoid creating a culture where it becomes acceptable or expected to work through lunch, as this contributes to stress and causes easily overwhelmed employees to feel as if they cannot take time for themselves.

Step 2

Define your expectations clearly. Tell the employee your priorities and provide specific deadlines for each task. Set work according to “SMART” principles. Each assignment should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

Step 3

Don’t expect perfection. Accept that everyone makes mistakes occasionally. Give your employees the freedom to make mistakes. Focus on learning from mistakes rather than avoiding them entirely, and you relieve some of the second-guessing and anxiety associated with trying to reach perfection.

Step 4

Acknowledge employee successes by thanking staff for completed tasks. Recognize employees by providing rewards for finishing time-consuming assignments and major projects. Rewards should contribute to employee’s work-life balance. Movie tickets, restaurant gift cards and a paid day off are all possible options.

Step 5

Provide employees with resources to deal with stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Give overwhelmed employees a referral to the employee assistance program, if one exists, to allow him access to counseling and work-related resources for dealing with stress. Implement a wellness program for staff. The program can incorporate workplace activities, such as brown bag lunches or yoga groups, to provide an outlet for employees’ feelings of being overwhelmed.

Source: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/deal-easily-overwhelmed-employee-17338.html

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