Times are tough for everyone right now. However, few people will come out and tell you that they are having problems. Most will pull it off despite its impact on their productivity and health.
Blame pride, the American spirit, or whatever you want: the reality is you have to look for hidden signs that your team members need help. You can’t help them if you don’t know what they are going through.
Your team needs you in times like these. Contact them if you find any of the following:
1. Difficulty concentrating
When someone has a lot on their mind, it is difficult for them to focus on what is right in front of them. This is often expressed in subtle ways, e.g. B. by increasing the number of breaks or decreasing performance.
For example, if you’re managing a customer service team, a drop in call volume can indicate difficulty concentrating. On a product development team, missed deadlines can mean the same thing.
You can also suspect a concentration problem when someone is involved in team meetings. A lack of interest in a meeting is usually pretty evident, especially when it’s accompanied by a poor attitude or lack of participation.
2. Chronic delay
Lateness tends to take root when team members encounter difficulties outside of work. You may be late more often or trying to be the first to get out. This may be because they can’t distract themselves from home and family, or because the stress of work is causing them to loosen up.
Hard accusations don’t help. Try to deduce the reason for your delay before reaching any conclusions. Find ways to help them overcome their delay by working through the cause. Maybe someone just needs a ride to work until they can afford to fix their car.
3. Decrease in quality of work
One of the most obvious signs that tough times are affecting a team member’s productivity is a deterioration in the quality of their work. This can manifest itself in rough edges, missing small details or simply in the submission of work that does not meet the requirements described in the order.
For example, suppose you oversee a content creation team. Has the quality of your editing or copywriting deteriorated in the last few days? While every writer has a bad day every now and then, it shouldn’t be everyone Day. If so, you probably have something more on your mind.
4. Social withdrawal
Every workplace has a social element. From chatting with water coolers to group events outside of work, social activities bring your team closer together around the clock.
If a team member stops attending events like they used to, it is a tell-tale sign that they are suffering from low morale. Instead of forcing them to do anything, encourage them to attend the next social meeting to help them clear their spirits. Relaxing with friends and colleagues every now and then can work wonders.
5. Constant need for confirmation
Did you notice a team member asking for approval more often than usual? This could be a sign that the recent setbacks have damaged their confidence. They are only looking for confirmation as a boost to get through their day.
This uncertainty can also take the form of excessive questioning. Questions about performing tasks and reviewing guidelines can be a sign that your employee is unsure about his or her personal performance and needs to double-check.
If an employee needs additional motivation, pass it on to them. Complimenting someone doesn’t cost anything and can make your day. Just make sure you’re real: giving fake compliments is worse than saying nothing at all.
6. Ask for additional hours
What manager doesn’t love an employee who is willing to take on extra shifts? While this is welcome on the surface, it may signal something deeper if this is new behavior for one of your team members. They may be concerned about personal financial problems, so they need to measure more hours.
Excessive hours of work can lead to sleep deprivation, exhaustion, strained personal relationships, and decreased productivity. A tired and worried teammate may be on the clock for a long time, but they will have difficulty pulling their weight.
Give them extra hours when they really need them. However, make sure they also get the rest of what they need. Encourage them to apply for your employee assistance program, if you offer one. Consider giving them an extra paid day or two to relax and sort things out at home.
7. Missed deadlines
Deadlines are constantly being missed whether you like it or not. Even the best of plans are far from foolproof. This will no doubt happen to your team from time to time, but it should be just that: occasionally.
Be aware if your team requests extensions or misses deadlines if it wasn’t a problem before. When a trend occurs, external factors can affect your team.
When in doubt, ask. Their workload may have increased or they could juggle more in their personal life. Be flexible about the deadlines you can meet and be clear about the deadlines that you cannot push back.
Watch your team closely during times like these. The Covid-19 crisis and social unrest affect everyone in different and rarely positive ways. Your efforts to engage and motivate your team are among the few things that can get them back on track.