How to Respond to a Frustrated and Seemingly Overworked Employee

At times, everyone feels pushed to the brink. When stress levels mount on an employee’s shoulders, they may become frustrated, angry, or even burned out. Then, if they decide to approach you with an issue, figuring out how to respond can feel challenging. After all, you don’t want to accidentally throw gasoline on that fire, so finding the right approach is a must.

Whether you have temporary workers through staffing agencies in Willoughby, Ohio on your team or only maintain a permanent staff, here is how to manage a frustrated, seemingly overworked employee.

Let Them Talk

When an employee approaches you with a problem, your first instinct may be to offer a potential solution. However, when the worker is obviously frustrated, this may not be the best way to go.

Instead of jumping in, encourage the employee to keep talking. Let them vent about the situation, discuss their feelings, and otherwise get it all off their chest. Ask questions that help you identify the root of the problem, but don’t provide advice or take action until you get to the bottom of it.

Do Research

Once you have an idea of where the employee’s frustration is coming from, you may need to take some time to research the issue. For example, if the worker has a conflict with another team member, you may need to observe interactions, get project updates, or otherwise examine the relationship. Similarly, if it is a workload problem, then you may need to review all of the workloads of their team members, allowing you to determine if everyone is doing their fair share.

This approach enables you to find viable solutions that are based on research and not just your first instinct. Then, if action is needed, you know which options could deliver the best results.

Work Together

After finding potential solutions, sit down with the employee again and discuss the options together. This allows them to provide input and identify which approaches may give them the proper amount of relief.

Usually, working together is better than making a unilateral decision. This empowers the employee to be part of the process and increases the odds that whatever direction is chosen will alleviate their frustration or stop them from feeling as overworked.

Then, make sure to check in with them regularly after you both implement the chosen solution. That way, you can monitor the results together and make any adjustments that may be beneficial going forward.

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