How to Motivate an Easily Overwhelmed Employee in 2022

February 19, 2022

how to motivate an overwhelmed employee

Employees are the key to the progress and success of any organization or company. It is quite common for employees to get overwhelmed due to workload, work environment, peer pressure, and so forth. An overwhelmed employee loses productivity, dedication, and willingness to work. So you may be thinking, how to motivate an overwhelmed employee?

Understand the reason(s) that stress out your employees and overwhelm them. Figure out which way best connects with your overwhelmed employee and motivate them accordingly. Recognition, appreciation, and reward are undoubtedly some of the best ways to motivate your overwhelmed employee. You can also provide them with work flexibility and some time off if needed. Talk with them one-on-one to guide them. Ensure colleagues and peers are also keeping a helpful environment.

Interested to learn more? Let’s dive into the article.

Why Motivating Employees is Important

Dedicated, productive, and hardworking employees and workers are the pillar of success. Employees do their best and work more efficiently when they’re motivated. Motivation makes them enthusiastic about learning and fuels their willingness to work. If they’re not motivated, they fall behind in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. Motivating employees results in a higher retention rate and a lower turnover rate.

How to Motivate an Overwhelmed Employee

Indeed, there are a few factors that affect employee motivation. Each employee has a different personality, and they each require different methods of motivation. So, take the time to understand first what method works best for your employee. Proceed accordingly to help them handle stressful situations or breakdowns. Here are a few ways you can motivate an overworked employee:

1. Detect the Problem/Trigger:

The first step to solving a problem is detecting what the problem is. There may be a few things, work, or incidents that stress and overwhelm your employee. If there are multiple events, at least one trigger sets them off to feel overwhelmed. 

Start by detecting the incidents or problems and what finally ticked off your employee. Review their tasklist, talk to their project partner(s) and colleagues. Talk to your overwhelmed employees one-on-one and gently inquire them. Once you detect the root of the problem, help them find solutions. Guide them as best as you can. Let them know that they’re not alone, and every problem is solvable with a little bit of help.

2. Recognize and Reward

Recognition and appreciation can help employees in more ways than we can imagine. When you recognize and appreciate your employees’ hard work and effort, it motivates them to do better. It encourages them to keep up the good work and repeat the process. 

When you notice an employee is in distress or is overwhelmed, appreciate them for doing the simplest tasks. Letting them know you recognize their effort despite being overworked will calm them down. It will help them feel appreciated and encourage them. Rewarding them even something small for finishing their project/work also helps.

3. Flexibility

Providing employees with the autonomy in managing their work time and environment can help reduce their stress and overwhelmedness drastically. 

Many employees can be overwhelmed by commuting to the office at peak traffic hours, spending so long at the office, and so forth. Providing them with some time flexibility and the option to work from home if they’re too stressed has proved to be one of the most effective solutions in dealing with work stress and overwhelmedness. 

4. Positive Work Environment 

Your employees are least overwhelmed and most productive when they enjoy the work and the work environment. So, you need to build such an environment at the workplace. Remind your employees that they don’t need to fear you but only respect you. 

Ensure that there is no unhealthy competition or politics in the office between the employees. Hire good, trained HR personnel, and ensure solving any conflict that may arise. Take on group projects so your employees can build connections and have a chance to bond as a team. Divide responsibilities among other employees to help employees who are struggling with the workload. Ensure employees at managerial positions are helpful, supportive, and can guide other employees as needed. If there is a positive, helpful, supportive work environment, your employees are less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed.

5. Mentoring and Guidance

As a leader, it is your duty to guide your employees. Let your employees know that you are there to guide and mentor them when they get overwhelmed; they need not feel alone. Make sure that others in managerial positions also know the importance of being compassionate, helpful, and supportive. If you feel incapable of helping an overwhelmed employee, don’t hesitate to ask for guidance from others. But of course, make sure you have the employee’s permission first.

How You Can Prevent Employees from Getting Overwhelmed

You can make a few changes around the workplace that can help reduce stress triggers or overwhelmedness in your employees. 

1. Bi-weekly/Monthly Check-in

Your employees may not always detect the signs of overwhelmedness themselves. Talk to them one-on-one every two to four weeks to evaluate their mental wellbeing. Watch out for signs of overwhelmedness, such as missed deadlines, late attendance, decreased productivity or creativity, increased sick days/absents, etc. You can also appoint a psychologist for a monthly check-up or evaluation to ensure your employees’ mental wellbeing. 

2. Encourage Community Buildup

A healthy, positive, supportive work community will ensure a positive work environment. Employees will be less likely to feel threatened, inferior, or overwhelmed if there is no unhealthy competition. Encourage your employees to help each other out with projects so that they don’t feel overwhelmed with responsibilities. Assign group projects to help them understand each other and bond properly. Invest in activities everyone can participate in together, such as cruising, event tickets, picnics, etc.

3. Promote Physical and Mental Health Awareness/ Wellbeing

Work and productivity are important. But if you’re not feeling up to the mark physically or mentally, no work can be done productively. Let your employees know that their wellbeing comes first. If possible, install some gym equipment at the workplace. Install some relaxation equipment as well, such as massage chairs, bean bags, a quiet sun-light-proof room to rest when employees are overwhelmed or have headaches. Try to keep an open space as well so employees can go there for a whiff of fresh air.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can team projects motivate employees?

Yes, feeling included and being a part of the team helps employees. Watching the teammates work hard also encourages them to give their best efforts. It builds loyalty and support among colleagues and helps team bonding.

2. What is employee motivation?

Employee motivation is the enthusiasm, commitment, energy, and creativity that the employee(s) bring to the organization or company. This motivation translates into their productivity, efficiency, and dedication.

3. What is employee retention?

Employee retention refers to the company’s ability to retain employees. It also refers to the company’s ability to prevent or reduce employee turnover or the rate employees leave the organization during a specific period.

Bottom Line

It is common to get overwhelmed at work at times. Not everyone is the same, and some employees need a little extra care. We hope this article has answered your question about how to motivate an overwhelmed employee.

Have any more questions? Let us know!

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