Recognizing (& Helping) a Warehouse Worker Who’s Struggling

As a nation, we’re now more stressed than ever before. Many people are experiencing burnout, and anxiety and depression have become more prevalent since the onset of the pandemic. In high-stress climates like this one, to combat burnout, employers should seek to create support within their organizations, ensuring employees can get relief how and when they need it.

There are many steps that businesses can take to support the overall health of their employees. For example, creating a stable work environment allows employees to draw clear boundaries between their work life and their personal life, which can reduce stress in both settings. Providing meaningful benefits with easily accessible physical and mental healthcare is also important. 

But, these are also basics. For true support, businesses should be looking beyond these basic support systems, and looking to do more to support their employees’ well-being. One of the best ways to support well-being is to regularly check in with employees and ask how they’re doing. 

Signs a Warehouse Worker May Be Struggling

While life, in general, is pretty stressful these days, the role of a warehouse worker can be stressful even in the best of times, as warehouse work can be physically and mentally taxing.

How can you tell if an employee is in danger of burnout? How would you know if someone is struggling with his or her mental health? There are some key indicators that you may notice during the normal workday. 

Indications of Burnout

  • Diminished work performance
  • Inability to handle changes in routine or processes
  • Increased frustration about work tasks
  • Increased irritability with coworkers

While some employees may demonstrate habits like these that manifest in work behavior, others may be more likely to bottle up frustrations, whether work-related or personal. This means it’s especially important to cultivate relationships between your management team and your employees from the moment they’re hired and onboarded. These relationships create a human dynamic in the workplace where workers build rapport and an understanding of those around them. With these relationships in place, managers can more readily recognize when an employee’s health may be suffering. 

Other common physical and mental symptoms of burnout and general stress include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Extreme fatigue
  • GI issues
  • Headaches
  • The use of drugs, food, or alcohol to cope

If a member of the leadership team believes an employee may be struggling, a face-to-face conversation can help determine whether the employee is in need of support or additional resources. 

How a Feedback Program Can Help

While there are many signs of burnout that you can literally see in a warehouse setting, it’s not uncommon for employees to attempt to keep mental health struggles under wraps. On top of that, many employees may not feel comfortable sharing with a manager how they’re feeling.

Offering warehouse workers an ongoing employee feedback program is a great way to capture general sentiment and offer an outlet to those who may not otherwise feel comfortable sharing. WorkHound provides employees a way to share their thoughts, feelings, questions, and concerns with the management team — all while staying anonymous, if they desire.

Anonymity can be an appealing way for an employee to raise a red flag about situations within the workplace or even in life more broadly. 

Being able to reach out for help via text may also be appealing, as it provides a low-pressure approach. Walking into a manager’s office or setting up a meeting is a high-pressure and high-stakes ask. By contrast, it is much easier to type out a quick message and hit send. This message can provide as much or as little detail as an employee is willing to share. In many cases, after taking this first step, employees are even willing to reveal their identity and offer more insight when the leadership 

Ultimately, a feedback program creates a chance to build trust, to strengthen relationships, and to ensure your employees have what they need to be healthy and well.

Burnout in the workplace isn’t just a cause for turnover — it can lead to serious workplace hazards. Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help your team establish a feedback program that works!

empathy, feedback culture, warehouse workers

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