By Edupliance | 14th December, 2015

Do you have a workaholic employee at your workplace? Do not confuse between hardworking people and workaholics!

‘Workaholism’ is like an addiction very similar to drugs or alcoholism; it has negative affects which adversely affect the employee’s health and his family life as well. Moreover, it can, in most cases affect the quality of the work he/she is assigned to do.

Who is a Workaholic?

Employers love employees who are go-getters and complete assigned tasks within stipulated deadlines, but sometimes you might encounter employees who wish to work even more than they are required to do.

This kind of person is called a workaholic who tries to become a high performing employee by being fully committed to their work by doing as much as they can squeeze out from their daily 9 to 5 job schedule.

This tendency is called workaholism and can lead to physical and mental ailments to the employee and can even cause major disruption in their well-being as well as the workflow of your workplace. In a worst case scenario, the employee might even file litigation against you for overburdening him/her with work, which they had originally chosen to do. A workaholic mainly exhibits such characteristics:

  • Can work anytime and anywhere.
  • Can be highly intense, energetic and over-competitive.
  • Can utilize the time they have to complete any kind of task you give them.
  • Usually have immense self-doubts over the quality of their work.
  • Forsake other leisurely activities to focus on work.

What is the difference between a Hard-Working and Workaholic person?

Hard-working people are employees who put in long hours at work, give time to their loved ones and engage themselves in other social activities during their free time. They work hard, but do not over-exert themselves if they know that the work assigned to them is still a work in progress kind of task.

A workaholic on the other hand, is one step ahead of a hard-working person. He/she develops compulsive obsession with his/her job. This may arise out of many reasons like utter love for one’s job, a will to earn more money if the overtime they do is being paid, a passion to get promoted, or in most cases, a will to overtly impress their boss.

What they don’t understand is that they are inflicting immense mental and physical trauma to themselves and also ignoring their responsibilities like taking care of their families or chores.

How to handle a Workaholic employee?

Most employers would love to grab the chance of hiring a workaholic employee in order to get more done by the employee in return for a limited salary. However, if you care about your workforce, you should seriously consider helping such an employee and help resolve workaholism before matters get worse.

Employers who suspect that their employee is a workaholic, should help the latter overcome this habit. Workaholism becomes a repetitive trait and can adversely turn into obsession. In a poor economy, many such employees try to earn as much as they can by finishing off their work faster than most employees.

This may sound nice, but it can lead to deep insecurities and even depression. Many employees try to get out of this habit, but they just can’t because they are already neck deep in this mess. This is where you as an employer steps in to help iron out the creases.

How to help such employees?

  • First and foremost, keep realistic deadlines for work that your employees are assigned to complete. Make your workplace a more social place by helping employees interact more with each other and share their ideas and workloads in order to ease the situation. This will help such employees feel less depressed and anxious about impending deadlines.
  • You can also make your workplace more easy-going by announcing bonuses at the end of each quarter to help every employee push themselves to achieve their target. This will not put this burden on one single person and the business work becomes a collective effort on part of all the employees.
  • Do not push any of the employees to achieve unachievable targets! They will push themselves so hard that they will lead to a major downfall of the logistics at work. Give days off to employees who work harder than others to help them relax and cool-off.
  • Announce perks like easier commutes, better offices and good health plans for all employees, not only the workaholics. Do not turn a single hard-working employee into a workaholic or a ‘perkaholic’, this will make the other employees feel left out and increase the pressure on the workaholic employee to achieve more in less time.
  • More so, do not hire any such person who wishes to work just for work’s sake. They do not contribute positively to your business. They simply finish tasks at hand which might affect the quality of work you are expecting from that future employee.
  • You can also organize seminars presided over by mental health specialists who can help your employees understand the negatives of being a workaholic like increased anxiety levels, stress-induced illnesses and chronic fatigue.
  • Therapies like family counseling conducted by a counselor or psychiatrist can also help repair damages done to their personal relationships due to their workaholic behavior.

As you can see, workaholism is a boon and a bane both at the same time. It may lead to better productivity at your workplace, but it can lead to serious physical problems for the workaholic employees.

Do not risk their lives to get your business ahead of your competition. Help such employees with better perks, off days and therapies to help them get over this dangerous addiction. Remember one thing, employees who are treated fairly last longer!