Business owners want the most productive workforce possible, this is completely understandable. Yet in a small business, the staff is typically limited. Putting heavy demands and stress on employees may accomplish short-term goals, but more often than not, it may lead to employee burnout. It is important to realize that there is a fine line between encouraging your workers and pushing them too hard. Here are five signs that you have crossed that line:

Extra Long Hours — Longer hours are a good thing, right? Not always. According to a Stanford Study, when employees work more than 40 to 50 hours a week, their long term output drops. Longer hours do not always mean that more is getting done. Pushing employees to work later and work longer can cause stress and frustration, and ultimately lower productivity and morale.

A Decrease in Customer Satisfaction — Unhappy employees = unhappy customers. If employees are not motivated to do their job, they lose their drive to please customers. Unsatisfied customers may be an indicator that you may be pushing your employees a little too close to the limit.

Habitual Avoidance of Work (Tardiness and Sick Days) — Employees can call out sick or come to work late for numerous reasons. If you find certain employees consistently struggling to attend work or attend on time, it could be a red flag. Overworked or overstressed employees will begin to resent coming into work and will find ways to avoid it as a result.

Lack of Team Mentality — One of the first things to go from overworking your employees is the collective sense of community. If you notice cliques forming or finger-pointing, it is probably time to examine internal processes and find ways to adjust it.

Having an engaged, inspired, and happy workforce should be a priority. A thriving workforce leads to maximum productivity, lower employee turnover, happier customers, and, ultimately, a happier you.

In order to achieve a healthy balance between productivity and employee happiness, you must step back and do some self-reflection. As an owner, you set the tone and you have a direct impact on worker stress. However, if you have already self-assessed, adjusted, and fixed what you can, the problem may lie in your hires.

Even the best hires can get overworked, but their threshold for burning out may be higher than a subpar employee. Consider beefing up your vetting process — start looking for key traits and experience, or, more simply, use the Bikelane HIRE tool. We help sift through thousands of applicants to secure better hires, faster.