15 Warning Signs Your Employee Is Having a Problem

Posted on May 30, 2015 by VITAL WorkLife

employee problem

Everyone has a bad day from time to time. While a few bad days do not necessarily signal a personal or work performance problem, changes in employee work performance over a period of time may indicate a problem exists. Early identification of an employee issue allows you to provide assistance before it becomes unmanageable.

Watch for these 15 warning signs your employee is having a problem:

Work Behavior Changes

  1. Changes in work performance, e.g., difficulty meeting deadlines, mistakes or errors
  2. Difficulty concentrating or recalling instructions
  3. Fatigue, lack of interest or participation
  4. Excessive amount of personal time on the telephone, on break or unaccounted-for time


  1. Arriving late or leaving early
  2. Excessive excused and/or unexcused absences
  3. Frequent Monday or Friday absences, or absences with a pattern

Relationships with Others

  1. Edgy, irritable, impatient
  2. Over-sensitive, over-reactive, moody
  3. Suspicious, defensive, blaming others
  4. Yelling, harsh language, bullying
  5. Withdrawn or avoiding co-workers

Other Changes

  1. Accidents
  2. Deterioration in appearance
  3. Asking for advances or borrowing money from others

Being aware of these warning signs will help you recognize when a potential problem is developing – especially if you notice a pattern of one or more of these behaviors evolving. As a supervisor or manager, you can bring about positive changes at work. By addressing performance problems proactively and by acting quickly in the event of a workplace crisis, you can maintain a productive and safe work environment.

We Can Help

You do not have to handle tough workplace issues on your own. If you have questions regarding the potential meaning or severity of the behaviors, feel free to call us at 800.383.1908 to discuss possible approaches with one of our counselors. VITAL WorkLife can assist you in developing a plan to address it immediately. It is always best to address concerns as soon as they are identified.

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