Why Asking for Help at Work is a Win-Win Strategy
We live in a culture where we celebrate independence and the ability to achieve things on our own steam. This holds true in the workplace as well, where job advertisements often include mandates such as “must work independently”. As professionals, we feel we should always be able to handle anything and everything.
It’s no surprise then, that so many people – particularly those in a leadership role – have trouble reaching out for help when work becomes overwhelming. Yet, attempting to bear everything on your own shoulders will lead to mistakes and burnout, which is a disservice to the company as well as yourself.
Here are three reasons why you should ask for help when you need it:
It Strengthens Other Employees
Perhaps you feel you’re the best person to do a certain task and that’s why you’ve held onto it for so long. But is it really the best use of your time? How can your coworkers or employees become good at it if they’ve never tried their hand at it?
If your workload is too high and you need help, consider delegating or assigning some of these tasks to another team member. Not only does it free you up to focus on more pressing tasks, but it gives someone else a chance to hone their skills or try something new.
It Improves Teamwork
Employee engagement is directly linked to work environment and how well team members get along with each other. Nothing develops trust and camaraderie between employees like the opportunity to help and support each other. Sharing the workload is part of being a good team player!
It Streamlines Workflow
Reallocating or trans-positioning work can be accomplished through cross-training employees on each other’s roles. The ebb and flow of workload in the office isn’t always predictable. Some employees may suddenly find they have too much on their plate while their neighbour is twiddling their thumbs, only to have the situations reversed the following week. Having multiple employees trained and comfortable on their coworkers’ duties creates a huge advantage as it streamlines the workflow, allowing employees to “change hats” whenever needed to help the work get done more efficiently.
No matter the business, almost everyone comes to a point in their career when they will need to ask for help to avoid burnout or meet deadlines. Instead of avoiding it, embrace it as an opportunity to connect with other employees to create a more effective work environment.