You find yourself in the middle of a project and you become stumped, what do you do? Do you continue to rack your brain because you are reluctant to ask for help? Do you go to your manager and ask for help? Do you ask a co-worker for help? Really, one thing you should not do is obsess over what might happen if you ask for help. Rather than keeping to yourself and missing a deadline, or delivering incomplete work, realize that it’s OK to ask for help.

Discussion Points:
• Do not obsess over what might happen if you ask for help
• It’s OK to ask for help
• Most people will not mind helping when asked
• Benefits of working together to solve an issue
• Encourage employees to ask for help when needed

Some workers may not want to ask for help, they may not want to impose on another worker, they may fear rejection, or they might be afraid it shows incompetence. Most often, people will not mind when asked for their assistance, and many will actually be flattered to be asked for their advice. If you approach someone and show your gratitude for their help, they will most likely feel valued and more willing to help you out of a jam. Workers should especially not take a chance if safety is an issue. If there is danger involved, and the slightest thing could go wrong, the outcome might be devastating. It’s just not worth the risk of not asking for assistance if help is needed.

When asking for help, go with a plan, be prepared with a couple possible solutions. Show that you have actually thought through the process, but you just don’t know which way to go. Asking for assistance can be a powerful tool, and there are benefits to working together to solve an issue. It facilitates creativity, boosts morale, and promotes collaboration that rewards not only the workers, but the department and the company as a whole. Research shows that employee absenteeism is lower and productivity is higher when employees ask for or give help.

As a manager, create a culture within your company that encourages employees to ask for and give help by setting up an organizational policy or process within your work environment. In a workplace where the practice of helping one another is the norm, the benefits may be great for career advancement and company success.

As always, stay safe out there!