It takes a lot of self-awareness and humility to ask for help. Self-sufficiency is always a valuable skill, but so is being able to identify when you’re in over your head, overworked, or in an impossible time crunch. When your employees ask for help, it’s not a sign of weakness—it’s a way for your employees to set themselves up for success. Here are ways for you to make it easier for your employees to ask for help.
Model the behavior
The best way to make sure your employees know what’s acceptable is to model it yourself. When your employees see you doing it, they’ll know it’s expected of everyone and they’ll naturally do it more. Ask for help brainstorming or editing a document or presentation or organizing new procedures. Ask an employee for help learning a new skill or for information that you need to complete a project. You could even ask for their advice or insight in dealing with a particular client or customer.
Create a supportive culture
Encourage your employees to help each other out and make asking for help the norm. Instead of fostering cutthroat competition, remind your employees that they’re all on the same team and should collaborate to achieve goals. Reward team goals more than individual accomplishments so your employees prioritize communication and cooperation.
Help them know what to ask
Sometimes people don’t even know what they don’t know so they can’t even figure out what to ask. Have your employees write out goals when they embark on a new project so they can identify where they need to be and map out the steps to get to. The more precise their roadmap is, the easier it will be for them to identify what they don’t know, what they don’t understand, and what tools and resources they need to be successful.
Teach them how to ask
And not just how to ask, but who to ask. Make sure job descriptions and expectations are clearly communicated so that everyone understands what every other person does and who might be useful to them in any situation. Then, coach them in asking specific questions that explain why the help would be meaningful and how it helps achieve a goal. Teach them how to word a request so that everyone understands what’s expected and how to respond. And be clear on the means to do it—can you rely on a face-to-face request or will an email or text suffice?
Encourage open-mindedness and helpfulness
Just as you worked to normalize asking for help, normalize the mindset of being open-minded to the help you receive. After all, there’s no sense in asking for help if you’re going to ignore it. And while you’re at it, make the mindset of helping out your coworkers the norm. We’re all on the same team and when one person is successful, we’re all successful.
For more tips on making it easier for your employees to ask for help, contact Pridestaff Thousand Oaks today.