If you sense a lack of cooperation or collaboration among certain team members, the problem may not be people’s unwillingness to give each other a hand. It could be because your employees simply don’t – or won’t – ask for help.

Why not? A leading reason is a fear that asking for help will be perceived as a sign of weakness, laziness or incompetence. Or, their personal values may get in the way. While self-reliance is generally an admirable trait, if taken to an extreme, it can be limiting.

Create a culture where asking for help is encouraged and supported.

Be a good role model by requesting assistance yourself. You might ask for:

  • An introduction or connection to a colleague you’d like to get to know.
  • A recommendation on how to better complete a task, operate a new piece of office equipment, or what to order at the new local café.
  • A second set of eyes on a task or assignment.
  • A piece of information or data you need to complete a project.

Walk the walk. Make it easier for your employees to ask for help by setting the tone yourself.

Follow and foster the SMART approach.

For many people, asking for help is really difficult. They may not even know where to begin. Encourage employees to formulate their requests using the SMART approach. Their asks should be:

  • Specific in nature.
  • Meaningful in terms of why it’s important that they get help.
  • Action-oriented.
  • Realistic, and
  • Time-bound in terms of exactly when they need assistance.

SMART requests are easier, not only to deliver on, but also to respond to in an effective way.

Build your reputation as someone who helps others.

Earn responses to your requests for assistance by generously helping others. They will then want to help you – and each other. Do this on a regular basis. The desire to repay help appears to be hard-wired into the human species, as shown in neuroscientific experiments. This norm of reciprocity is so powerful that you can generally expect help if you’ve offered it to others. It also yields a psychological benefit for those who may be wary to reach out: it’s often easier for a person to do it when they themselves have been helpful.

Company culture is everything when it comes to your employer brand and the image you portray to current and prospective employees. To continually develop your workforce, build your brand, and strengthen your talent management strategy, consider partnering with PrideStaff Fresno. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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