In a world fraught with deadlines and work overload, the cynical among us may hesitate before offering to help others on our team. But supporting co-workers—and vice versa—can literally help alleviate stress, strengthen working relationships, and result in a more positive and productive work environment.
With that in mind, here are a few of the best ways to lend a helping hand at work.
Find answers. Don’t just drop problems at others’ feet and walk away. Suggest ways to fix pressing issues. Not only will you be part of the solution, but you’ll earn the gratitude and respect of others.
Pitch In. If a co-worker seems to be struggling with a project, think of ways to help (or straight out ask what they need) and offer to do whatever you can. Later on, when you need help, they’ll likely be happy to reciprocate.
Offer public thanks. It really does “take a village” to accomplish major goals. Acknowledge co-workers publicly for any help they’ve given you, including time, ideas, and suggested direction. They’ll feel good about themselves and appreciative of your support. • Give constructive feedback. If you see an area where a person can improve, gently suggest a better way to accomplish a task. If necessary, help walk them through the alternative process to make sure they’ve got it right.
Listen. If you feel someone is going through a rough time, either personally or professionally, offer to hear them out. Often, they’ll be grateful to air their issues to an impartial listener.
Bring someone a cup of coffee. Even a small kindness can go a long way. You’ll get to know the person better and become a more valued colleague; perhaps even a friend.
If you regularly help others, your assistance will be remembered. You’ll develop strong bonds with co-workers. Your boss will put greater trust in you. You may even have more fun, be more motivated, and feel more satisfied with your job!