Team Members Who Need Help

Assistance (with clipping path)As the holidays approach and the year-end crunch hits full stride often there are people on your team who get overwhelmed and fall behind.  What do you do when you see that going on?  Do you duck and hide because your plate is over full as well or do you step up to see what you can do to help?

As much as all of us would like to pretend that our personal life never crosses over into our work life that just isn’t the case.  This time of the year seems to bring out the worst of that for most everyone.  There are parties to plan/attend, gifts to buy, people to see and a million things to get done and then we have to go to work.  It’s easy to get swamped by all that needs to happen and people can get behind at this time of the year.

Here are a few tips for helping out someone who is struggling to get the job done:

  1. Ask if they need help.  Often people will plod along trying to get things done without asking for help because they don’t want to appear needy, or incompetent.
  2. Find out what’s causing the issue.  There may be a real problem that needs to be addressed that has caused them to get behind.  It may be they have been sick and missed some time, or a family member is sick, or they are taking on extra work to cover for someone who is taking time off.  There are many reasons that cause a person to get behind, so find out what’s going on.
  3. Focus on the required results.  When discussing what is going on keep the person focused on their work requirements to help them prioritize all their items.  When you are overwhelmed it’s easy to lose track of what’s required by focusing on all the little items.
  4. Avoid making it personal.  To get the team through the problems at hand it’s important to address the problems without making it personal.  Making someone feel guilty or lazy or incompetent isn’t going to help them get moving.  Address the problems and find solutions to get things back on track.
  5. If it’s a chronic problem, address it.  If the person who is struggling with their work is someone who seems to regularly get behind it may be a more serious performance issue.  If so, get with the right people to get it addressed.  Bailing these folks out yet again doesn’t solve the problem and it doesn’t help them or the team.

All of us need help at some time or another so being kind to your struggling teammates will make them more receptive to helping you when you need it.  Step up if one of your team is falling behind.  Knowing that someone cares and is willing to help out may be all the boost they need to get back on task.

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