Finding a work-life balance is the top challenge for U.S. employees, according to a recent survey from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn partnered with Harris Poll to survey more than 1,000 employees over the age of 18 who are employed full-time, part-time, or self-employed across the United States.
These are the top 10 challenges for U.S. employees, according to LinkedIn:
1. Finding a work-life balance (38%)
2. Managing workloads (31%)
3. Dealing with coworkers (26%)
4. Workplace politics (25%)
5. Dealing with managers (23%)
6. Growing their careers (22%)
7. Being passionate about what they do (19%)
8. Not having somebody to turn to for help (16%)
9. Equal pay and negotiating salaries (15%)
10. Answering all of their emails (13%)
One of the most common themes among LinkedIn’s findings is how hesitant employees are to ask for help, out of fear of looking incompetent, Rachel King writes for Fortune. While 84% of respondents say they have needed help at some point in their career, 35% say they’re too afraid to ask for help. And at least a third of respondents say they’d rather work an extra six hours per week than ask for help, notes King.
Professionals who are too afraid to ask for help risk jeopardizing their careers. About 42% of professionals say that asking for help has helped grow their careers, says Blair Decembrele, a career expert at LinkedIn.
Employees who know how and when to ask for help are more productive than their peers, according to one survey by Vital Smarts. In the survey of managers and employees, researchers found that respondents commonly described high performers as great communicators, saying they “ask for help,” “know who to go to,” and “know when to ask.” In contrast, respondents described average and low performers as having weaker communication skills, saying they have a “lack of communication,” are “slow to respond,” and “don’t listen.”
Great leaders know how to ask for help, too. Managers are often reluctant to ask for help by delegating tasks because they “feel guilty” about asking their employees to do more work, according to Butch Ward, a senior faculty member and former managing director at the Poynter Institute.
“[D]elegation is not a dirty word—as long as you replace what you’re delegating with work that moves the organization forward,” says Ward. Delegating the right tasks will free up your time to lead. Leaders should pass on the tasks that they enjoy least or that they struggle with, suggest two sociology professors at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (King, Fortune, 9/17).