It’s estimated that around half of all workers feel burned out at times, and only a small number of those will ask for help.
Many men, in particular, feel weak if they ask for help or fear their boss will think they’re not up to their role and find someone else.
But this isn’t the case, and we should all be prioritizing our physical and mental health.
There is no shame in telling your boss you’re struggling and asking for help, and I’m here to help you understand that!
Here are some of the ways how to tell your boss you’re struggling and ask for more support:
Steps to Take to Tell Your Boss You’re Struggling
Talk to Other Coworkers First
Before going to your boss, it’s almost certainly going to be beneficial if you talk about how you’re feeling with some of your coworkers first.
It’s possible they feel the same, or at the very least they can see how you’re being affected from the outside.
I’m sure they’ll be able to offer some valuable support and will possibly have some good advice about how to tackle the issue.
Plan What You’re Going to Say
Planning is key. Sit down and jot out a few notes so you’re ready when it comes to talking to your boss.
Think about what you’re going to say and how you’ll phrase it.
It’s important that your boss understands the situation and where you are coming from and you’re able to explain things clearly without ranting.
Ask to Speak to Your Boss 1-On-1
This isn’t a conversation you have in passing or by catching your boss when he’s free for a few minutes.
Request a private meeting and make sure you’ve got plenty of time in advance to explain things.
If your boss isn’t open to the idea, then it’s worth going to HR instead and asking for help.
Whatever you do, don’t let your boss fob you off or stall on this, it’s too important.
Be Positive and Explain What You Need
The way you phrase things and how you explain to your boss that you’re struggling will be instrumental in how they react.
Try and be positive and explain that you want to find ways to improve your performance, but it’s simply not possible as things currently are.
It’s a thin line, but you need to make sure that you don’t get angry or show your frustrations, but you need to stress how serious things are.
Escalate the Issue if They Don’t Take It Seriously
If your boss doesn’t take you seriously or isn’t open to helping, then it’s time to escalate the issue.
You could approach HR, a mentor in the company, or even an outside organization if you feel that it’s necessary.
It’s important to take positive action and don’t just sit around waiting for things to get better.
Because things won’t get better and you might get to the point where you suffer some serious ill effects.
Start Prioritizing Your Health
Feeling burned out is the perfect warning sign that you need to start putting your health first.
Start taking care of yourself at work by setting realistic goals, taking breaks when necessary, and delegating tasks where possible.
Outside of work you should establish some self-care routines like meditating, taking walks in nature, and doing things that make you happy.
You may feel like you’re too busy or you aren’t up to doing these things, but you simply have to make time.
How to Tell Your Boss You’re Struggling
When it comes to how you’re going to tell your boss that you’re struggling, it’s going to come down to your individual situation.
If you’re completely stuck, a few ways you could approach the topic are by saying:
- “This isn’t easy to say and I’ve waited as long as I can but I’m struggling with my current workload and I’m at a point where I can’t keep up.”
- “I need to talk about a problem I’m having and I could really use some help.”
- “I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and I need some support to make sure that I can continue to do my job effectively.”
- “I’ve hit a point where I can’t do my job effectively, I have some ideas I’d like to talk about with you.”
- “I’ve hit a point where I’m feeling totally overwhelmed with my workload. I need some additional support and have a few suggestions if you’re open to them.”
No matter what you choose to say, it’s important to remember that it’s ok to ask for help from your boss – that’s what they’re there for!
It can be a difficult conversation to have, but with the right approach, you should come out of it with a plan and feeling like you have your boss’ support.
This will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders and it’s a win-win as you’re going to be more motivated and doing better work.
What if Your Boss Doesn’t Help?
If your boss doesn’t take your concerns seriously or provide any real help, then it’s time to escalate the issue.
Go to HR and explain the situation and make sure you have evidence to back up your case.
It’s important to take positive action, because sitting around waiting for things to get better isn’t going to do you any good.
If you feel like there are no channels you can go down within your organization then it’s time to start looking for a new job.
Burnout is that serious and your mental health should be that important to you.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.