Why Helping Colleagues Is Good Business
The Benefits of Altruism
There’s a stigma attached to selflessness that isn’t entirely unfounded. A selfless act helping colleagues may lead to people walking all over your ambitions to further their own. A selfless act, as a rule, doesn’t expect any kind of compensation or reciprocity. They could damage your future prospects, especially in a business setting where most of the people you meet are competition.
Why engage in altruism at all? Because it’s good business for yourself and your company.
Doing a favor, no matter how small, carries an informal agreement with it. A social contract, regardless of whether you’re expecting something in return or not. You should never expect, or count on, the return of a favor. But there’s no question that being helpful towards your colleagues nurtures a mutual understanding. These potential acts of reciprocity might save you when you’re in a tight bind with work. Likewise, they too know you have their back in times of need.
Favors can draw you out of your comfort zone, especially in a workplace or business environment. When taking up a task as a favor, you will gain new knowledge you can apply elsewhere. An employee or boss who knows the ins and outs of their workplace is far more likely to be seen as an authority. These moments of self-improvement can aid your career and expand your views.
Of course, this will not happen overnight or with a single favor. But, over time, there will be a cumulative benefit to learning from the tasks and skills around you. Being confronted with unknown situations will also help you enhance your problem-solving skills.
If you’re known as a helpful person, people will be more willing to be helpful to you as well. This boost in reputation can help colleagues and employees open up to you. In turn, this could lead to new contacts and valuable insights into the pain points of your company. If you want to know how to improve efficiency at your company as a boss, or simply want a more conducive working environment as a colleague, you need to reinvent yourself as dependable.
Long-term Benefits and the Big Picture
Doing favors and assisting employees or colleagues might cost you time. It might even cost you money. But inefficiency in the short term will allow you to reap benefits in the long run. If your colleagues and employees are happy in their workplace, their work and cooperation ethics will flourish. Their attitude will change to benefit your company, and they might even feel more comfortable going the extra mile for you.
Studies have shown that the most helpful colleagues perform best. When an environment is created without favors, altruism, or selfless acts, then productivity suffers. This isn’t to say you should forget who those around you are: colleagues in a place of work. Don’t allow yourself to become a welcome mat. It is far too easy for generosity to be taken for granted. Assert yourself as an equal to leverage your favors’ worth, and no favor done will ever be a waste of time.