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How to Ask a Boss for More Personnel

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Asking your boss for more personnel might be a touchy subject, especially if your company is trying to cut back on expenses. But when your work load is unmanageable and you need help with projects and assignments, your boss will likely understand your request as long as you present it in a positive manner. Your boss probably doesn't want to hear complaints, but he may be open to personnel suggestions as long as they're intended to make the company more productive and efficient.

Present the Need

When you ask your boss for more personnel, approach the topic with a problem-solution mindset. You're not complaining -- you're presenting a need and have thought through potential personnel solutions. According to "Forbes," you don't want your boss to think that you're just looking for a handout or you're too lazy to do the job yourself. By presenting the need and offering personnel options, it shows your boss that you have initiative and want to strategize solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Suggest Part-Time Personnel

Asking your boss for additional staff might be better received if you ask for part-time rather than full-time help. Since part-time workers have reduced hours they also have lower overall wages, and often receive fewer perks and benefits. By requesting part-time personnel, your boss might be less likely to see you as a needy or demanding worker. If you only need extra help during busy seasons, ask your boss to consider hiring temporary staff to meet short-term workforce needs.

Provide Statistics

Statistics are effective when backing your request for more workers. If you go to your boss and say, "I need help because I'm overwhelmed and can't get the job done on time," your boss might wonder if you're inefficient, lazy or incompetent. If you approach your boss by saying, "We have two months to finish the ad campaign and need two more staff to conduct 3,000 polls," your boss will have statistical information to back up your request. Solid facts and tangible requests give your boss specific personnel options to consider.

Focus on Quality

Most bosses don't want to risk losing customers or clients because the quality of products and services has gone downhill. When you ask for more personnel, express your desire to ensure that customers get their merchandise and services as efficiently as possible. In the New York Times article, "It's Not Mount Everest. It's My Workload.," Ann Latham, president of the Uncommon Clarity consulting firm, suggests telling your boss that you don't want to cut corners or let important details slip through the cracks. When your boss is told the benefits new personnel add to the big picture, she is more likely to grant your request.


As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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