My wife is in an assistant position at a large company; it's her and her senior on a team, with several teams per branch. Each team has one senior and one or more assistants.
Recently, this company has seen a large increase in the amount of work they handle. However, my wife's team has seen the largest increase in volume in their branch by enormous margins. Customers choose which team they'd like to work with, and my wife's senior is very good at her job; most customers choose their team. Over the past few months, they have repeatedly been the top team in their branch (sometimes outproducing the entire rest of the branch), and just recently they were the top team in the state. By every available metric, their team is doing an incredible job.
However, my wife is having a very difficult time handling this larger workload. She has had to stay late nearly every day for months (I believe she's being compensated for this, but that's not the issue here), she's suffering small breakdowns, and experiencing dramatically increased amounts of stress. We've both agreed this is not a sustainable path, and that burnout is just around the corner, if not something worse.
To put it plainly, she needs help. Some teams have additional assistants; my wife would like to strongly push for one (team sizes are up to the discretion of the manager). However, she's concerned that a request for less work might reflect negatively on her. I firmly believe their team qualifies for an additional assistant, but don't know how to clearly demonstrate that you need help, not that you simply want it. We're both young, and not familiar with how to best advocate for ourselves.
As a complication, about a year ago my wife's manager did bring in an additional assistant with the intention of helping my wife. However, the branch was hit with a series of external tragedies which left them understaffed, and the extra assistant was moved to another team to fill this gap. As an attempt to still help my wife, the manager assigned someone from another branch to take on some of my wife's work. Unfortunately, this has resulted in more harm than good. Perhaps it's the difficulty of coordinating between offices, but my wife has found herself redoing most of the work the outside assistant offers. We believe this weakens my wife's position, as her manager may believe she's provided adequate assistance.
How should my wife approach a meeting where she's requesting extra help? That is, my wife's team cannot handle this level of work, but due to the nature of the company, they can't (easily) regulate the amount of work their team gets. To fix this, my wife wants to bring on another assistant. How can she best present her case to her manager? We're interested in:
- Numbers or arguments to have prepared.
- Points to draw attention towards.
- Points to avoid.
- A general attitude to approach the meeting with (should she be stating this as a absolute need or as a request, etc...).
In addition, we believe her senior would vouch for her as well.
(As an aside: I know leave time is usually suggested in these scenarios. Unfortunately, she has no extra leave time for the remainder of the year).