As a manager, supporting your teammates through everyday ups and downs is a must. Thoughtful leadership practices encourage growth and trust while simultaneously fostering strong working relationships. In this article, we’ll dive into the importance of providing support in addition to covering ways in which you can build trust through support.
Why is it important to support your team?
There are so many ways to support your team and the benefits of doing so are bountiful. Supporting your team increases creativity and collaboration, builds trust, strengthens relationships, and improves your workplace culture.
Practicing thoughtful leadership is one of the easiest ways to support your team. A positive culture in which your teammates feel appreciated and valued will lead to heightened morale and less stress. Teammates will gain the opportunity to combine skill sets, learn from each other, and be more effective employees.
Support your team today
Build trust and strengthen relationships by supporting your team with regular one-on-ones. Try using a tool like Fellow!
12 ways to support your team
- Communicate often and regularly
- Offer regular check-ins
- Review their work frequently
- Help prioritize their tasks
- Show interest in their life outside of work
- Plan goals together
- Set the standard
- Be available
- Provide learning opportunities
- Encourage accountability
- Celebrate their success
- Make space for problem-solving
1 Communicate often and regularly
Communication is key, especially in a management role. It’s nearly impossible to anticipate your teammates’ needs or encourage growth if you don’t take the time to communicate. As a manager or leader within your organization, you’re responsible for ensuring that your teammates have everything they need to succeed and that they’re content within their role. If you communicate regularly, it will become the norm within your team. Before you know it, you’ll have created a trusting environment that encourages growth while fostering sustainable working relationships.
2 Offer regular check-ins
One of the most effective tactics you can leverage to prioritize communication is hosting regular one-on-one meetings with your teammates. These check-ins serve as a safe space where you can both discuss any wins, as well as any areas that may need improvement. One-on-ones can also be used to make sure everyone on your team is aligned. Do you have a project that’s set to wrap up within the next week or two? Use this time to check in and make sure your direct reports have everything they need to take it over the finish line. You can also use this time to discuss priorities or potential roadblocks that may be hindering your team’s success.
In addition to checking in with your teammates, you should also carve out time to check in with yourself. Are you taking the time to level up and learn new skills? Are you supporting your direct reports and helping them do their best work? As a manager, you have to prioritize perpetual growth.
3 Review their work frequently
As a manager or leader within your organization, you have to make sure you have a pulse on what’s happening. It’s your responsibility to be the liaison between your direct reports and executives, meaning you have to check in and make sure your teammates are on the right track.
Checking in also demonstrates that you care. You can be a manager that checks in frequently while still demonstrating trust. Occasionally, your teammates may not speak up when they hit a roadblock, or they may not complete a task the way you had intended. If you check in, you can nip the issues in the bud before your team invests more time and resources into going down the wrong path.
4 Help prioritize their tasks
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is getting started. Some people thrive in chaotic environments with little to no direction, but it can be extremely difficult for others. A great way to support your direct reports is by helping them prioritize their tasks. If they have a long list of tasks to work through, they may feel overwhelmed trying to take on everything by themselves. Instead, host a check in and help them work through their list. You can work together to create a to-do list in order of importance so they know exactly where to start and finish.
5 Show interest in their life outside of work
It can be difficult to cultivate strong manager-employee relationships; to form these bonds, you need to express an interest in your teammates beyond what they do at work. Take the time to get to know them outside of the workplace. Ask them about their families, learn about their favorite restaurants, or even just discuss your weekend plans together.
6 Plan goals together
If you want your teammates to be excited about shared missions, they have to be involved in the decision-making process. Having your teammates collaborate when planning goals is a great way to get everyone aligned and working towards the same objective.
7 Set the standard
If you wish to create a thoughtful environment where your teammates feel supported, you have to lead by example. Set the standard by lending a helping hand and always having an open-door policy. If your teammates feel as though they can go to you when in need, they’ll be more inclined to mimic that behavior by being there for their peers.
8 Be available
Do you have an open-door policy or virtual office hours? Whether you work in an office or remotely, you should make it known that you’re always available to chat or lend a helping hand. If you’re constantly busy and don’t actively make time for your teammates, they won’t feel inclined to approach you when they’re in need. It’s important that your teammates don’t feel scared to approach you. Additionally, don’t be afraid to take a proactive stance. Set aside a block of time every week where your teammates can drop in and chat.
9 Provide learning opportunities
Finding ways to support your team can be difficult. However, investing in your teammates’ personal and professional growth is a great way to show your appreciation for them. If you provide your teammates with learning opportunities, they’ll know that they’re valued and appreciated. Additionally, employees will be more inclined to stay within an organization that invests in their personal and professional growth. If they feel stagnant, they may be inclined to move to a company that provides them with more opportunities.
10 Encourage accountability
If you want to run a successful, effective team, you have to teach everyone to stop playing the blame game. Taking up and taking accountability when necessary is a must for any working professional. Having personal accountability is all about delivering on your promises and accepting responsibility for your actions’ outcomes (even if they’re not ideal), and you should encourage your teammates to do the same. If something goes awry and you’re at fault, step up and take accountability. As a manager or leader within your organization, you have to lead by example and strive to develop personal accountability within your team. If you point fingers at your teammates, they won’t feel supported or appreciated.
11 Celebrate their success
Effective leadership is all about being thoughtful. One of the easiest ways to demonstrate gratitude is to celebrate the wins, no matter how big or small. Taking the time to reward excellent teamwork or individual contributions amongst your team is a great way to support your team. Has someone just wrapped up a massive project? Shout them out in your shared Slack channel! Has someone announced something exciting on a team call? Make note of it and reward their behavior! If you don’t recognize your teammates’ success, they’ll leave and go where they feel more appreciated. A simple shoutout goes a long way!
12 Make space for problem-solving
As a manager, you may feel inclined to jump in and solve every problem that comes your way. Instead, it’s much more beneficial to take a collaborative approach by empowering your teammates to problem-solve together. Michael Bungay Stanier stated, “Stop doing everybody else’s work for them. Stop jumping in to fix it, save it, solve it, rescue it, just slow down and let other people take responsibility for the work that is theirs to do.” This quote reiterates the importance of empowering those around you to do their best work. Just because you’re a manager doesn’t mean you have to jump in and fix every single problem on your own. Effective teamwork is all about collaboration.
Effective ways to support your team
Are you ready to create a successful, effective workplace by supporting your team with thoughtful leadership practices? This article outlined 12 ways to support your team, meaning you’re now set to create an inclusive, supportive culture that empowers everyone on your team to thrive and do their best work!