The Best Way to Support

Good managers or leaders are able to provide the right support and the right challenge at the right times. That’s what we call calibrating your leadership to the situation. (To download a free instruction guide and the Support Challenge Matrix tool, check out this page.) It’s important for you the leader to show support to your employees in order to foster a positive and productive work environment.


Here are a few specific ways that you can show or give support to your employees:


  1. Provide feedback: Regularly providing feedback to your employees can help them understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Encourage them to continue developing a specific skill. Be sure to give both positive and constructive feedback. Focus on specific behaviors and actions rather than making personal attacks against who they are.
  2. Offer training and development opportunities: Providing your employees with opportunities to learn and grow can help them feel supported and valued. This can include training and development programs, workshops, or mentorship opportunities.
  3. Create a positive work culture living your core values: Establishing a positive work culture can go a long way in supporting your employees. At the heart of your culture should be your core values. Make sure these are known by everyone, and that they know the specific behaviors that exemplify those values. This can involve promoting a respectful and inclusive environment, recognizing and celebrating achievements, and encouraging work-life balance.
  4. Communicate openly and transparently: Being open and transparent with your employees -with specific feedback – can help build trust and foster a sense of support. Keep them informed about company decisions and goals. Be open to their feedback and concerns.
  5. Show appreciation: Recognizing and appreciating the hard work and contributions of your employees can go a long way in making them feel supported. This can involve thanking them for their efforts, or praising their work in team meetings. You can provide small gestures of appreciation such as gift cards or treats. Bonus Tip: Ask each team member in private how they enjoy receiving appreciation – whether in public or in private. That way your recognition can be specific to the person.
  6. Offer support in times of need: When your employees are facing personal or professional challenges, show support by offering assistance. While you should not pry or ask questions that can be too personal or considered unethical, you can make it known that you are willing to set aside time for them to share when they are struggling. As you learn the struggles they are going through, you can offer specific support. This can involve offering time off, providing resources or referrals, or simply being a listening ear.


Follow these tips, and you can show or give support to your employees in specific and meaningful ways. You can help foster a culture where everyone feels valued and supported. When people feel supported, they are more like to be engaged and exhibit higher levels of satisfaction. And in that kind of culture, people are set free to do their best work.


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(Want to become the leader everyone wants to follow? Learn more here about why support and challenge are important.)

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Micah Ray

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