Evidence1 shows that there is a direct link between staff who are happy and increased productivity and that one of the biggest impacts on staff happiness is being managed by a supportive team leader or line manager.
Supported and happy employees will result in a team that is not only more effective, but also more efficient. Here are our twelve tips on how team leaders can be supportive of their staff.
Twelve tips on how to support your team
1: Emphasise company culture – shared values and common goals will help to define your company culture. A positive company culture can improve teamwork, raise moral and increase efficiency and productivity.
2: Strengthen communication protocols – misunderstandings at work can result in costly mistakes. Clear communication protocols, open and frequent communication via user friendly channels and education on how to use them, will improve communication, reduce the chance of misunderstandings, and ensure accountability.
3: Team collaboration – hire people who are ready to collaborate. Achieve this by assembling a team that has the breadth of skills needed and enable them to share knowledge quickly. This will allow the flexibility required to deal with the unexpected, and efficiently complete tasks to deadlines.
4: Set a purpose – setting a purpose and enabling your team to reach their full potential can help your team to grow and learn. Defining your company’s North Star, or true goal, can help to give your team direction and improve their long-term growth.
5: Identify and align goals with performance – when done correctly, goal setting can help to improve employee engagement, elevate performance, and benefit the business. Bespoke and meaningful goals that are measured on an individual’s performance will focus commitment and drive higher productivity.
6: Encourage learning opportunities – providing opportunities for employee training and development is essential to company success. Giving your staff the opportunity to improve their skills and develop their talents will enhance employee engagement and increase job satisfaction.
7: Instil a culture of coaching – developing your employees through a coaching programme will help them to improve their communication and collaboration, take greater responsibility for their assigned tasks, and gain higher satisfaction from their work.
8: Provide employees with technology – information sharing platforms, performance management tools, online training, task automation, or inventory control platforms; all these tools can encourage collaborative working, increase peer-to-peer recognition, improve companywide communication and workplace social engagement. Choose solutions that are simple to use and accessible to all, as everyone interacts better with technology they are familiar with.
9: Lead with gratitude – showing genuine gratitude to your team isn’t about platitudes. It is about instilling appreciation into your working day and offering positive reinforcement that will create a culture of trust and boost productivity.
10: Be authentic and vulnerable – emotionally connected staff are more likely to be productive. Sharing your emotions and experiences can build an authentic relationship with your employees. However, getting the boundaries right is important, as work is not the right place to overshare.
11: Prioritise well-being – with one in six2 British workers experiencing mental health problems at any one time, looking after your employees’ mental and physical well-being promotes a more holistic work culture. Team leaders are in the unique position to influence how well-being is viewed and implemented in the workplace. Mentally and physically healthy employees will have more stamina to adjust to change and more resilience when faced with problems.
12: Support a culture of asking for help – many people are reluctant to ask for help. Creating a workplace where this is the norm will enable your employees to speak up when something is wrong. Leading by example will encourage your team to seek advice and help to change their mind set by emphasising the view that asking for help is a sign of strength.