9 Ways To Help and Support Colleagues at Work

Updated February 28, 2023

Getting along with colleagues at work is important for inspiring teamwork and creating a healthy work environment. Being able to provide support to others at work is one way to build relationships with your colleagues and be a valuable team member.

In this article, we will explain the importance of helping and supporting colleagues at work, how you can provide support and the key benefits of doing so.

Why is it important to help others at work?

Helping your colleagues at work is important to maintaining a stable workplace. Some other benefits to supporting others at work include:

  • Morale: Kindness in offering help when needed can improve morale.

  • Support: When you support your colleagues, they may be more likely to support you.

  • Leadership: Helping others is an important quality for developing leadership skills.

  • Health: A happy work environment can reduce stress and improve your health.

  • Productivity: When colleagues support each other and work as a team, they are often able to work more productively.

Related: How To Ask for Help At Work

Tips for helping and supporting colleagues at work

Knowing when and how to offer support to colleagues at work can be a challenge, but helping others encourages a collaborative work environment. Here are tips for helping and supporting your colleagues:

1. Communicate often

Communicating with colleagues helps build a relationship and can inspire teamwork. Here are ways to establish good communication:

  • Greet coworkers: Say hello to your colleagues when you see them. Make an effort to acknowledge them.

  • Check in: Ask how your colleagues are feeling and how their day is going.

  • Listen: Pay attention to what they say.

  • Make eye contact: Maintaining eye contact is important for respectful communication.

  • Show respect: Be respectful of boundaries and be conscious of how you behave when communicating.

Consider establishing a channel or method by which communication is easy and comfortable for all team members such as a social media group, a work app for an employee chat or you could schedule weekly meetings.

Example: You can install a team app on every work computer to provide easy contact among all employees and encourage colleagues to share about their work progress.

Related: Work Colleagues: Definition and How To Communicate With Them

2. Recognize their challenges

Be aware of your surroundings at work and try to notice what may cause a colleague to struggle. You can ask how you can be of help when you see they are dealing with a challenge. Use your own experience to help recognize when others are struggling. For example, when there is a new colleague starting at the company where you work, consider what challenged you when you first started working there and see if you can offer help with orientation tasks.

Example: If you notice a colleague is stressed and working hard to meet a deadline, stop by their desk and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Listening to their concerns can show empathy and help them feel less stressed.

3. Volunteer your time

If you notice a colleague needs help or has a large workload, offer to help them complete some tasks. Sometimes offering moral support is enough if you do not have time or are not permitted to help with their work tasks.

Example: Your colleague may be responsible for contacting clients. If your company policy does not allow you to contact clients in your assigned job role, you can offer support to your colleague by bringing a coffee to their desk while they make calls.

Related: How To Help a New Coworker in Your Workplace

4. Give advice

Giving advice is a great way to offer support to your colleagues at work. Draw on your experience with the company and from your own job duties to advise other team members. Use these tips to help guide your advice:

  • Ask. Before offering advice, be sure it is something your colleague wants.

  • Be kind. Try not to judge your colleague, and give advice that is kind and helpful.

  • Be honest. Honesty helps ensure that the advice you give is helpful.

  • Listen. Listen to what your colleague has to say and pay attention to how they respond to your advice.

  • Collaborate. When giving advice, try to find a solution together to fix the colleague's problem.

Constructive criticism is a form of advice appropriate and often encouraged at work. Providing colleagues with useful feedback on their work helps them to improve and may increase productivity at work.

Example: If there is a new colleague starting at the company, offer to give them an office tour and share your tips on how to be most efficient while at work.

Read more: How To Give Constructive Criticism

5. Build a relationship

Building a relationship with your colleagues at work can prepare you to support each other when needed. Take the time to learn about your colleagues' interests, since these can be topics to talk about when establishing daily communication. Be aware of professional boundaries, but try to be friendly with all of your colleagues. This can help establish a collaborative environment to work in.

Example: Establish a weekly email for featuring a colleague where they can share their hobbies with other colleagues.

6. Offer praise

Acknowledging achievements can show colleagues that you care. You can praise your colleagues for minor accomplishments to boost their confidence and show that you appreciate them.

Example: Assign a space in the office where colleagues can write messages to congratulate each other and recognize their accomplishments.

Read more: 30 Genuine Compliments To Give Your Coworkers

7. Perform an act of kindness

Doing something kind and unexpected can improve someone's day. Here are examples of acts of kindness for colleagues:

  • Bring in donuts.

  • Get everyone a coffee.

  • Submit positive feedback to the manager.

  • Take a colleague to lunch.

  • Leave a kind note on their desk.

Read more: 15 Effective Ways To Show Workplace Kindness

8. Organize a group lunch

Organizing a lunch for your team is a great opportunity to talk and offer support and can be an effective exercise to develop teamwork skills.

Related: 8 Team Building Activities For Improving Communication (With Tips)

9. Inspire positivity

Inspire positivity in the workplace by maintaining a friendly attitude. Your good mood may encourage a colleague's mood, and this can help improve the overall work environment. Remaining self-aware and checking your own emotions can be key to promoting a healthy and stable workplace.

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