How To Support Your Team
Updated February 28, 2023
Professionals can support their teams through encouraging behavior and practices. Providing moral and professional support to your team can help your company reach its goals, and adopting supportive professional practices can improve the work quality of you and your team.
In this article, we discuss the importance of supporting your team and share some tips on how to show your support.
Why is it important to support your team?
Supporting your team at work can help boost morale, increase productivity and create a happier and healthier work culture. Professionals who feel supported by their colleagues often are more confident in their abilities and can return the support to others, which can be beneficial to the entire company. Any employee can choose to support their team, and it can be especially important for team leads and managers to create a supportive work environment for everyone.
Related: How To Be a Great Coworker
How to support your team
There are many practices you can adopt to support your team. Most methods of uplifting your team are straightforward and require a small amount of effort. Though these practices may be simple and easy, providing support to your team can yield highly beneficial results. You can follow these 15 tips to achieve a more productive and satisfactory work environment:
1. Communicate often
Establishing reliable methods of communication can help coworkers connect and clarify expectations. Consider endorsing a primary communication method, such as a group chat or email and also encourage face-to-face communication. Another way to ensure communication is to host meetings for everyone to express ideas and concerns and update others on the status of their work.
When communicating with coworkers, it's important to establish a sense of trust. Try not to share sensitive information another coworker told you and try to respond to messages within an appropriate amount of time.
2. Be available to answer questions
Consider letting your coworkers know they can go to you with questions about their job. Though it can always be helpful to provide answers, try to only offer advice on your area of expertise. This can help ensure you give your coworkers accurate and helpful solutions to their problems. If you are unsure how to help, it's beneficial to direct your coworker to someone else.
Establishing yourself as a professional who your peers can ask for help can establish a sense of trust and ease their concerns. It also can open a line of communication that allows you to go to others for help. This can help ensure all professionals are comfortable asking for help within your company, which can lead to a healthier work environment.
3. Provide learning opportunities
Allow your coworkers to strengthen their skills by teaching them how to do something or guiding them through a new task. Providing these learning opportunities can challenge professionals to develop their skills and encourage them to strive for success.
Consider fostering the interest an employee has in learning a new skill for their position. For example, if you work in a kitchen and the professional who is usually responsible for preparing the food ingredients becomes interested in cooking the meals as well, try to create opportunities for them to do so. Allowing professionals to pursue their interests in this way can lead to developing highly skilled employees for your company.
Related: How To Become a Mentor (With FAQs)
4. Encourage coworkers to assume responsibilities
If one of your team members expresses their intent to level up in the company or assume more primary duties, try to encourage their desire. This can lead to higher chances of career growth within your team and can allow your team members to earn promotions.
Assuming more responsibilities can also help your team become more productive and meet company goals. You can support your coworker by expressing confidence in their abilities and helping them achieve their new professional goal.
5. Allow coworkers to express their ideas
Try to create a workspace that celebrates innovative ideas. You can help make others feel more valued as an employee by giving them the chance to voice their ideas. It can lead to company progress and the development of more efficient practices.
To support your team by allowing them to share ideas, consider planning meetings for brainstorming or directly ask for ideas. It can be best to establish open methods of communication specifically to troubleshoot problems as a group. Consider starting a chat over email or other applications to ask for your team's input and hear their ideas.
6. Be open-minded
When attempting to support your team, it's important to be inclusive of your attempts. Try to provide support to all of your team members. Being open-minded at work may mean accepting unconventional ideas, acknowledging and celebrating personal differences and encouraging everyone to take part in work activities.
It can also be helpful to be inclusive in your language to show support for all of your coworkers. For example, call attention to holidays you do not observe in order to wish a nice celebration to those who do. Though it's a small gesture, your team members may appreciate it and feel more respected at work.
7. Prioritize tasks
Though your team is likely working toward the same goal, many of your coworkers may have different tasks than you. Because of this, it is possible a coworker has a task of more importance than others.
Knowing how to prioritize tasks can lead to a more productive work environment. If you notice a coworker is struggling to complete a task that has more importance than the one you are working on, consider asking if they would like help. This can help everyone achieve company goals in a timely manner.
For example, if you are a florist and your coworker is working to arrange a set of bouquets that are scheduled to be picked up soon, it can be helpful if you offer assistance. Even though you are not personally responsible for the task, it's beneficial to the company to ensure the bouquets are ready on time. It also can ease your coworker's mind and show your support for them.
8. Offer praise and feedback
Consider offering consistent praise and feedback to your team members. This can help build their self-esteem and motivate them to continue performing well. Recognizing your coworkers' talents can also set a standard for positive work culture and encourage others to do the same.
9. Develop your emotional intelligence skills
Emotional intelligence skills can help you recognize and manage your own and others' emotions. This skill is very helpful when trying to support your team because it can allow you to regulate your emotions at work and encourage others to do the same. This may help maintain a peaceful and respectful work environment, which can lead to increased focus and productivity.
Recognizing others' thoughts and feelings can help you identify which of your team members might need help and also can lead to a deeper understanding of each other. Try to reach out to your team members who may not regulate their emotions well to understand their motivations and help them develop this soft skill.
10. Take breaks
Taking breaks with your coworkers can provide time for much-needed relaxation and socialization. During breaks, try to talk about non-work-related topics to help bond with your coworkers.
If applicable, consider inviting a coworker on a quick walk around the company campus or to a nearby restaurant or cafe. This can help show your team member you value them as a person as much as you value them as a professional and coworker.
11. Be understanding
Being a supportive coworker can also mean being understanding in times of stress or mistakes. If a coworker seems to struggle, try to understand why they are having difficulty, then make a plan to offer help. This can show your team member you care about their success and can help strengthen their professional skills.
12. Set reasonable expectations
When setting a workplace standard and establishing team goals, try to be reasonable in your demands. Understand your team's capabilities and set goals to match those talents. While it's helpful to challenge your team and provide opportunities for growth, it can also be important to understand their professional limits. This can foster a more comfortable and fair work environment.
13. Ask questions
Try to check in with your coworkers regularly. Ask them questions about their work and recognize any concerns they may have. This can give team members who may not feel confident asking for help a chance to express their struggles and allow you an opportunity to assist them. Checking in with your team members also can remind them you are available to help and care about their success.
14. Use team-building exercises
Try to encourage teamwork in your workplace by using team-building exercises. This can create a great support system for you and your team members by strengthening everyone's teamwork skills. These exercises can also build closer relationships and foster a sense of trust among your team.
Read more: 10 Team-Building Training Exercises
15. Recognize achievements
When you work on a team, one professional's success can uplift the entire company. Consider recognizing achievements of all sizes and celebrate the employees who accomplish them. This can serve as a motivational incentive and show you appreciate your team's efforts.
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