Are You Giving Your Team the Support They Need?

Great leaders know they have a lot of responsibility to their employees. In fact, a Gallup study found that engagement was highest in organizations where employees had some form of communication with their managers each day. Some employees, however, need more than just communication. Employees who highly value support in the workplace want to work for organizations who take an interest and invest in their professional and personal goals. This may seem like a tall order, but leaders have a lot to gain from these employees motivated by growth. 

What Does a Support Driven Employee Look Like?

Identifying employees who see support as a top work value prefer for their organization to invest in furthering their knowledge base. They are the people who have goals and are motivated when others, especially management, take an interest in helping them be achieved. Garnering knowledge, learning the skills that will further their career and reaching new heights in their personal life are all very important to them.

They want development, focus and their questions answered. They need tools to help them complete their jobs and frequent check-ins, or as Michael Heller calls it, “microfeedback.”

Why Support the Support Seekers?

Quantum study found that of the disengaged employees surveyed, 70% reported receiving too little development support from their employers. Contrastly, 54% of highly engaged employees say they were receiving the right amount of development opportunities. Chances are you’ve heard how productive and engaged employees can affect the bottom line.

Talking management and organizations into the professional growth side of support is probably a bit easier than that of the personal. Obviously, employees that take an interest in learning skills are usually more apt to bring that knowledge to their work and, ultimately, the company’s needs. The line between work and home, however, is being blurred in today’s workplace. People are spending more and more time on and in work-life mode. The dedication is wonderful, but the pitfall can be that employees are becoming easy candidates for burnout.

Those employees who value Support will need to be pressed to take a vacation, they likely never want to let their team down or fail to meet a deadline. Press them to take downtime or they are likely to burn out.

What They Wish You Would Quit

Employees who value support from their employers need to feel valued and respected. Talking down to them or ignoring their ideas is one of the biggest ways to make them feel unappreciated. Even something as simple as joking or being sarcastic can offend an employee who values support. Employees who value support are also likely to value teamwork, and with that shows the need for them to form healthy, stable bonds with their coworkers. 

What They Need From You

This probably seems like a tall order for management. Luckily, when employees were asked whether professional development was the employee’s or manager’s responsibility, 81% of respondents said the responsibility was shared. That means if you offer more opportunities for growth, most employees will take it from there. The even greater side of growth opportunities is that you could be offering some right now without even knowing it.

The top 5 preferred formats surveyed employees reported were 1) tuition reimbursement, 2) internal company training, 3) mentoring programs, 4) multi-day conferences and 5) coaching from leadership. Additionally, some support seekers thrive when management offers telework as it appeals to both their need for professional and personal growth.

Support comes in many shapes and sizes. The word probably brings about thoughts of the team who helps customers, clients or users navigate your product or system, or the department who is called whenever a computer has a meltdown/you’ve forgotten your password. As a manager or leader, it is important that you are offering that exact service in your own right. Employees who highly value support in an organization will be more motivated and productive when their company takes an interest in their personal and professional goals.

On the other hand, when people feel supported, they have the space to be creative, iterate, and do their best work. Empowered employees are also free to focus on the areas where they can be most valuable, which leads to a more successful and sustainable organization.” – David Hassell (@YEC)

Measure and analyze your team's personality to get a better grip on what their specific personality types yearn for and what you can do to fulfill those needs.

Bio: Ryan Mead

Ryan Mead is the CEO and Founder of Vitru, an employee assessment tool that provides recruiters, hiring professionals, coaches and managers with the insights they need to manage their teams and make better hiring decisions. Powered by science, yet practical and easy to use for a variety of teams, Vitru works for organizations of all size. Want to learn more? Visit our blog or sign up for a free team building personality test account to assess your team today! Tweet me at@GoVitru

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