How to Support Your Team Leader At Work


December 20, 2019

How to Support Your Team Leader At Work

After four weeks of public debate on the top leadership challenges, the 2019 DDI Leadership Tournament revealed some interesting pointers on how to support senior team members.

Managers not only have to deliver results, but they also need to make sure their team is happy and performing at their best. Striking this balance can leave some leaders feeling lonely, underappreciated, and unable to ask for help when they need it most.

To make matters worse, TotalJobs reports that over 60% of employees, across all levels, feel lonely at work. When managers feel lonely or isolated at work, this can have far-reaching impacts for the entire team.

Join us as we take a closer look into how businesses can support their leaders to make sure everyone feels included and happy within the workplace.

Common Leadership Challenges

There are many benefits to combating loneliness and isolation at work. Finding a sense of belonging in the workplace can improve psychological safety and employee engagement.

But, creating a culture where everyone feels included certainly isn’t an easy task. And, you’ll need to address some of the most common business leadership challenges to foster a happy, inclusive workplace.

1. Shooting in the Dark

Shockingly, DDI’s Frontline Leader Project revealed it takes an average of four years for managers to receive any leadership training from their employer.

Errors and poor management skills are inevitable when businesses throw employees into leadership roles without the necessary training. New managers are left to their own devices to sink or swim as they shoot in the dark with poor direction from above.

2. Pressure From Both Side

A study from Columbia University revealed that 18% of managers and supervisors suffer with symptoms of depression, compared to just 12% of workers.

This staggering spike in depression arises from several different factors, including social position, their responsibility, and of course the increased workplace stress that is experienced by some middle-managers.

A recent study found that 5.6% of full-time workers suffer from stress-induced depression.

While it’s impossible to change this situation altogether, businesses can show empathy towards those dealing with depression and understand that middle managers are particularly vulnerable.

3. Adapting to Change

Rapid technological advancements mean that businesses have become more dynamic than ever before. Managers must keep up-to-date with the latest tech and implement new processes, including training and upskilling junior team members on the new systems.

Over the next three years, nearly 75% of businesses expect to implement changes at a higher intensity than ever before. However, over 50% of organisational changes are unsuccessful, due to insufficient planning, inadequate resources and lack of support.

Repeated failure can be overwhelming for managers — especially if team members are questioning their competence and superiors aren’t offering constructive support to make sure your business has a comprehensive change strategy.

How to Support Your Team Leader

No one should ever feel completely isolated at work. Everyone deserves some TLC from time-to-time, to boost morale and increase motivation, which will help to send your team’s performance through the roof.

And remember, senior managers may need a little extra support to make sure your business operates as efficiently as possible.

Here are a few simple tips for supporting business leaders in your workplace.

1. Encourage Leaders to Share Their Struggles

When business activities aren’t going to plan, managers can feel like the whole world is against them.

Burning the midnight oil can feel incredibly lonely if business leaders don’t have a wider support network to share their struggles with.

Good managers will take the time to listen to their employees’ professional needs and desires to build healthy, happy, and productive teams. Developing open lines of communication gives managers the opportunity to speak freely about any challenges and seek the support they need.

Research shows that social exclusion in the workplace can dramatically impact a manager’s self-esteem, identity and performance.

Make sure that your managers and team feel connected and aligned, as supportive teams can be the difference between a happy manager who sails a smooth ship and an unhappy manager who runs a ground.

2. Demonstrate Loyalty

Loyalty is all about putting others first and staying by their side through thick and thin.

Successful businesses will create a respectful culture where employees and leaders share mutual understanding and appreciation.

Building mutual trust gives managers wiggle room to implement new ideas (in the knowledge that their team members will play ball), and their superiors will provide them with fair and meaningful feedback if things don’t go to plan.

If managers are constantly treading on eggshells, they’ll play things safe and businesses won’t make progressive changes.

3. Offer Solutions

When things go wrong (which they will), focus on solutions instead of problems.

Identify what went wrong, understand why the manager did what they did, and create plans of action to prevent the same mistakes happening again.

Crucially, businesses should never use managers as scapegoats to offload blame when things go haywire. Embarrassing managers in front of team members can cause all sorts of problems.

4. Get the Basics Right

The simplest way to support leaders is by building teams who take pride in their work and take the initiative to make life easier for their managers.

Whether it’s working things out for themselves before asking for help, or checking their work for errors before forwarding it to their manager, small things can make a world of difference for business leaders.

As such, businesses should factor common sense into their recruitment strategies, to attract individuals who don’t need someone to hold their hand along every step of the way.

Sure, everyone needs guidance from time-to-time, but a little common sense can go a long way.

Singing From the Same Hymn Sheet

Successful organisations rely on all staff members to work together in harmony, communicate freely and support each others’ needs.

Supporting business leaders is all about building trust and respect across organisations. Give leaders the confidence they need to implement exciting changes as well as space to breathe when things don’t go to plan.

Here at Collude, our professional networking platform presents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to promote positive communication across their organisation, that supports managers in building faster, stronger, and happier teams.

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