— 6 min read

Creating happy teams with supportive leadership

Creating happy teams with supportive leadership

Our team at Weekdone is always interested in recent trends about employee well-being and engagement. As we are helping companies to build great teams, we often get caught up in the statistics.

Therefore, once again, it is staggering to witness that according to Gallup survey, employee engagement has declined to mere 30%. It is an all-time low for everybody and evidently it is bad for business and people spirit. The solution is everything but simple.

The problem itself boils down to so many variables that it is getting harder and harder to find the one optimal solution. But together with a help from modern technology and supportive leadership, a great push towards happier teams could be achieved.

Professor Schyns has explained supportive leadership as a leadership style that is associated with a concern for the needs and well-being of followers, and the facilitation of a desirable climate for interaction between leaders and followers.

There is no obvious line distinguishing supportive leadership from other types of leadership behaviors, but it is clear that the emphasis is more on the needs of the employees, being empathic and increasing their satisfaction.

Supportive leadership is focusing on building effective relationships to increase employees loyalty and well-being, and thereby also improve work performance in the organization.

How can a manager use supportive leadership?

There are several ways to use supportive leadership behavior in everyday managerial work and improve relationships between the manager and employees. Gary Yukl has talked about four guidelines in order to use supportive leadership effectively:

  • showing acceptance;
  • providing sympathy and support;
  • willing to help with personal problems;
  • bolstering the person´s self-esteem.

Although, these are not the only possible options, they are crucial steps towards supportive leadership. Combining these steps with the possibilities our weekly reporting tool has to offer, the results will soon follow.

How to combine supportive leadership tactics with Weekdone?

Showing acceptance by interacting with employees weekly plan

Because of the manager’s position power, employees are very sensitive to aspects of acceptance and approval. Criticism toward employee can be constructive and helpful, but if it comes out as a harsh criticism or as a personal insult, it can be demotivating. There are several ways to show concern and acceptance.

In Weekdone, we have integrated feedback loops in every step of the way. You can simply start by commenting your employees tasks. By monitoring your team and their weekly activities, you can show acceptance by just pushing the "like"  button underneath any item. Better yet, you can give constructive feedback in the end of the week by using the feedback box. These regular interactions with your teammates create a trustworthy atmosphere, where feedback is always on time and welcomed.

Providing support when the happiness measure suddenly drops

Providing sympathy and supporting employees is an important behavior in improving relationships among people. Somebody who is under a large amount of stress and has difficulties in the workplace cannot perform in the best possible way and therefore will not be as productive as someone who is relaxed and satisfied with his work.

Expressing empathy and taking time to listen to employee’s concerns will be a big step towards improving the person’s negative emotions, building a meaningful relationship that inspires the whole team. For a busy executive it is hard to notice when an individual employee is currently uninspired or unhappy.

How to spot if your teammate truly needs some support?  That is exactly why we have incorporated happiness scores into our weekly reporting tool to notify leaders when a sudden drop in happiness has occurred and prompt action if needed. At that point, you could try to understand the real reason behind employees dissatisfaction, offer advice and help.

Overall, supportive managers deal with mistakes in a constructive manner, helping employees learn from mistakes, and indicate the value of a person in the organization. As employees are put under increasing load of stress, the supportive leadership behavior can decrease it.

Leaders are enhancing peoples confidence by not only supporting the success, but also the failures. This will bring a greater level of satisfaction. Under these conditions, your employees are willing to take more responsibility which will lead to great innovative ideas. We know busy leaders are not able to monitor each and every team member, which is why our automatically compiled weekly reports will come in handy.