Whether it’s coming from the top or middle management, the company’s front liners, workers and employees need support more than anything else. For them to be effective and productive contributors to the organisation, they would need solid leadership and reliable support from their immediate supervisors, managers and from the CEO. A supportive management is also key to excellent employee retention, positive work environment and effective teamwork.
Traits of a Supportive Leader
Gives recognition when due – A supportive leader will readily give recognition when due. Employees respond positively to recognition and appreciation more than to any other form of compensation. However, recognition can be as simple as a public mention, a tap on the back or substantial like a promotion or a raise. Give recognition for humble accomplishments such as a report submitted ahead of its deadline or a well-kept storefront as much as you recognise significant achievements like hitting sales goals or a successful new product launch. People will love their job and be more dedicated to its fulfilment if they know that their work is significant to the company’s goals, to the society and to the environment.
Provides timely, honest and complete feedback – Work performance improvement and career growth are results of continuous honing of skills, guidance and positive reinforcements. To be effective, feedback to employees should be timely, complete and honest. Feedback given too late might lose its relevance and significance. It is also important to lay down the facts – the good, the bad and the ugly. Praise the good aspects, deliver the bad and emphasise on the opportunities.
Shuns micromanagement – A great and supportive boss knows how to trust and delegate. He or she recognises the fact that micromanagement is counterproductive and shuns the idea. Close supervision is only acceptable and even required during onboarding or the first few days or weeks of the employee. But the handholding, close monitoring and babysitting end as soon as the employee is fully trained. Micromanagement cripples employee initiative, creativity and participation enthusiasm.
One with the team – A supportive leader is a working boss. He or she does not command, he or she leads. Takes responsibilities and failures and celebrates victories with the team. He or she will teach and show how things are done, not leaving a fledgling employee on its own. A good boss is also open to the ideas, suggestions and other contributions from the team. He or she knows that the company is run by everyone in it, regardless of the position.
Encourages life outside work – A good boss or leader values the essence of work-life balance and encourages everyone in the company to practice a healthy lifestyle. Health and wellness of the employees trump any company deadlines or goals. In fact, a supportive boss knows that a healthy, happy and stress-free workforce is essential to achieving the organisation’s goals.