Supporting Your Staff

Supporting Your Staff

According to the TIPP Poll, nearly a third of workers feel unsupported at work. Are Your Workers Among the 30%Who Feel They Are Not Getting Enough Support to Succeed? Here’s How to Find Out.

Dr. Deborah S Bright

As part of a recent national TIPP Poll, we asked workers across industry sectors if they feel they are being adequately supported in fulfilling their job expectations. Findings revealed that 65% of women and 70%of men said “yes,” they are receiving the kind of support needed to succeed.  Geographically, it didn’t matter where these people work across our vast country. Those numbers may initially strike you as pretty good.

However, if you’re a manager or in a leadership role of some kind with ten or more people under you, it means that 3 of 10 members on your team may feel they aren’t getting the support they need. Now, that’s more than just a statistic. It’s an invitation that opens the door for you to tap into finding yet another way to have an even more productive team. But how do you find out who those 3 in 10 are in order to do something about it?

TIPP Poll Results: Do workers get the support they need from their immediate leader or boss to succeed in their job?

Here’s a hint: Interestingly, of the respondents who completed the TIPP Poll, those who feel least supported make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year, are younger, and happen to have little or no college education.

TIPP Poll Results: Do Workers in America recieve the support they need from immediate boss or leader to succeed at job?

Tips for Approaching Team Members Who Feel Unsupported

If we were to speculate based on the findings, the following thoughts might come to mind as to what goes on in the workplace:

  • Younger people in the workplace may not have a clear understanding of how best to utilize their boss. If you think about it, where did they get any training in this area?
  • Perhaps some individuals find it difficult to speak up about what they need from their boss or don’t want to sound like they’re complaining.
  • Then again, if an employee has a boss whom they think isn’t supportive, they may feel they’re in a bind and resist going up the management ladder.

Propose Private Meetings

Depending on your organizational structure, it might be a good idea to make the first move by setting up individual meetings with each of your people. During these meetings, engage in a meaningful exchange of what “support” means to them. Or, if you want team members to take the lead to initiate a conversation, you might try passing along this short article and letting them know you’re open to discussing it in private. Then, see who takes you up on the offer. To optimize the exchange, you could offer a few questions in advance to help them better prepare for the meeting. Whatever approach you choose, be sure to select a neutral time and plan on making this your only topic of discussion.

Get the Most Out of Your Meetings

To bring greater clarity around what it means for the leader to be supportive of their direct reports, you might try asking, “After assigning a task, how can I best support you in your efforts?” Asking this question can surely lead to an insightful exchange where both parties begin to establish clear expectations as to how best to work together.

Another relevant question to ask a direct report is, “When it comes to your advancement within the organization, as your leader, what can I do to support you in your efforts?” Asking this question can lead to conversations that could move in several different directions. For instance, since the pandemic, many workers (maybe including yourself) may have changed their views on life and thoughts about career advancement. If the employee wants to put promotion on hold, it’s valuable and timely to find out where and how you can best support them in making their job fulfilling while allowing them to grow professionally. If your direct report expresses an interest in advancing, then the door is wide open to discuss what that means, including thoughts about timeframes. These conversations also lend themselves to having candid discussions about what the direct report could be doing better or differently to be better positioned for advancement.

During these exchanges, a helpful tip to consider is taking notes. Then, when you reference what was previously talked about, your employee will recognize that you were really paying attention to what they said and that you genuinely care about bringing out the best in them.

Taking the time to have these meaningful conversations never grows old. People’s lives today are complex and ever-changing. What a great way to move into the New Year, knowing that you and your reports are in alignment and ready to hit the ground running in 2022!

Deborah Bright is the founder and president of Bright Enterprises, Inc., an executive coaching and training organization, and the author of six books, including The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change (AMACOM, 2014).


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TIPP Takes

Belarus Alleges Border Violation By Ukrainian Military Helicopter

Without producing evidence, Belarus's border authority has alleged that a Ukrainian military helicopter flew up to a kilometer into Belarusian territory.

A Ukrainian Mi-24 fires decoy flares.
A Ukrainian Mi-24 fires decoy flares.

According to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment on the accusation by the Belarusian state border service on December 4, which said the alleged overflight happened during military drills.

There was no outside confirmation of such a violation.

This week, the European Union, United States, and other Western powers imposed the fifth round of sanctions on Lukashenka and his elites over alleged rights and other abuses.

President Biden To Speak With Russia's Putin On Tuesday

The U.S. said it has evidence of a planned Russian military offensive in Ukraine, as Moscow aims to stop its neighbor from joining NATO.

President Biden and Vladimir Putin

On Saturday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and a U.S. source told the Reuters news agency that the video call between the two leaders would bring up Ukraine and progress on bilateral agreements made between the two countries at a Geneva summit in June.

The U.S. source told Reuters that Biden would reaffirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine at the online meeting. The Reuters source also said the online meeting would deal with strategic stability, cyberattacks, and regional issues.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier this week that U.S. and European allies would impose "severe costs and consequences on Russia if it takes further aggressive action against Ukraine."

Iran's Quds Force Chief Warns U.S. As Hopes For  Nuclear Accord Fade

Esmail Ghaani implied that Iran could strike at the U.S. in ways it once could not.

Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani
Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani

According to state media, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps warned that the United States' "teeth will be crushed" if it moves against Iran.

Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani warned that Iran's military capabilities had advanced to the point that the U.S. "cannot do what you used to do in the past any longer. … The hit-and-run tactics no longer work," he said.

During a security summit in Manama, the top White House official overseeing the U.S.'s Middle East policy, Brett McGurk, said the U.S. would not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon and would turn to "other options" in case diplomacy fails.

"When it comes to military force to prevent a country from obtaining a nuclear weapon, that is a very achievable objective," McGurk said.

Tsai Named One Of The World's Most Influential Women

Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang yesterday cited Tsai as saying the nomination was not about her but recognition for Taiwan.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is in this year's Financial Times list of most influential women, published on Thursday.  The list also featured Hong Kong democracy advocate Agnes Chow and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The entry on Tsai was written by Carrie Gracie, a former BBC China editor, and author.

Unlike many of the world's political and business leaders "who self-censor at the first hint of displeasure from Beijing, Tsai does not buckle in the face of intimidation. Nor does she antagonize," Gracie said.

Tsai has articulated and demonstrated through her leadership style how Taiwan's values differ from those of China, she said. "Her leadership offers a lesson for all of us: how to respect Chinese interests without selling out our own," she said.

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