What are YOU doing to build the support system you need?

by Amy Steinberg Published Aug 7, 2018 Last updated Aug 7, 2018

Feeling supported at work is an important part of many aspects of daily life, not just your career success. Support from colleagues and management serves to motivate and inspire us to do more and strive to perform at our best.

Experts say employee psychological well‐being is a cause of success, not just a result of it. This means the importance of support at work from your colleagues, supervisors, and managers is not only good for you, but for your organization as a whole.

Now that we’ve confirmed how important the feeling of support can be, how do we create it for ourselves and our peers? How can you earn and attract the support system you need while inspiring your peers to lend a hand and do the same? We often overlook the impact we have on the feelings and well-being of those around us.

Effects of Underappreciation

There are many risks – not only to your career but your overall well-being – when you are working in an unsupportive environment:

Lack of Focus

People who feel un- or under-appreciated generally spend a lot of mental energy focusing on either how they are feeling or ways to stop feeling unappreciated. This dwindles away their productivity by diverting their focus from doing their best and advancing in their careers, to ways to just get through the day.

Loss of Motivation/Boredom

When employees don’t feel connected to the organization they work for, they feel less motivated to be a part of the mission of that organization.

No Growth

When there is a lack of support in the workplace, employees are not provided with opportunities to exercise their existing skillsets as well as learn more, and they are not given the chance to grow. This is very frustrating for individuals who are seeking to further their careers with additional training, knowledge, and experience.

How To Get The Support You Need

As difficult, frustrating, and exhausting as it may be to work in an unsupportive environment, a career change may not be necessary. There are steps you can take to position yourself to receive the supportive climate you need to succeed.

Focus on Gratitude

There are countless studies to show the benefits of having a positive mindset. Before you begin setting the stage for a more supportive work environment, begin within yourself, first. Recognize your strengths and skills and give yourself a pat on the back.

Study Hard

Spend time each day studying your passions. Aligning yourself – and your career – with the work will arm you with the information you need to be a proactive member of your team because you will be able to clearly identify both personal and professional goals. Pew Research reported that “55 percent of full- or part-time workers say they participated in work or career learning to maintain or improve their job skills” and – of those professional learners – 47 percent said their extra training helped them advance.

Nurture Relationships

The relationships you have with your colleagues is a vital part of your success and a set of positive professional relationships can strengthen your resolve and provide you with support when you begin to make suggestions for improving the workplace. With strong peer relationships, you can not only give but receive feedback that becomes a valuable part of changing the atmosphere at work.

Think of Options

Does your company need more training opportunities? Weekly meetings? Take some time to research things that you can suggest to your team members as well as your supervisors. Have forums or get-togethers with your teammates and find out what is important to them. Brainstorming will not only provide you with additional ideas but fortify your professional relationships and establish you as a valuable part of the team.

Ask Questions

Once you’ve begun to change your attitude, considered alternatives and options, and learn more about the needs of your organization as well as your own personal career needs, you’ll be better prepared to ask important questions that can change the entire culture of your workplace. Consider that one recent survey found more than half of today’s managers received no training and you can see that having an unsupportive work environment may just be the result of your company’s leaders not truly knowing how to lead.

Are You Being Supportive?

It can be difficult to recognize that your colleagues might be feeling just as unsupported as you are feeling. That’s why it’s important for you to take a step back and evaluate the environment that you share with them. There are simple ways that you can be a supportive and even inspirational part of a winning team.

Give Recognition

Everyone appreciates recognition for a job well done. If you see someone who is doing a great job, be sure to recognize them for it on a personal level. This means a face-to-face compliment that gives them a little bit of assurance that their hard work is important and appreciated.

Give Insight

By sharing what you know with others who would benefit from it, you create a level of trust that helps others grow. A true team can only go as fast as its slowest member so by providing information that helps push their career forward, you’re also advancing your own by advancing your team and inspiring others to do the same.

Ask for Help

When you need help with or clarification of something, asking a colleague makes them feel valued and appreciated. It also not only establishes you as a person who is willing to learn and open to suggestions, but you learn more in the process!

Smile More

Smiling has great neurological effects …and it’s contagious! You might be surprised by how smiling and having a generally good attitude will positively affect those you work with and for.

Feeling supported at work is vital to your happiness as well as your career path. You’ll be much more likely to feel motivated, energized, and excited about the work you do, which is what every professional wants to feel.