Supporting Employees by Noticing the Little Things

One of the most important things to do as a leader is to support your employees.

I have learned, although I’m often not very good at it, to pay attention to the little things. People often give clues, maybe unknowingly, about key issues they are facing. It’s important to notice those key issues and help solve them before they become unhealthy in the organization.

One of my top employees has been overwhelmed with the workload. She is doing an undeniably fantastic job at handling it. But her workload is more than any one person should have to handle. This has resulted in her having to spend more time putting out the fires in front of her instead of spending time solving important but not urgent issues.

I do weekly one-on-ones will all my staff. This is one of the most important activities I do as a manager. But this has given me insight into the stress this employee has been facing. If I didn’t have the one-on-ones, I wouldn’t know that this issue even exists. On the surface, everything looks pretty good. But it’s important to see this issue now and address it before it becomes a bigger issue.

So, this week we had our quarterly leadership team meeting. We raised this issue up at the meeting. Together we started to unveil what some of the deeper issues were. We worked together as a team to come with solutions. Then after the meeting this employee and I met for a couple of hours digging in to the issue deeper.

As a result, we may make some changes to our organizational structure. This will hopefully reassign the workload a little bit better.

My point is that it is so important to listen to your staff. Understand their issues and work to solve them. Try and see it early through the small clues they give you. Then ask direct questions about it. If you support your staff, they will feel valued. If they feel valued and supported, they will do the same for your customers. That will help drive the success of a business more than most anything else.

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