Many managers believe they provide their team the support they need to thrive. However, what “support” means to you, may be very different from what your team perceives it to be. Staff leave organizations for a myriad of reasons, but one of the most often repeated complaints is “I didn’t get the support I needed.”

The data from WeCare Connect, a leading provider of employee surveys in the U.S. and Canada, reveals that “support” can take various forms, including:

  • A listening ear
  • Encouragement
  • Financial support
  • Moral support
  • Educational support
  • Extra hands
  • Training
  • Mentorship
  • Better equipment or working conditions
  • Transportation support
  • Support for health issues
  • Adjustments to their schedule
  • A ride to work
  • Better benefits
  • Support or adjustments for conflict among co-workers

Strategy: Ask More Questions

As managers, it’s essential to understand that “support” is not a one-size-fits-all concept. When a team member comes to you seeking support, don’t assume you know what they mean. Ask them, “Exactly what do you mean when you say ‘support’? How can I best support you in this situation?” This approach not only shows that you care about their needs but also helps you tailor your response to their specific situation.

While you may not always be able to “fix” the issues brought to your attention, your willingness to listen and explore solutions can make a significant impact. Getting creative and thinking outside the box to help your team find solutions to their challenges can go a long way in showing that you truly care about their well-being. Sometimes, simply being a caring and attentive manager can be the deciding factor that keeps an employee from leaving the organization.

The next time a team member asks for support, remember, it’s not about what you think they need, but about understanding their specific needs and working together to find the best possible solution. By adopting a more empathetic and tailored approach to support, you’ll not only foster a more positive working environment but also increase the likelihood of retaining your valuable team members. So, stop assuming and start asking!

Cara Silletto, MBA, CSP, is a workforce thought leader, keynote speaker, and author of the book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave & How to Keep Them Longer

WeCare Connect is a leading provider of employee surveys with clients in over 1,300 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. We provide real-time notifications and robust dashboards driving down turnover and increasing engagement.

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