How do you handle the emotional insecurities of your team members? This is a tough question for any leader to answer, but it’s one that needs to be addressed.
In this blog post we will explore how leaders can meet their team’s emotional insecurities while still keeping the business productive and profitable.
#1. Acknowledge that real-life happens, but set boundaries
No one can predict life’s curveballs. Whether it’s the sudden passing of a relative, or a team member’s need to relocate, your team is going to face personal challenges that can affect how they show up at work.
A healthy workplace culture is willing to meet the needs of the whole person — with boundaries. Sometimes, it’s impossible to leave “home at home.”
Leaders, we recommend being direct. Tell your struggling teammate, “I know this and that is going on. Let’s stay on top of it now and make sure we’re putting systems in place to support you.”
From there, create check-in points. If after a few weeks or months, performance doesn’t improve, or certain check-points aren’t met, it may be time for a different course of action.
This is where you walk the fine line between being accommodating and holding your team accountable to the job they are being paid to do. Sometimes, a team member can’t continue if they aren’t able to stabilize their performance. That is a healthy boundary to uphold, especially knowing you did your part to support them!
#2. Engage to find out what’s going on behind the scenes
Some leaders don’t want to descend from on-high to discover what’s going on behind the scenes with their teammates. We’re not sure those types of leaders are building the empowered team they think they are building.
Engagement is a key component of team building. It shows you care about the whole person, rather than viewing them as a cog in the wheel.
Before you worry that engagement requires yet another meeting on the calendar, there are easy ways to make this happen.
You can begin a regularly-scheduled team meeting with 5 minutes of personal sharing. Ask your team to share a personal and professional win from the week. Or, post an open-ended question into Slack. It doesn’t take much to get a pulse on how people are really doing.
Asking even simple questions can reveal a lot about what your team is navigating in their personal life, which helps you know how to support them.
#3. Give them props when they do something well
Many leaders have the mindset that there isn’t a need to compliment someone for doing the job they’re being paid to do. Just as it’s important to engage, it’s important to encourage and empower your team.
Words of affirmation are a common “love language” for team members, especially Executive Assistants. Your verbal affirmation of their good work can make them feel so much more secure in their role.
That being said, be wary of people who are too concerned with being told they are doing a good job. You want to hire people who are confident in their abilities, and won’t shrivel up every time you want to hop on a phone call, for fear they are being fired.
It’s not an easy task to address the emotional insecurities of your team members, and it requires a lot of patience.
However, if you can meet people where they’re at by addressing their whole person while still setting boundaries for them, this will help encourage and empower your team which will lead to more successful business outcomes.
If you need any advice on how to get started with all of this or want someone who understands what goes into being a leader, we would be happy to provide that guidance! Set up a time to schedule a strategy call with us. We would love to learn more about how we can help you.