Noona Blog

The Daily Brief for Everyone

How to Support Employees Without Overstepping?

Support Employees

Most of the time, bosses aren’t too hands-on. They might even be pretty distant from their employees — and it can be hard to tell if that’s because they don’t care or if there’s something else going on.

As a manager, it’s essential to support your employees and ensure they have the resources and tools to do their jobs effectively. But as with any relationship, there is a fine line between helping someone and overstepping — particularly if you are trying to help them through a personal issue such as mental illness, substance use, or another challenge.

While some employees appreciate a boss interested in their lives and careers, others may not want to be micromanaged. 

And while concerns about burnout are not new, they’ve taken on more urgency since the pandemic left many employees feeling overworked. In a survey of nearly 1,500 professionals, 53% said they were suffering from burnout due to the pandemic, and 84% of them said it was getting worse. 

Ways to Support Employees Without Overstepping

There are many different ways to support employees as a manager, from offering constructive feedback to giving praise and recognition. But are there ways you could be overstepping and inadvertently harming your relationship with your direct reports? Let’s find out how expert managers provide support without crossing the line.

Letting Them Know They Can Talk to You

“The best way to show support is by letting your employees know that they can talk to you if they need help,” said Dave Willmer, executive director at staffing firm Robert Half. “If they feel comfortable talking to their manager, they are more likely to ask for help or guidance when needed.”

Offering Constructive Feedback

“Constructive feedback is one of the good ways for a manager to support their employees,” Willmer said. “It’s not enough to say ‘good job’ or ‘that was great.’ Instead, managers should give actionable advice on what their employees did well and what they could improve upon.”

Praise Employees in Front of Others

“Sharing positive feedback in a public setting can be a great way to support your team and encourage growth, but there are some instances where this can backfire,” said Rebecca Ratcliffe, HR and recruiting manager at Lever.

Offer Employees the Right Amount of Guidance

Managers can easily fall into the habit of providing support that results in micromanaging, which is detrimental to a healthy employee-manager relationship. A balance needs to be maintained between offering support and letting employees take their initiative. When you give employees too much direction, likely, they won’t learn how to find solutions on their own.

Stick To the Facts

“There will be times whenever you need to call out an employee on a performance issue,” said Tracey Gordon, chief people officer of Poppin. “When you do so, don’t beat around the bush.”

Don’t Assume on Their Behalf

Managers are often hired for their experience, so it’s easy for them to fall into the trap of thinking that they know best. But your employees can benefit from gaining new skills, even if they might be different from the ones you have.

“Managing a team well includes some critical distinctions,” said Todd McKinnon, co-founder, and CEO of Okta. “You need to be able to coach the team members, but sometimes that means stepping back and letting them learn from their mistakes.”

Don’t Be Too Negative

Focus on the positives. According to the research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the more positive feedback people receive, the more motivated they are. So celebrate the mini victories whenever possible. 

Don’t Micromanage

You probably don’t want your employees looking over your shoulder all day to ensure you’re doing things right, so don’t micromanage them either. Micromanagement has been linked to low morale and high employee turnover, so it’s better to let employees reach conclusions about their potential. However, a little nudge here and there is fine and often necessary. 

Final Words 

Support your employees without overstepping boundaries. The proper support can do wonders for employees struggling to identify their strengths. Spectrum customer service chat is the fastest-growing internet provider in the US and values itself in taking care of customers by offering an incomparable experience. 

Read also: Employees Without Overstepping