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Social support refers to relationships and interactions at work and in one’s personal life that provide a degree of emotional, biological, and psychological support. The practical, tangible, and emotional support allows a person to feel valued, accepted, and understood.
Having this kind of support at work inspires positive workplace culture. It builds trust among co-workers and supervisors, prompting high productivity, engagement, and motivation levels.
Let’s discuss how crucial social support is for positive workplace culture.
Better Employee Well-Being
One of the main things that suffers at the hands of a toxic workplace culture is employee well-being. When work isn’t an enjoyable experience for employees, it takes a toll on their mental and emotional health, affecting their ability to bring their best selves to work daily.
Everyone is bound to go through challenges with their well-being at some point. So, having work relationships that provide meaningful support when well-being is compromised is critical in restoring mental and emotional health and getting back on track.
Those in helping professions like nursing and social work are especially fond of social support because it helps mitigate stress and burnout. High levels of social support can make anyone in these and other disciplines more resilient to stress and inspired to nurture their mental health.
Social support also helps people build authentic self-esteem.
Help Build Authentic Self-Esteem
You want your employees to feel good about themselves. You want them to believe in themselves and have high, authentic self-esteem because it facilitates positivity in the workplace. It also results in high-quality work and dedication.
But developing genuine self-esteem is challenging. From negative self-talk to societal pressures to an inability to accept oneself for who they are, there are a lot of factors at play that keep authentic self-esteem at bay.
Social support in the workplace can help employees build authentic self-esteem. When an employee makes a mistake or doesn’t get that promotion they were hoping for, it can be hard to stay confident.
Social support will keep them uplifted during difficult times like these. Instead of allowing a negative spirit to perpetuate in the workplace, they’ll be able to stay positive and focused on the better that’s sure to come.
Another reason social support is so important is that it normalizes work-life balance.
Normalize Work-Life Balance
There are many workplaces where it’s all business, all the time. Work is the only thing that matters, and life outside work doesn’t seem to exist. As a result, a workplace culture that idealizes overworking and sacrifice is birthed.
Social support makes employees feel comfortable about being real people and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. They can have lives outside of work. They don’t have to take on workloads they can’t sustain. And they can ask for the support they need, something vital to positive workplace culture.
As wonderful as social support is for the individual, it can also positively impact your team’s collaboration.
Improve Team Collaboration
The success of your company relies on your team. So, it’s essential they not just get along but have genuine relationships with one another that allow them to collaborate and communicate seamlessly. In addition, when employees work well together and respect one another, positive workplace culture is easier to achieve.
Coworker relationships and teamwork get better with social support. But so does the connection between lower-level employees and leadership.
Establish a Bridge to Leadership
According to recent workplace statistics, “77% of employees with supportive managers say they feel mentally healthy.” Not only do employees feel more mentally healthy with great managers, but they also are more equipped to do their jobs well.
However, to achieve the “supportive manager” title, you must establish genuine relationships with your employees. But unfortunately, the bridge from employees to leadership isn’t as sturdy as it should be in many companies, thus hindering the ability to establish such relationships.
That’s where social support comes in. Consistently interacting with your team members and showing them that you care is the key to growing those personal relationships.
Create a Culture Rooted in Flexibility
Flexibility is an integral part of positive workplace cultures. Every employee is different. They have varying needs and distinct support requests that must be accommodated to get the best from them.
Social support aids a culture rooted in flexibility. The more genuine engagements supervisors and employees have, the more everyone learns what it will take to create an adaptable workplace culture that works for all.
A flexible culture allows your employees to honor who they are, how they work, and how they live. And the more people you have on your team being their authentic selves, the more social support can flow through the workplace.
A positive workplace culture where employees feel wholly supported is critical to your company’s success. As essential as inclusivity, diversity, growth, core values, and leadership are for positive workplace culture, social support might be even more critical.
Consider the benefits of social support above and then take steps to give it a permanent place in your company.