There's something deeply satisfying about working in the role of support staff. If you're an employee who facilitates the functioning of the organization, helping people who are involved in the company's primary business, that's you. The crew who makes the cast look and sound good. If you've never worked in this kind of role before, here are some suggestions for how to thrive.
SUPPORT SURVEY — A template for collecting data on people and processes that helps you prioritize creative projects
First, sustain a service mindset. Remind yourself and the people around you that your job is to help them with their job. To make their work less stressful and more efficient by giving them tools, processes, resources and whatever else they might need. That way, they can use their core talents to spend time on the highest value activities. Secondly, measure twice and cut once. When you first start your support staff role, send out a quick survey to everyone on the team. On a micro level, ask this. What simple resource, document, spreadsheet, portal or process would be so great to have for your role? People's answers should populate a punch list of quick wins where you can create value as soon as possible and start to generate momentum. Your plan of being genuinely of service will inspire others and form a positive impression of you in their memories. Another useful question to ask your new team is this. In the back of your mind, what big, amazing resource, tool or asset have you always thought would be super helpful to have to support your role and grow the brand? People's answers will provide insight into their unrealized dreams, goals and desires. That tells a lot about someone You might not be able not satisfy these requests as quickly, but you'll make people feel heard. And you'll have insight into each team member's unique motivational system, which the executive leadership would love to read.
Having worked in a support staff role, here's something else to consider. Make your invisible work an inescapable act of service. Just because you're operating behind the scenes doesn't mean you can't advocate for yourself. Keep a shipping log. Document an accounting ledger of your entire value forward output. Each time you support individual people, or the broader company as a whole, add that deliverable to your list. Because even if your results aren’t ten out of ten with every task, it’s the volume and continuity of effort that matters most.
Remember, our good in this life comes from the giving of our service, not the measurement of its results for others. We can hope that the results measure up to some level of usefulness, but in the end, outcomes are not ours to control. Krishna observed in the holy scriptures, people have a right to their labor, but not to the fruits of their labor. And so, focus on being useful to that small tribe of people who inhabit your professional lands, and let go of the rest. You may not be the star of the show, but you'll be an instrument of service to those who are. Once your ego can reconcile that, it's amazing how in demand your work can become. Are you a person acting from the motivation to contribute service?
Make people’s work less stressful and more efficient
Increase your team’s receptivity to and demand for your ideas in the future
Inspire others and form a positive impression of you in their memories
Gain insight into each team member’s unique motivational system
Compel senior partnership buy in and collaboration that is recognized and replicated.