Building a supportive business environment isn't just about flashy perks or ergonomic office furniture; it's about investing time and energy into developing employees and teams. It takes time and foresight to create a supportive business environment. It takes strategic investment in employee development, but it is almost guaranteed to have a positive impact on both individuals and the overall success of the organization.

Supportive business environments are built on a foundation of continuous learning and growth. When employees feel that their professional development is valued and actively encouraged, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and loyal to the organization. Employee development encompasses a broad range of activities, from formal training programs to mentorship initiatives, and it plays a pivotal role in shaping the culture of an organization.

We recently asked our own Director of Human Resources, Timothy McKenna, about creating an optimal environment and program for employees to grow. He gave us the following insights into how he approaches the subject: 

“Approaching employee development in my opinion is all about creating a trusting environment that provides a vision of the path forward for the group as well as the individual. Creating a structured and supportive environment helps employees grow both personally and professionally and also creates a sense of unity with the team and organization’s purpose and vision. Employee development is an ongoing process, and it requires trust and commitment from managers, employees, senior leadership, and the organization as a whole. Teams and individuals also need to openly discuss and be prepared to adjust the plan or strategy should the circumstances shift.”


Some of the tools Tim employs and encourages for our team at GLC are: 

  1. Understand the needs, the drivers, and desired outcomes for all involved. Have regular check-ins and continually clarify the goals, purpose, and path. Help align the team and individual expectations.
  2. Provide regular feedback, and encourage open communication and a culture of continuous improvement. This can also be accomplished within an open and transparent team to great effect as some feedback is heard more clearly from a peer than from management.
  3. Ensure that everyone actually receives the training, physical and digital access, and support in learning the transactional elements of individual roles (within the context of the team objectives) and understand the long-term skills needed for future roles or paths. We also recommend, when possible, to provide training and exposure to other organizational functions that are proximate to the individual's role. This can help all understand the interconnectivity of the various roles within the organization and how each position operates to support the whole organization. Sometimes, more importantly from a cultural perspective, this also teaches how what we do affects fellow employees. 
  4. Discuss and plan potential career paths with employees, considering their aspirations and the company's needs. Even if the path is non-traditional. An employee who has a great experience with a team and/or in an organization becomes an ambassador for that team.
  5. Acknowledge and reward employees both publicly (when appropriate) and directly. Do it often, and tailor appreciation to the individual.
  6. Be proactive in recognizing and encouraging the importance of self-care in employee development. Work-life integration can allow individuals to know that taking care of themselves and their families is crucial to being successful at work.
  7. Be open within the team about organizational or industry trends and changes. Even if there is not a direct impact on daily activities.
  8. Consult with the team when changes or big decisions are pending and involve employees in the decision-making when possible.


Creating a supportive business environment through strategic investment in employee development is not just a noble aspiration; it is part of a good business strategy. By recognizing the potential of the workforce, providing avenues for growth, and fostering a culture of continuous learning, we’ve found it sets the stage for individual and collective success.

Investing time and energy into developing employees and teams is an investment in the future of the whole organization. It creates a positive feedback loop where motivated and skilled employees contribute to the success of the business, further reinforcing the supportive environment that initially spurred their growth.

Leaders and decision-makers must not forget that the true strength of an organization lies in the collective growth and development of its people. In doing so, we pave the way for a future where businesses thrive, employees excel, and success becomes a shared journey.

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