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Survival Skills for Supervisors and Managers

Survival Skills for Supervisors and Managers

Survival Skills for Supervisors and Managers

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Whenever work is delegated to others - the person that is responsible for those tasks being done, is the supervisor.  It doesn’t matter whether these individuals have the title of supervisor, foreman/woman, manager, lead hand, department head, superintendent, executive, or even CEO - if they’re supervising others - they’re supervisors.  Unfortunately, most supervisors have not received the basic training necessary to successfully carry out their role as supervisors.

When I first started offering my Dealing with Difficult People seminars, I assumed that the most difficult group in the workplace were clients.  My second guess was difficult colleagues, co-workers or workmates.  I was wrong in making those assumptions because overwhelmingly, the most difficult people my participants identified were their supervisors!       

Why was this the case?  Because most of their supervisors had not received the basic training necessary for them to successfully supervise others and made mistakes such as:

  • Embarrassed their staff by disciplining them in front of workmates or clients.
  • Labelled staff’s behaviour (stupid, dumb) or made sarcastic remarks, instead of trying to correct the actual behaviour of the staff member.
  • Didn’t give recognition for a job well done.  Instead, they concentrated on the two percent of the things their staff did incorrectly, instead of the ninety-eight percent they did properly.
  • When dealing with customer complaints, they didn’t back up their staff and didn’t give employees a chance to tell their side of the story before acting. 
  • Didn’t provide an up-to-date job description with key performance indicators and standards of performance for the tasks performed by their staff.
  • Didn’t provide the necessary training to fill the gap between job requirements and employee’s skills.
  • Conducted performance appraisals on staff without a proper job description upon which to base their evaluation.  (If the employee didn’t know what’s expected of him/her, and the supervisor didn’t know either - how can a fair evaluation of the performance be conducted?)
  • Had one set of company rules for staff - another for themselves.  Bent the rules when clients went over the head of front-line staff, causing embarrassment for staff members.
  • No set policy and procedure manuals available.  Rules and regulations of the company are not clearly defined.
  • Harassed staff (either through bullying or sexual harassment).
  • Did nothing to improve the employee’s interest in their jobs.  Some were afraid their employees were going to compete for their job, so did as little as possible to develop their staff’s skills.
  • Were not available when their staff needed their help.  They said they had an “open door policy, but were always “too busy” to deal with their staff’s problems.
  • Wouldn’t listen to their staff’s suggestions about better ways to complete tasks.
  • Were perfectionists and expected everything to be done perfectly.
    If this describes your actions, or those of your supervisors - seriously consider getting or offering the necessary training.  This book is for:
  • those who might be entering a supervisory or management position;
  • those who have been making the above mistakes; or
  • those who are already supervisors or managers, but are running into difficulties doing their jobs properly.

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