What Every Supervisor Should Know. A guide to happy employees.
What I Know
When preparing to write this hub. I thought about telling my employment history.
I decided that in 30 plus years of working. You the reader would get bored long before you get through it. So the short version.
I have been on the employee side, the supervisor side. I have been the star employee, and I have been the trouble child.
So here is a little of what I have learned over the years.
Lets do it in steps.
Your Job As A Supervisor.
You work for a company. The company depends on customers. It is simple no customers equals no work equals no money equals no business.
So customer service has to be your number one priority. We can most likely agree on this.
With That in mind . Think about this.
Your employees are your customers. They report to you , however you work for them.
Your employees do the real work. Without them you are not needed. You are there to support them. You give them the tools training and guidance to do the job. With this in mind , you need to treat them as you would any other customer. Be honest,open, and operate with integrity. You should always find the time to give them what they need to do the job.
With a little research you can find info on empowering employees.
Here is a simple way to prove the value.
Tell one of your kids to do something. Then micromanage him or her while they do it. Correct them on every detail. Threaten them with punishment if it is not done right.
You will find that the child will do only what they have to do to avoid punishment. And will hate every minute of it.
With the same child, ask them to do something. Explain what the desired outcome is. Never mention punishment . Let them know they will be rewarded for a job well done. tell them if they have questions, they can ask and you will help.
This time you will find they do the work without complaint, Do a better job, and are happier doing it.
The point is. Empower your employees to do their jobs. Explain the requirements of the job.
And be sure the training on how to meet the requirements has been given.
And do not micromanage. Let them do the job.
Am empowered employee will always perform at a higher level, Than a micromanaged employee.
What is employee empowerment? Here is a great resource on how to empower employees. Employee empowerment is a strategy and philosophy that enables employees to make decisions about their jobs.
Trust breeds trust.
I have worked for good and bad supervisors. The one I work with now, Has been my boss for about 3 years.
I would walk through fire from him. Why?
Trust. I do not spend my time at work worrying about having to cover my butt. I know if the need arises , my boss will give me the benefit of the doubt , put his own neck out to protect me,If I am right he will fight for me , and he will focus on fixing the problem, not assigning blame.
Because of this I am able to focus my attention where it needs to be. On performing my job at the highest level I am capable of.
I have had the other kind of boss. The kind you do not want to be. If something went wrong , he would cover his butt , shift the blame were ever he could , offer no help fixing the problem.
In other words. I could not share trust with him.
When an employee can not trust the supervisor, they can not focus on doing the job as well as they should, because they know they have no backup from the boss.
Also, it is human nature to want to give more effort when you trust some one.
This one is the easiest one to sum up.
My boss and I do not hang out away from work. We are not friends away from work.
I do not believe he thinks of me at all away from work.
At work he cares. And it shows. He wants me to finish my day safe. If I am sick he will get me the help , or cover my work for me.
His attitude in general shows that he cares.
Feeling that I am a valuable part of the company, makes me willing to give my best effort for the company.
Think of it this way. Your employee is not a $1 tool that you throw in a box after you use it. Instead treat them as that very valuable tool. The one you clean and polish after each use and put in a protected spot when not in use.
This one sucks. Lets face it. Most of us do not enjoy having to discipline another person.
Never use discipline as a threat. This will not bring the desired result.
Your employees are grown ups, treat them that way. They know you have no choice but to discipline if they do not perform to standard.
Emphasize positive reinforcement. When a mistake is made , most of the time it is just that a mistake.
So do not worry about blame. Focus on helping the employee fix the problem first.
Second: figure out if the mistake was from a lack of training or simple human error. (skill or will)
Third: If it is a lack of skill, get them the training. If it is will, give them a chance to improve.
Fourth : After the training and a chance to improve on the will, If the problem persists then discipline.
- Be there for your employees.
- Remember you work for them
- Empower them to do their job
- Do not micromanage.
- Trust them to do the job
- Be worthy of the trust they give in return
- Show that you value them and their service to the company.
- Discipline if you must but be fair.
- Never use discipline as a threat.