As business picks up, the prospect of new hiring looms. And promoting valued workers to supervisors is a distinct possibility. But supervising in a growth mode presents new demands. Making the move from peer to supervisor can also be complicated. Indeed, most people don’t quit a job - they quit a boss.
A strong supervisory team that contributes to a positive work environment and enables employees to be and feel successful can provide your organization with a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talented employees - which is critical in a sector that faces challenges in recruiting and retaining top employees.
Good supervision is based on clearly defining the role of supervisors in your organization, and ensuring supervisors have the requisite competencies to carry out their role effectively. Here are things to consider:
Deal with change
In a dynamic, market driven environment, employers must be agile, flexible and willing to change on a dime. Not every supervisor is prepared to deal with change as they must remain anchored and focused even as the pace of work increases. According to Emerge Leadership Group eight out of ten supervisors under-perform as they step into a new leadership role.
Lead from core values
While leadership is most often associated with people at the top of the organization, it can emerge at any level. Indeed, during times of organizational stress or crisis, leadership at all levels is necessary. The costs of ineffective leadership are also high. Supervisors that have integrity and other core values are more likely able to lead others.
Employee conflicts are unavoidable, but they can often be prevented. When they do occur, the risks associated with such conflicts can be greatly reduced if properly handled. Indeed, effectively managing employee conflicts can save unnecessary financial and emotional costs. In contrast, unaddressed or unresolved conflict can lead to bigger problems, such as harassment, violence or sabotage.
Supervisors play an important role in increasing engagement and productivity but not if they themselves are not active learners. Indeed, the real cost of poor performers is not only litigation, it is the drag on productivity year after year. But even when employers can retain top employees and discharge poor employees, quality of work-life matters. Open communications, respect, positive attitude, teamwork and trust are critical to success. Unskilled or poorly trained supervisors undermine quality of work-life by perpetuating a negative environment that causes low morale and legal problems.
Comply with relevant laws
The N.J. Equal Pay Act poses practical problems for employers and puts the onus squarely on the performance evaluation process. Decisions regarding job assignments or responsibilities are covered in some circumstances. As a result, lawyers have raised the possibility that the “little things” in an employment relationship, such as poor performance appraisals, that used to be considered too minor, may be unlawful if they affect compensation.
Training supervisors to increase productivity and morale, as well as to avoid legal pitfalls, could be an investment that pays big returns.