You have a terrific employee, someone you would consider to be a super-worker. He or she has a great work ethic, gets along well with others, and has mastered the technical aspects of the job. You’re ready to promote this person to become a supervisor. Congratulations! But wait a minute…how are you helping your supervisors succeed?

The transition from super-worker to supervisor is sometimes the biggest career move an individual will make in his lifetime. Yet often the only thing that happens to prepare him for the new role is a change from a t-shirt and jeans to a polo shirt and khakis, and perhaps a congratulatory dinner at the in-laws!

There is a new set of skills that is needed to make the move from “one who does” to “one who helps others do”. Your new supervisor might be a player-coach, fulfilling some technical role while leading others, but the leadership part of the role is often where companies fail their new supervisors. Where are supervisors to learn what they need to know so they can help all team members be full contributors in the achievement of the company’s goals?

Trial and Error

Trial and error is one of the predominant leadership learning processes that supervisors use. But who wants to be tried and erred upon until the supervisor gets it right? New supervisors who haven’t had prior training also tend to experiment with leadership tactics from one of two ends of the spectrum – the autocrat who is in love with her new authority, or the doormat who doesn’t want to upset any of her former peers by being too pushy. Either extreme produces less than optimal business results, and the trial and error process can do real damage to the company’s culture.  It can even result in unintended turnover, grievances, shrinkage, absenteeism problems – and the list goes on.

Role modeling

Role modeling is the other big resource for untrained supervisors. This may or may not be a good method, depending upon the quality of the role model. In fact, some of the modeling is done at a subconscious level, where the supervisor has acquired habits of thought from watching (or interacting with) other authority figures. They may be modeling YOUR behavior too, so if there is something that a supervisor is doing that is annoying you, please take a beat to examine whether he or she has seen this from you or others upstream in your business. If you find that’s the case, you may all have some work to do.

HR practices

Aside from leadership skills, that new supervisor needs to understand the policies, procedures, and laws that impact his role. How does the supervisor decide how to allocate vacation days among her staff? What process does he need to go through to fill an open position in his department?  There’s an opportunity coming up for you to enroll your supervisor(s) – and/or yourself – in a one-day workshop that will help to fill in any gaps in the HR knowledge they, and maybe even you, might have. Click this link for workshop details and registration info :http://www.alternativehumanresource.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/AltHR_Scary_2017.pdf

Your supervisors are crucial in your business.  They provide you with opportunities to work ON the business while they are working IN the business. Invest the time in helping them give you the leverage you need to help your company grow.

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