This month I have been talking with Directors and Managers who are frustrated with Supervisors who just seem to lack the basic skills to supervise employees. I listen to them tell me how these really good employees got promoted. I hear the frustration but wonder why are surprised.
Sometimes it‘s a really skilled technician whose boss was let go; he got promoted into the open position without any training OR a good role model.
It might be the employee with potential, who isn’t realizing that potential because they are left alone with sporadic, little, or no mentoring or guidance.
I’ve seen a new Supervisor be so overwhelmed with the amount of work that they can’t figure out how to find time to get a book or take a course on managing their time.
Watching someone communicate well doesn’t make an employee a good communicator. Going to a meeting doesn’t really prepare people to run meetings (let alone prepare for them or handle the follow up) I do see that senior management feels such pressure that they don’t provide or give people the time to learn, practice, get feedback, and improve. Many don’t have time to manage the people they have. And then having people who perform poorly adds additional pressure.
A training program called “Instant Supervisor” would be pretty popular. I’m asked for it all the time: a one day (preferably half day) program that would create Supervisors who would then:
- Understand the challenges of the transition to a managerial role and what management and leadership are
- Communicate effectively
- Listen well
- Motivate a wide variety of employees
- Delegate and Follow up appropriately
- Manage their time and organize effectively
- Train and orient staff
- Provide effective improvement and reinforcement feedback
- Coach, Counsel and use corrective action when appropriate
- Build a team
- Lead a team
- Make effective presentations
- Run meetings efficiently
- Resolve conflict and morale
And that’s just for starters.