Tips on Supervising Employees

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Supervision is the act of management by overseeing the activities of a person or group. Management is organizing, directing, and controlling others. To be an effective supervisor, you must continually employ proven supervisory management techniques.

Job Description

To effectively supervise others, you and the employees must clearly understand their jobs and what is expected. A job description should describe the overall responsibilities of employees and their key responsibilities.

A job description should also note the key result areas--the results an employee is expected to produce. One example of a key result area is computer repair: "The employee should keep all computers repaired and in good working order." The advantage of defining key result areas is that they focus on results rather than simply the activities expected of an employee.


Be a good listener. Repeat back what you hear to let the speaker know you understand. Be patient when listening to others and do not interrupt them. Keep the speakers focused if they divert to topics which are not relevant to the discussion. Use body language to indicate you are interested.


Praise and recognize an employee for a job well done. Catch employees doing something right and tell them about it at the time you recognize it. Offer support and encouragement. Solicit ideas and opinions. People feel important when high value is placed on their ideas.Take a personal interest in employees. Showing you care motivates others to accomplish desired goals. Sell employees on the benefits of achieving goals. Make the employees part of the goal-setting process because if they feel part of the process they will become more committed to the goal.


Before you formally assess an employee's performance annually, make notes during the course of the year instead of just relying on what you may recall. When reviewing a performance that has been a problem, outline with the employee where the performance is not up to expectations. Get the employee to acknowledge there was a problem and solicit the employee's ideas on what can be done to improve performance in the coming period. Stress the positive aspects of an employee's performance and commend the employee on a job well done in that area.