Effective supervisors know the importance of relationships with employees. To manage well, supervisors should be able to trust their employees to get the job done. In addition, employees must be able to trust their supervisors and know that they can rely on them for support and direction. This two-way street can lead to organizational quality and efficiency. Although each organization may require specific skills for supervisors, there are some that are global and can help supervisors lead effectively wherever they work.
Delegating work to employees can give them a sense of satisfaction and responsibility. Effective delegation allows the supervisor to retain accountability for a task but allows the employees to have a hand in getting the task accomplished. Effective supervisors select the right individual to do the job and they set deadlines, provide support along the way and give feedback on results of the job once it is complete.
Good supervisors know the importance of training and developing their employees and consider this to be an investment. Organizations that invest in training their employees experience lower turnover. Employees are satisfied with their careers when they receive training and development.
Employees are generally appreciative when supervisors delegate work to them. Instead of directing and micro-managing employees, supervisors should allow employees to self-direct, coaching them along the way. Coaching provides supervisors with an opportunity to listen to their employees, give them feedback, help them develop professionally and assist them in doing their job.
Quality communication skills are imperative to a supervisor. It is essential to clearly give direction for tasks and providing feedback to your employees. Effective supervisors know the importance of holding regular meetings to discuss current and future business matters and resolve issues. They also know the importance of adapting their communication styles so they can get their point across to the individual with whom they are communicating. And they realize the importance of asking questions throughout the conversation to ensure they understand the speaker and that all parties are clear regarding the conversation. lastly, good supervisors also know the importance of writing clear and effective communications and use spell-check before sending letters and emails.
Effective supervisors have the necessary knowledge of the areas that they supervise. Good supervisors are versed in legal matters such as labor relations or union contracts so they do not unknowingly cause problems for the company.
Based in Richmond, Va., Susan Ayers is a senior learning associate for a financial organization. She previously developed web-based training for Circuit City and spent a number of years creating eLearning courses for a not-for-profit law enforcement organization. Ayers graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a master's in education from St. Joseph's College.