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A Comprehensive Best Practices Manual For New Supervisors

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A Comprehensive Best Practices Manual for New Supervisors

Welcome to the wonderful world of supervisory duties. The following manual will help guide you through your days as a supervisor with the company. There are many important parts that make up good supervisory skills. Some of the most important are outlined in this manual.


1. Demonstrating Communication Skills

a. Listening

b. Speaking

2. Determining Effective Orientation and Training Methods

a. Company polices

b. Employee Training

3. Improving Productivity for Teams

a. Team Morale

b. Delegating responsibility

4. Conducting Performance Appraisals

a. What is it?

b. Methods of Review

5. Resolving conflict

a. Recognizing potential problems

b. Dealing with the situation

6. Improving Employee Relations

a. Discipline

b. Complaints

1.A - Demonstrating Communication Skills - Listening

The demonstration of communication skills is important to supervisors. If your employees sense that you communicate well, they will be more comfortable in taking instructions from you. In communication as a supervisor, you will find that 55% of your communication will be in listening while 22% will involve speaking, while the remaining 23% will be in other ways (Rue & Byars, 2004).

Listening to the employees will help in a variety of ways. Listening will help you gain knowledge of the people that you are responsible for. You can gain knowledge and insight on their skills, their weaknesses, their complaints, and even their ideas. Active listening is how we listen and actually comprehend what the other person is saying. An active listener has to be focused on what the speaker is saying so that they will be ready with the correct response.

If you are not listening to what your employees have to say, you are missing out on a great deal of useful information. In order to give feedback in any situation Ð'- you have to be actively listening to your group.

1.B - Demonstrating Communication Skills Ð'- Speaking

Most of our spoken communication comes in the form of informal conversations that take place all over the office from the break room to the cafeteria, according to Rue and Byars in Supervision: Key link to productivity. As a supervisor you must learn the skills to speak to your employees without speaking at them. People do not like to be spoken down to by anyone. Making someone uncomfortable when you speak to them by demanding things or barking orders is not necessarily a good way to go. It will cause resentment and make people feel as if you are throwing your weight around. By making eye contact, being enthusiastic, and being clear when giving instructions Ð'- you can accomplish many things. Take for example you are telling the employees that you supervise about an upcoming project that is important to the entire departments upcoming raise Ð'- you would not stare at the floor and speak in a monotonous tone that is barely audible. You would speak clearly and concisely with some excitement in your voice and a smile on your face. This type of communication can work to motivate them to do what needs to be done. If you give then the feeling that you do not give a darn Ð'- they will probably perform as if they do not give a darn.

Another good practice for speaking is to make sure you know what you are going to say when you say it. Make it sound like you know what you are talking about Ð'- even if in your mind you may be a bit unsure.

2.A Ð'- Determining Effective Orientation and Training Methods Ð'- Company Policies

The first task of orientation and training is to make new employees aware of the policies of the company. This is important so that they know from the beginning what the rules and regulations are and what is expected of them as an employee. Using the employee handbook as an outline is an easy way to go about this; although it is more likely that you will have their attention if you present it in an interesting way versus just standing at a podium reading it to them. They could read it themselves Ð'- but you could give them the highlights along with examples in the form of a PowerPoint or some other type of delivery method that includes examples.

An employee should understand company policy. This will insure that they will not make simple mistakes that could cause reprimands against them. They should feel confident as to whether what they are doing is what they are supposed to be doing. After presenting the policies Ð'- you should be confident that you have presented it in a way that will most likely stay in the employees' minds.

2.B Ð'- Determining Effective Orientation and Training Methods Ð'- Employee Training

The key to training new employees in any business is to make sure they have the required information to do the job before they actually start the job. It is suggested by Dr. John Sullivan that "HR needs to start making the beginning of a new job a celebration and a process to make the new hire productive right out of the gate!" (The New Hire Orientation Toolkit) He speaks of how it is important to make sure the employee feels as if they are embarking on an adventure. You should not run into some of the horrors such as just giving the employee a handbook the size of encyclopedia with ten minutes to look over it, leaving it to boring videos to do orientation, just giving the employee a handful of forms to fill out, or just escorting them to a cubicle with no information as to contacts


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