Supervisory or management staff can bring out the creative and productive potential of support staff if they have specific skills.
If you empower a staff member with a new responsibility for supervising staff, don’t necessarily expect a smooth transition to the role. Essential new competencies must be developed if the supervisor is to realise the creative and productive potential of support staff.
With the fast-paced changing workplace even an established supervisor will need to regularly consolidate and update skills to facilitate support of workplace initiatives.
An effective supervisor will need to:
Adopt a leadership role which emphasises performance management, and the facilitation and empowerment of team members;
Apply motivational techniques which encourage and reinforce desired performance;
Identify barriers to communication and be able to overcome them;
Plan and facilitate effective team meetings;
Conduct face to face counselling, discipline and performance improvement interviews;
Recognise differing behavioural needs and expectations of people and be able to deal with these differences to develop satisfying and productive work relationships and teamwork.
Establishing yourself as a supervisor or manager is not an easy matter. All supervisors must be leaders.
Effective workplace leadership
Leadership is all about using appropriate interpersonal styles and methods in guiding individuals and groups towards task accomplishment.
Every supervisor must be able to influence people to work willingly towards organisational goals and encourage high quality results. What is often required of a leader is balanced and strong concern for both people and task.
Leadership styles are categorised in relation to how control is used:
Exercises strong control, giving orders and directions and encouraging staff to follow rather than gaining participation from group members. In relation to the leader’s concern for people and/ or task, the authoritative leader tends to be more concerned with task achievement than with caring for people.
Shares control encouraging involvement through the participation of group members and by fostering commitment
Lets the group members take control. Participative and laissez-faire type leaders may be so concerned about caring for people that the individual task is not given enough attention.