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Supervisory skills

Being a supervisor is a responsible and challenging task that involves managing a group of people with different behaviours, attitudes, character and working styles. The overall success of an organization depends on how well these supervisors can manage the employees and persuade them to work towards achieving a common goal.

Maintaining an effective relationship with employees is crucial since it helps in employee engagement and retention. Effective managers can create and maintain a productive workforce that will add value to the business.

Regardless of the number of employees you are managing, your skills, knowledge, and expertise are some of the important factors that will determine the pace at which a required work is done. The work of a supervisor is more complex and responsible than the other employees as they have to know different roles and also find quick solutions to a range of problems.

What are good supervisory skills? Do supervisors need training? If you are promoted as a supervisor, you may be familiar with all the tasks in your company, but, you may not be good at managing others. These are the situations when you require supervisory skills training to improve your productivity as well as the productivity of other employees.

Basic supervisory skills and responsibilities

  • Leadership skills: A supervisor should be a good leader who is able to guide his/her team. The employees should have the freedom to approach you whenever they find a challenge in fulfilling the assigned tasks.
  • Time-management skills: Lead by example. Yes, being a leader first you should show the employees how well you can manage time and complete tasks before the deadline. Only then, you can convince them that everything is possible if we can manage time.
  • Technical skills: As a supervisor, you should have knowledge in different aspects of work including technical things. When employees seek any technical help, you should be equipped to offer that.
  • Communication skills: Great communication skills create a great leader. One who can convey his/her idea to a group of people and convince them in the same can easily lead a team.  
  • Stress management skills: Being a supervisor, it is natural to have pressure from the management as he/she will be the first person to be contacted if any work is pending. So, coordinating works by staying calm in stressful situations is of extreme significance in enabling you to do your work and encourage others to fulfill their roles. 
  • Decision-making skills: You are responsible for taking important decisions related to work on behalf of the organization. So, think wisely and make a decision by considering the strategic goals and policies of the company.

Responsibilities

  • Set goals for performance and deadlines to comply with the long-term strategies of the company
  • Closely monitor the performance of employees and submit the report to the management
  • Provide constructive feedback to employees and help them meet the challenges
  • Pass on the messages from the management to the employees and vice versa
  • Decide on reward and promotion based on performance
  • Ensure adherence to the company and legal policies and take disciplinary actions, if necessary.

The Situational Leadership Model

As per the situational leadership model, there is no one best way of leadership style. The concept was introduced by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in their book titled Management of Organizational Behaviour: Utilizing Human Resources. The ideal leaders are those who can adapt to the emerging needs of the situation and form a style that meets them. It focuses on the followers and the leader should change his/her style according to the type of followers. In this context, followers refer to a group of people with similar abilities and experience.

Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership styles

According to Hersey and Blanchard, there are four main leadership styles:

  • Telling: This is an authoritative approach wherein the leaders tell the followers what to do.
  • Selling: This style tries to engage employees in the process as the leaders try to attract them with their idea and persuade them to act in a desirable way.
  • Participating: In this approach, the leaders make lesser interference and encourage the employees to take an active role in sharing ideas and taking decisions.
  • Delegating: This style involves a less involved role wherein the employees decide most of the things and have major responsibility for getting the work done.

Management and supervisory skills

It is not easy to acquire management and supervisory skills. You can acquire it only through experience and adequate training. Supervisory skills training will give you an idea of the skills required for managing a team and the things needed to get a job done in the specific timeframe. It will improve your communication, leadership, stress and time management skills and mould you into an eminent leader.