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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok after a conversation with a family member about people who work for companies in a supervisory role,

my question basicaly is " what makes a good supervisor " ?

what skills should a supervisor be able to take into the job?

and what should a good supervisor be able to get out of that job.

im intrested in hearing views from people on the board who has such a position !
 

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All we wanted was a home... Manics
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depends if you are old skool dinosaur or modern management touchy feely stuff. I think a bit of both camps works best...

my take - a supervisor should:
1/.Be a support to enable his /her staff do their jobs
2/.Listen to the problems, get people together and try to improve the smooth running of their section.
3/.Be tolerant and understanding of genuine problems. Be clear about what they want from their employees, and set an example of behaviour.
4/.Should deal with diasagreements / disciplinary issues in private 1 to 1
5/.Be able to understand the job of the person he is responsible for
6/.break the week / month up so that work doesn't feel like an endless tunnel - it has some small wins along the way.
7/.Firm but fair - no favourites - can even be tough if it suits you but consistency is the key - can't be matey one day and then a nazi the next.
8/.encourage continuous improvement ideas from the team - help the best ideas become reality - reward the originator - praise them - don't steal their glory , its the team that wins. Recognise them - show your boss what a great team you have built.
9/. should take the stress of the dept and concentrate on giving the workers plans that they are able to deliver - protect them from the general storm

What does the supervisor get out of it?
A/. a sense of team leadership -
b/. enjoyment from the achieement of the team
c/. satisfaction from heading off problems before they occur and running a dept smoothly without fire fighting.
d/.having the respect of their workers - this is shown in their actions - not words (ie can you come in saturday, can you stay on tonight etc)

What shouldn't they do ;

shout at others for relief of their own stress / or enjoyment.
belittle workers
discipline workers in public space
dominate workers to the point of stopping them thinking at all
grow a culture based on blame and exception based discipline
divide and rule can be neccesary at time but needs to be used sparingly.

As you can tell - I like people, and work from the motivational power of a team. I am a team manager - not a lone wolf.
 

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Silent but Deadly...
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depends if you are old skool dinosaur or modern management touchy feely stuff. I think a bit of both camps works best...

my take - a supervisor should:
1/.Be a support to enable his /her staff do their jobs
2/.Listen to the problems, get people together and try to improve the smooth running of their section.
3/.Be tolerant and understanding of genuine problems. Be clear about what they want from their employees, and set an example of behaviour.
4/.Should deal with diasagreements / disciplinary issues in private 1 to 1
5/.Be able to understand the job of the person he is responsible for
6/.break the week / month up so that work doesn't feel like an endless tunnel - it has some small wins along the way.
7/.Firm but fair - no favourites - can even be tough if it suits you but consistency is the key - can't be matey one day and then a nazi the next.
8/.encourage continuous improvement ideas from the team - help the best ideas become reality - reward the originator - praise them - don't steal their glory , its the team that wins. Recognise them - show your boss what a great team you have built.
9/. should take the stress of the dept and concentrate on giving the workers plans that they are able to deliver - protect them from the general storm

What does the supervisor get out of it?
A/. a sense of team leadership -
b/. enjoyment from the achieement of the team
c/. satisfaction from heading off problems before they occur and running a dept smoothly without fire fighting.
d/.having the respect of their workers - this is shown in their actions - not words (ie can you come in saturday, can you stay on tonight etc)

What shouldn't they do ;

shout at others for relief of their own stress / or enjoyment.
belittle workers
discipline workers in public space
dominate workers to the point of stopping them thinking at all
grow a culture based on blame and exception based discipline
divide and rule can be neccesary at time but needs to be used sparingly.

As you can tell - I like people, and work from the motivational power of a team. I am a team manager - not a lone wolf.
.

and if any of the above dont work ... possesion of a long sitck works a treat ;)
 
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Silent but Deadly...
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That goes hand in hand with liking your work. Very very rare...
 
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it depends on what the 'supervisor' role is.

Is it a manager, or is it to provide professional support?

Performance management and supervision are different, and should not be conflated

:).
 

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Juvenile member of Team Grey....
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The type of people/person you are supervising, and also the industry you work in makes a huge difference. I run a large department which is heavy machinary based. The workforce is exclusively male, working class and almost exclusively unionised. It can be very hard/impossible to motivate people in this environment. However, there is one quality which you most definately need. The workforce need to respect you and your abilities. If you don't have their respect (even begrudgingly) then you don't have their loyalty. Everything after that is a matter of style.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
some really good points brought up by the responses everyone.

i find a lot of what we spoke about mirrors the replies especialy the getting the respect of the workers

who are working along side you ! i dont like the term under you !

i dont also like the divide and conquer attitude either although sometimes a nesacary part

of managing a team!

ive found that it builds resentment and a lack lustered attitude amongst workers!

with little or no motivation at all!
 

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The Smoking GNU lives!
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A good manager should be able to convey a sense of togetherness with his team: the team and manager need to believe in what they are working toward and do so together.

A good leader can inspire his / her team and ensure that the team member has a vested interest in the success of the team and company. They need to feel a personal connection at an emotional level for the team / company for them to give 100%. if not, they just to enough to get through the day.

Being able to spot an oboe player in a wind section and moving them out is important: reportees hate it when there is one person holding them and the team back so the ability to recognize and act on this is essential.

Finally, a manager / supervisor has to remember that the needs of the business come first but these needs can only be met by the team. Give and take between your staff has to go both ways but your concern is ultimately the success of the business. He / she may have to decline requests made for the sake of the business but where you can, grant requests quickly and evenly. Don't dally or put off replies to requests. Always put your emotion to one side when responding to personal requests and consider the needs of the team and the business first.

Oh, and welcome feedback, good and bad. Without honest feedback you will continue to make the same mistakes and never learn from them. You can do this through private one to ones but remember, these are opportunities for the employee to provide feedback on how they feel, not to listen to you rabbit on for an hour about the latest corporate mission statement.

Team leaders are different - they are the vital link between management and staff.. The champion of the team but also the right hand man of the line manager.

Good luck!

Calski
 
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Please delete all my posts
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supervisor needs the respect of his/her workforce and also needs to respect the workforce.

somebody who can lead by exampleand can do what they ask the workforce to do. I have gained a huge amount of respect in the last week by showing a team who said it couldn't be done, exactly how to do it by being hands on. 90% of them didn't realise i was a electrician by trade. they thought i was another university trained engineer with no hands on experince of the job.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
really good stuff coming out of this thread lots of good points.

i for one know and admit i would never make a supervisory post

as im probably not disiplined enough and lots of the time ruled by my heart not my head!
 

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Juvenile member of Team Grey....
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thats another good point. The ability to smile, nod and walk away whilst inside you want to destroy the Humber bridge with your bare hands is a very useful skill. Thats why a manager needs a private office. You need somewhere to vent frustrations. There is actually a hole in a partition wall in my office where "somebody" took out his frustrations upon it. It is now patched up with a piece of MDF, with a sign on it saying "please respect your walls".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
im sure its a good attribute to have , being able to keep a sense of calm of both yourself and your team !

i think when it gets to the stage of punching walls i think uve past the sensible chat stage
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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The ability to deflect bullets and death rays whilst not impeding the force of your own laser vision.

I suppose it needs to look pretty cool too?
 
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Juvenile member of Team Grey....
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I work in a very pressured environment. I recently started an ex Navy Submariner, who hails from Ashton (near Wigan, if you know the place you'll know why I mention it). After a few months he stated that he was considering rejoining the Navy as there wasn't as much pressure.
 
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The Smoking GNU lives!
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thats another good point. The ability to smile, nod and walk away whilst inside you want to destroy the Humber bridge with your bare hands is a very useful skill. Thats why a manager needs a private office. You need somewhere to vent frustrations. There is actually a hole in a partition wall in my office where "somebody" took out his frustrations upon it. It is now patched up with a piece of MDF, with a sign on it saying "please respect your walls".
Not sure I agree with either of those points. If you feel you need to vent your frustration in such a violent way, then there's something seriously wrong with either a) the company and environment you work in or b) the way you deal with frustration. If it is option a then your senior management team need to be horse-whipped as they are responsible for that environment and have let things get that bad, if it is b then I'd suggest anger counseling or perhaps a new career. I'm not being funny or flippant here, but that's not good or healthy. I've worked in highly pressurized environments, life and death stuff, and never once felt the need to hit a wall or vent in a place isolated from everyone else. It is, after all, a job: I say that having invested long hours, blood, sweat and tears in companies I cared passionately about and in environments where people have quite literally been relying on me and my teams to help save lives. Nothing in a work environment could make me lose it like that and looking back, I suppose I have been "tested" repeatedly. That is down to my senior managers assisting me properly. Likewise, I then passed that help onto my teams. My advice to my lads and ladettes was this: you can only do your best. If you do that and you fail, then still go home holding your head up high: that's all I will ever ask of you. I hope and believe that it released them from the expectations that they had of themselves, which is, after all, normally much higher than those of others.

Managers don't need a private office IMO: they should be right in amongst their lads and ladettes. Offices create barriers to people, physical and psychological and if there is evidence of you losing the plot, your lads and ladettes aren't going to come to you for fear of being the next recipient of your wall-battering. This in turn compounds problems they are having, making them much bigger and harder to deal with in the long term: having a sign as some kind of "badge of honour" on a wall only makes it worse I reckon. To put it bluntly, if someone (anyone, manager, director) behaved like that, they would have been escorted from the premises.

Respect for managers doesn't have to come from you being able to do the job either. It can come from you always sticking up for them when they are criticized by people outside your team. It can come from them knowing that you fight their corner no matter what. It can come from you never criticizing them in public, even when they make a balls of something major. It can come from always being there when they have a problem, whether it's work-related or personal.

A manager who relies on his own ability to match his staff to earn their respect is an insecure manager: a good manager encourages his team to pass his ability out and succeed in what they're doing. They are, after all, the people you're leading so their success is ultimately a reflection on you and your management skill.
 
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Juvenile member of Team Grey....
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I think that we manage in different environments and pressures. In my "Industry", the ability to first do your job, then the job of everyone working for you is a must. I haven't worked in your "Industry" so cannot comment upon it. The industry I work in is also a very long standing, traditional industry which is currently in decline. To change said working environment would cost more than the company is ever likely to recoup by making the change. Training is non-existent, motivation is money based (and there have been no pay-rises for 2/3 years, we also earn less in real terms than we did 20+ years ago.) The machinary is (well) past its scrappage date. Despite these limitations, we are still producing, despite several other (more professional) competitors folding recently. We are also still quite profitable. The management style we are pressured to adopt may be old fashioned, but it still works in this environment. There is no Bullying or Harrassment. We don't coerce and we don't pressurize people, but what we do expect is a basic level of competence. If this competence is not forthcoming, then we "retrain". If retraining does not work, then we have no option but to replace. This is a long process, but is vital if the staff (200+) want to continue working in a declining industry.
With respect to your "respect" theory. In this industry, if you can't do the job of the people you are asking to do the job, then you would never know if it could be done better, more efficiently and more importantly, safer. I hope my staff respect me. They know that I respect them.
cheers
Danny.
 
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Devout Sceptic
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I spent some years as a supervisor and a manager before I started my own company.
I like to think I did a good job. For me the job is all about finding solutions not problems.
The previous incumbent had been the opposite. If something was going off track he was straight in the directors office slagging people off. Although he was popular with higher management (because he was apparently spotting all these faults in the staff) he was hated by his underlings, including me.

If there was a issue that I hadn't solved before it became a problem (i.e. gone "up stairs") then I was disappointed. I saw myself as just another man with a job to do. I kept the staff in the loop.

When it hit the fan the first thing I'd do is stop and think. When I decided on a plan of attack I'd gather the best team to tackle the problem and brief them on what we needed to do. I had no objection to pulling my overalls on and mucking in, especially if a machine had gone down.

My approach did frustrated my director. It left him with a much lighter work load on the shop-floor. At his every turn I'd just respond "it's sorted!"

Paul
 
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All we wanted was a home... Manics
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Probably true in large organisations with substantial resource. I have never experienced this level of demarkation. I work in manufacturing so everyone has to do about 11 jobs
it depends on what the 'supervisor' role is.

Is it a manager, or is it to provide professional support?

Performance management and supervision are different, and should not be conflated

:).
 

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All we wanted was a home... Manics
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Following a telcon with remote site boss, I once threw a large diecast zinc component so hard at the wall that it stuck in the brickwork underneath, narrowly missing someone entering my office. ...and before anyone says I must have anger issues - anyone that knows me will be shocked I have EVER lost my temper. In management - especially middle management - the stresses are beyond the tolerance of anyone at times - don't care what others say
thats another good point. The ability to smile, nod and walk away whilst inside you want to destroy the Humber bridge with your bare hands is a very useful skill. Thats why a manager needs a private office. You need somewhere to vent frustrations. There is actually a hole in a partition wall in my office where "somebody" took out his frustrations upon it. It is now patched up with a piece of MDF, with a sign on it saying "please respect your walls".
 
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