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Best Practices Manual for New Supervisors Essay

Communication is a multi-faceted term in the realm of management and employee relations. It can apply to the individual’s ability to interact in general terms (supervisor to employee) or literal language skills (e. g. clearly speaking the domestic language). When language is the concern, supervisors must work to ensure all employees can effectively communicate within the organization as well as with the client or customer. In an era of diversity, most organizations employ individuals from all ethnic backgrounds and conduct business with a diverse clientele.

Having clients of different cultural backgrounds does not have to pose communication barriers. In fact, with a little research and training, both the international employee and client can enjoy a mutually prosperous relationship. One of the most effective methods in communicating is in understanding. Understanding in the context of internal relations involves the supervisor’s ability to interact with employees at a level that encourages positive behavior and productivity.

In terms of clientele, the best strategies and techniques in communicating with clients of different cultures would be know as much as possible about the client’s cultural background. Supervisors must be aware of the uniqueness of individual needs and how they relate to different aspects of life. While adapting to various levels of communication may seem difficult, it is possible and encouraged for the overall success of an organization. Determining Effective Orientation and Training Methods

Effective orientation and training methods are similar to recruitment and selection methods, whereby selection tools prove beneficial to managers in determining which applicants are best suited for a particular position. Regardless of the industry, methods recommended include various forms of testing (personality tests, cognitive ability tests, and biographical inventory tests), combined with interviews and evaluations at both a team and individual management level. The most common indicators of training needs are when workers consistently fail to achieve productivity objectives and excessive customer complaints.

These issues are best identified through organization analysis, task analysis, and person analysis, including a variety of specific training options. Specialized technology training uses the systems model of training whereby asserting the needs assessment followed by design (objectives, readiness and learning principles). After determining the needs of each individual employee, supervisors must then work toward implementation with on-the-job or other applicable training methods.

If faced with a report of increased customer complaints, supervisors must first look at the organization as a whole, investigating areas that seem to be lacking and narrow down results from there. All aspects of the needs assessment can be useful: organizational, task and person analysis. Once the source of the problem has been identified, the next step is to design a training program that will address the issues while teaching employees better customer service skills. While most employees detest mandatory meetings, such gatherings work to encourage employees in maintaining good performance records and motivate low performing employees.

Training to increase employee participation in pep meetings would be designed to motivate individual employees through incentives. It is important that employees feel valued and that each is an essential member of the collective team. Positive training methods must also include a level of encouraging traits, allowing each to feel he or she gains valuable knowledge from these meetings versus a feeling of dread. Improving Productivity for Teams In all levels of business, it takes teamwork to achieve the result of productivity, whether the team is part of human resources, production, shipping, or in executive management.

All members of an organization must work together to attain a desired result. An effective means of encouraging and improving productivity for teams is in the use of team-based incentives. This type of incentive encourages employees to continue working as a team and thus creating a cooperative environment within the company. To the credit of individual incentives, often times individual employees put forth more effort than others and are not rewarded according to their actions when applied under a team-based incentive program.

However, positive aspects of the application of team-based incentives indicate such action works toward achieving the desired result: teamwork. There is no doubt that employee incentives promote better performance. Team-based incentives are more economical in many ways. By allowing employees to work as a team, there is a greater chance of attaining a better productivity level. Offering incentives under this premise offers each employee to work well with others to ensure that final goal is attained, and therefore creating the certainty of receiving such incentives.

When team-based incentives are geared toward individual teams, the results are more apt to be to the executive department’s satisfaction. For example, if X department understands that it must be the monthly requirements for Z department to complete its end of month reporting and that there will be no incentives given in the event of missing a specific deadline or goal, each respective department team will be more likely to work harder to achieve the end goal. Team-based incentives also give the appearance of “fairness” in the type of incentives offered.

For example, as referenced through an article by Nancy R. Katz (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, June 2000), although incentives lead to enhanced motivation, effort, and performance, “in the real world, however, incentives can have dysfunctional effects” (2000). Katz writes that the most common dysfunctional effect an employee’s expression, “It’s not fair! ” When incentives are contingent on performance, Katz explains that workers give greater concern to the issues of fairness.

“When the distribution of rewards that is perceived as even slightly unfair can lead to significant problems” (Katz 2000). Team-based over incentives provide positive points including economical benefits, encouraging teamwork, giving the feeling of fairness, and reduction of employee absenteeism. Clearly, when employees work together cooperatively the outcome requires an understanding of what makes cooperation work. Such traits include positive interdependence, individual accountability, positive interaction, social skills, and group processing.

The discipline structure of these traits includes the growth of group commitment and an increased dedication to the company as a whole. While each employee must be held accountable for his or her own actions, they must also work to meet and promote each other’s productivity. Team settings also provide a setting whereby each employee has the opportunity to participate in explanations and discussion, problem solving, present ideas and feedback, receive group support and encouragement, and be held accountable by coworkers which leads to an individual putting forth a greater effort for a satisfying end result.

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