Display of excellent supervisory qualities among supervisors is no doubt one of the strongest desires for any organizations’ that seek to achieve a reputable staffing system. With this regards this manual seeks to inculcate good supervisory practices that will serve as a guide for supervisors of such organization. This manual provides two best practices each for six area of good supervisory principles which include; demonstrating communication skills, determining effective orientation and training methods, improving productivity for teams, conducting performance appraisals, resolving conflict and improving employee relations.
These are discussed in details in the sections that follow. 1. Demonstrating Communication Skills. Organizations are totally reliant on communication, which can be defined as the exchange of ideas, messages, or information by speech, signals, or writing. Without communication, organizations would not function. Communication allows administrators to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships, listen to others, and otherwise gain the information needed to create an inspirational workplace
The two communication skills in focus here are written and oral communication, which also form the two practices in question. Oral Communication: Oral communication encompasses all forms of communication that do not involve writing or printing. It involves speaking or talking as well as using signs. It is an informal and most common form of communication in the workplace. Supervisors most learn how to communicate orally in a manner that will enable them command a lot of respect among the employees. A simple way to achieve this is to speak with utmost diplomacy and politeness.
It should also be noted that good oral communication skills can come as a result of proper listening abilities. In other words, paying attention to every fact and detail is very important. It is a known fact that about 55% of communication will be in listening, 22% involve speaking, and the remaining 23% will be in other ways (Rue and Byars, 2004). In summary, good oral communication skills bring about a mutual and effective understanding between supervisors and employees. Written Communication: Good quality writing skills is very important, because it is the formal means of communication in an establishment.
It will be very difficult to communicate certain activities such as progress report, financial report, medical report, stock status and so on without this type of communication. It is therefore very essential that supervisors develop quality writing skills for good and efficient formal communication. Good writing skills also involve good reading skills. 2. Determining Effective Orientation and Training Methods. Orientation and training programs are important components in the processes of developing a committed and flexible high-potential workforce and socializing new employees.
In addition, these programs can save employers money and consequently provide huge returns to an organization, because an organization that invests money to train its employees results in both the employees and the organization enjoying the dividends. Determining an effective training method depend on a number of factors, namely; introduction of new equipment or processes, change in the employee’s job responsibilities, drop in an employee’s productivity or in the quality of output, increase in safety violations or accidents, increased number of questions, increased complaints by customers or coworkers.
In this regards, the following practices should be implemented to determine which training method to use. Taking Regular Surveys: The development and implementation of a systematic, planned survey of short and long-range training needs should be completed prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. As regular as need implies, additional surveys should be made to identify new or declining training needs. Monitoring the Employees Major Duties: Supervisors should review the major duties and responsibilities of different jobs units.
Once the major duties and responsibilities have been identified it is usually easy process to recognize the skills, knowledge and abilities that are needed to successfully perform these duties. The final step in this process is to assess the employees in each unit and decide where each worker stands relative to the required job expectations. In other words the supervisor should determine the gap between the requirements of the jobs and the capabilities of the people who perform the work. 3.
Improving Productivity for Teams. Two best practices that supervisors should adhere to at this point include delegating responsibilities and mentoring moral attitude in employees. Delegating Responsibilities: Being able to know which responsibilities to delegate and the appropriate time to do so is very important. “Failure to delegate is probably the most frequent reason that supervisors fail in their jobs. Successful delegation involves three necessary steps: • Handing over work to the different workers in the work group,
• Creating an obligation (responsibility and accountability) on the part of each employee to perform the duties satisfactorily, and • Granting authorization (authority) to take the measures necessary to carry out the duties. Thus, successful delegation involves the delegation of both authority and responsibility” (Rue and Byars, 2004). Mentoring Moral Attitude: Supervisors must ensure that they instill a positive moral attitude in the employees so as to boost the morale of the organization’s work force.
Leading by example is the ideal way by which this can be achieved. A disciplined staff is as good as a winning team. There is rarely any organization that survives without a staff that has very obedient as well as professional attitude towards their respective responsibilities. Supervisor should therefore take full responsibilities in order to motivate the employees and thus creating self confidence to will enable quality performance. 4. Conducting Performance Appraisals. Employee performance should be evaluated regularly.
Regular performance evaluations not only provide feedback to employees, but also provide employees with an opportunity to correct deficiencies. A performance appraisal is a formal, structured system designed to measure the actual job performance of an employee against designated performance standards. “Performance appraisal is a process that involves communicating to an employee how well the employee is performing the job and also, ideally, involves establishing a plan for improvement. Performance appraisals are used for many purposes in organizations.
Among these purposes is wage and salary administration, promotions or demotions, transfers, layoffs, discharges, counseling with employees, and human resources planning. Performance appraisal systems have three principal purposes namely; • to improve employee performance in the present job, • to prepare employees for future opportunities that may arise in the organization, and • to provide a record of employee performance that can be used as a basis for future management decisions. (Rue and Byars, 2004)”
The two methods of appraisal that are in focus here are the use of rating scale (ranking) and critical incident appraisals. Ranking (use of rating scale). Ranking makes use of such devices as peer evaluations, self-appraisals, and even customer evaluations, with the sole aim which is to single out employees that have some specific weaknesses. Using this method, employees are evaluated on the basis of goals (past and present) achieved. This type of evaluation tends create a certain degree of freedom in the employees. Thus they can work at their own pace as well give their own opinion about the conditions at their work place.