Best Practice Manual for Supervisors

Introduction

As nature dictates in any work or organizational setting there has to be leaders and followers. Therefore, for management teams to ensure they achieve organizational goals by utilizing the existing work force there is need for adoption of correct leadership principles.

These leadership principles will ensure that there exists good relationships between leaders and other employees, a primary contributor to organizational success. In many ways supervisors can act as success factors or obstacles to goal achievement depending on the nature of leadership guidelines they adopt. Supervisors are very important in an organizational setting owing to the fact that, they bridge the gap between top organizational management and employees.

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Hence, because of these there roles play a crucial part of not only ensuring that an organization achieves its long and short term goals, but also employees remain at all times motivated and perform their duties as required. To ensure the scheduling, organizing, recruitment, role assignment and the overall management of performance succeeds, supervisors have to embrace correct best practices in the following areas as discussed in this manual.

These areas are application of good communication skills, adoption of good employee training mechanisms, embracing of appropriate methodologies of enhancing an organization’s productivity, application of good employee appraisal methodologies, use of correct contention solving principles, and ways of enhancing worker relationships.

Demonstrating Communication Skills

Good communication is one of the fundamental prerequisite of any organizations success. This is because depending on the mode leaders adopt to pass messages, different individuals will give such messages different interpretations, a factor that may result in many conflicts among employees and managements.

Communication primarily entails the passing of thoughts, something that is compulsory for all supervisors (Adrian & Downs, 2004, pp. 2-3). This is because; from time to time supervisors are in the process of giving instructions and directions to other employees as concerns work performance and management’s expectation.

Good communications in many ways guarantees employees job security and in many ways motivates employees because they will feel themselves as part of an organization’s key players. If by any means the communications channel has many deficits, it may make employees loose morale.

This in many ways may contribute to reduced production in terms of quality and quantity, subdued innovations, and lack of focus in jobs (Loftus, 2009, Para. 1).

To ensure that, the communication methodologies adopted by supervisors succeed, it is important for supervisors to ensure they give direct commands to workers. This because both the supervisors and employees know what managements expect of them hence, direct commands will ensure there is no flexing of organizational work rules.

It is important to note that, although supervisors have the powers of giving any commands, it is advisable that they utilize them wisely to ensure employee do not feel intimidated. Supervisors can achieve this by mastering and being proficient in their communication skills.

In addition, supervisors can achieve this by making sure they embrace good listening skills, which will ensure they take in employees’ suggestions, digest them; hence offer appropriate feedbacks that will live both sides satisfied. On the other hand, adoption of this like a practice is not only beneficial to employees in terms of motivation, but also it is important for supervisors for it will establish mechanisms of understanding employees’ behavioral patterns.

Active listening encompasses vividly analyzing somebody’s goals and knowing their intentions; hence, formulation of correct response mechanisms. To understand the speaker’s intentions, supervisors must learn how to interpret employees’ body language and the used attitude (Rue & Byars, 2004, pp. 42-44).

In addition to having good listening skills and offering of appropriate responses to employees issues, it is necessary for supervisors to have some expertise in the use of spoken and written communication skills.

At this point it is necessary to note that, these skills will not only be important in dealing with employees, but they are also important when it comes to dealing with customers on complains or new deals. From time to time supervisors have to communicate with customers using both written and oral messages hence, the need for them to express their ideas in a coherent and organized manner. Supervisors can achieve this through use of concise messages with all the required content.

In addition, it is crucial for supervisor to avoid words that cause heightened emotionality in readers. Other important components of ensuring communication achieves its goals include revising written messages before sending them, maintaining eye contact when passing important oral messages, formulation of appropriate feedback mechanisms, and respecting others ideas (Rue & Byars, 2004, pp 43-48).

Determining Effective Orientation and Training Methods

The success of any business unit or organization depends on the nature of skills its employees have (a main determinant of an organization’s performance index). For well utilization of employees’ expertise, supervisors have to undertake the overall role of assigning workers specific duties, depending on their proficiency. The success of this process primarily depends on the nature of training and orientation supervisors give employees as concerns their duties.

It is important to note here that, application of good orientation and training mechanisms not only guarantees effective work output, but also it is one of the motivating mechanisms that an organization can use to ensure it strengthens employees’ limitations. This is because in most cases, these weaknesses are just mere perceptions that employees have; something that trainings and proper orientation can eliminate.

Depending on the size of an enterprise, supervisors must perform these duties hence, the need to employ good mechanisms of ensuring the whole exercise succeeds. Application of poor orientation and training methods in many ways has negative impacts on employees, in that there are chances of attitude alteration toward some duties or roles.

Primary mechanisms that supervisors can employ to ensure workers get good orientation to their duties include: being hospitable at first contact with employees by using good welcoming mechanisms, guiding employees properly through organizational goals and objectives, and clearly explaining to employees what the organization requires of them by elaborating on the organizational rules and policies, which they must adhere to.

In addition, it is important to provide employees with information on the chronological development of the organization and give a clear explanation of the nature of benefits they should anticipate. On the other hand, it is important to make sure employees have a chance of knowing each other for it is important in the development of health relationships (Mechling, (n.d.), Para. 1-4).

After conducting the orientation exercise and having a little know how about workers, it is important to offer training opportunities to employees. At this point, it is necessary for supervisors to conduct a pre-assessment on workers to ascertain their level of proficiency with the duties they are about to commence doing.

In addition, the pre-assessments should follow organizational objectives as concerns employees’ duties, a factor that will help to design and decide on the instruction format. These may include the use of normal job training, organized training, or use of individual reading manuals that employees will use as they perform their duties.

In addition, the pre-assessments forms the main basis of determining learning mechanisms that employees like; hence, structure instruction to suit their needs. Depending on the training approach opted for, supervisors should ensure they use some form of oral or written training assessment to ensure there is mastery of skills and requirements.

Improving Productivity for Teams

For supervisors to ensure acquired skills are effective tools for achieving organizational goals, it is important for them to encourage teamwork for it has very many associated advantages.

Through teamwork, employees can learn from each other hence, come up with better and innovative ideas on how to improve work performance. In addition, teamwork enhances work performance by encouraging division of labor and specialization. In this regard, for managers to ensure they achieve teamwork, it is very necessary to try to understand different employees’ qualities.

This is an important tool for ensuring supervisors minimize likelihoods of conflict due to ideological differences among different employees. In case, it forces to group together individuals with varied characteristics, it is advisable for managers to ensure they assign each group member a different task, although it is important to include a few shared but controlled tasks among the group members (Rue & Byars, 2004, pp. 144-146).

In addition, because it is very hard for supervisors to control all the groups solely, it is important for them to appoint group leaders who will help in disseminating information and instilling group ethics and discipline. Supervisors must ensure they accord these leaders required respects and should encourage them using guidelines of good leadership. This is possible through giving them a chance to participate in the overall decision-making process.

To ensure that all teams achieve desired outcomes, it is important for supervisors to set time limits and assessment mechanisms. This will ensure employees meet deadlines and produce standard work, while utilizing available organizational resources. In addition, to enhance work performance, it is important for supervisors to advice managements on technologies that are appropriate, depending on the prevailing organizational conditions.

Once these technologies are in place, supervisors should ensure employees know how to use them in enhancing productivity. This is possible through updating employees on available innovations using both internal and external communication channels namely: inter-office e-mails, internet conferencing, phone messaging, and through word of mouth.

Although all the above can enhance group productivity, it is important for supervisors to remember that, worker motivation plays the central role when it comes to performance; hence, the need to integrate it in order to ensure teamwork achieves its desired goals. Motivational strategies that supervisors can use include eliminating any working obstacles, formulation of standard and achievable targets, listening to group members’ problems.

Conducting Performance Appraisals

Employee motivation is one of the major contributors to increased production. Motivation takes many forms ranging from the simple oral appraisals to monetary packages. Hence, depending on the level of work output or individual performances, supervisors must establish a mechanism of providing feedback to employees as concerns their level of work performance.

This is what performance appraisal entails hence, an important tool for guiding supervisors on formulation of performance enhancement mechanisms. Depending on the appraisal strategy that a supervisor wants to use, employees’ duties should take precedence. Two main forms of performance appraisal strategies exist namely: formal and informal.

The former is more structured primarily using encouragement strategies, yield standards, and employees work potentials. The latter in most cases, is in a general form depending on a specific employee’s work output. To ensure the performance appraisal mechanism adopted is not biased, supervisors should plan well by formulating correct mechanisms of providing desired feedbacks (McNamara, 2010, p.1).

Honesty forms the foundation of any performance appraisal methodology hence, the importance of including both the qualitative and quantitative properties of work.

This strategy is very motivating to employees because they will feel that, somebody really cares about their welfare. Common appraisal mechanisms include management by objectives, critical-incident appraisals, graphic rating scale, and checklist (Rue & Byars, 2004, p. 190).

On the other hand, it is important for supervisors to note that, not only are performance appraisals important tools for enhancing work output, but also they are important tools for decision making as concerns promotions and salary increments.

Resolving Conflict

Due to many ideological differences, among different employees, in common working scenarios fights are bound to come up hence, the need for the supervisors to formulate good conflict resolution mechanisms. Supervisors should ensure they adopt mechanisms, which will alleviate biases that arise when it comes to dealing with different employees.

Majority of conflicts results due to many factors both internal and external to an organization, and in most cases, most employees will hide them due to fear of intimidation. Depending on level of a conflict (either latent, perceived, felt, or aftermath), it is important for all supervisors to ensure they attend to all worrying parties; hence, come up with workable solutions that are not biased.

On the other hand, whether a conflict is positive or negative, there is need for supervisors to study the prevailing conditions before formulating any solutions to the conflicting issues. After understanding the condition and cause of the conflict, a supervisor should formulate a plan of handling both sides’ worries, while ensuring they maintain firmness in their judgments.

At this point good communication, listening and critical thinking skills take precedence, hence the formulation of satisfying solutions. Primary mechanisms of dealing with conflicts include application of force to ensure the worrying parties comes into agreement, compromising with both parties, confrontation, and smoothing disagreements by acting like they never occurred.

Just incase the above methods do not yield results then, it is necessary for supervisors to give worrying parties time off if they are in the same team. Separation gives supervisors an opportunity of finding a good solution to the problem and giving correct advices to both parties on effects of such conflicts on individual lives and work production in general (Rue & Byars, 2004, 274-283).

Improving Employee Relations

Success of implemented leadership principles depends on the nature of relationships that exist between supervisors and other employees. Hence, there is need for development and maintenance of good relationships between employees and their supervisors.

Supervisors should always take precaution when directing and dealing with employees because the nature of perception they create in employees is important in determining how these employees will respond to their calls. For supervisors to maintain healthy relationships they should always implement good discipline measures and ensure that they remain firm as concerns their observational judgments and decisions.

To ensure that employees maintain discipline, supervisors should adopt good communication strategies, for they will help to make sure that employees know what management expects of them as concerns conduct and work output.

This is an important prerequisite for ensuring supervisors minimize clash instances; hence, maintenance of good rapport. In cases where employees exhibit any sign of misbehavior, supervisors must act swiftly and curb the same by following the procedural requirements of the organization with no biases (Rue & Byars, 2004, pp. 379-384).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important for all supervisors to remember that, any organizational success depends on the nature of leadership strategies they adopt. Hence, the need to ensure whatever practice they adopt respect and adhere to work ethics, for this is the only sure way of ensuring an organization meets its goals.

Reference List

Adrian. D. A., & Downs, W. C. (2004). Assessing organizational communication: Strategic communication audits. New York: Guilford press. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from

Loftus, J. How to strengthen your organizational communication practice. Retrieved January 11, 2010, from

McNamara, C. (2010). Basics of conducting employee performance appraisals.

Free Management Library. Retrieved February 11, 2010, from

Mechling, M. (n.d.). Orientation and training of employees: small business series.

Ohio State University fact sheet. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from

Rue, L. W., & Byars, L. L. (2004). Supervision: Key link to productivity (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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