TIPS FOR SUPERVISORS – Not “WHAT” to do but “HOW” to do it

Since in this guava season, the role of supervisors is making sure that employees actually carry out what they have to do and do so effectively, we are sending these tips out so that they can be passed on to all your supervisors.

PMSL offers this as a FREE service to all our clients.  If you want to go on to do formal supervisory training, whether for one or two supervisors at a time or for a whole group (we facilitate groups up to twenty) we can do that for you too.

Let us start with the management of discipline as a supervisor’s responsibility. This topic has become increasingly important this year as companies struggle to maintain its business. Interestingly we have found that some supervisors think that the best way to discipline people is by fear of punishment…They are wrong. In the days when people could be hung for stealing a loaf of bread, they continued to steal loaves of bread. And they continued to be hung. Fear also results in people making mistakes which can be very costly.

Good management of discipline means making punishment unnecessary. “Look up “discipline in the dictionary. It doesn’t mean “punishment” It means doing things the way they ought to be done when and how they ought to be done.

So the first thing a supervisor has to do, is to make sure that each employee that reports to her or to him knows what their job is. Give them a job description, and do not leave it for them to read by themselves. We encourage you to practice the following:

  1. Go over it with them one objective/responsibility at time. Remember some people do not learn by reading, they learn by speaking and discussing. Or by doing.
  2. Show them HOW it is done, explaining step by step what you are doing and why. Tell them what things can go wrong and how to avoid them.
  3. Allow them do the task with you, explaining to you what they are doing and why they are doing it. This applies equally from answering the telephone to using technology. With this step it is important that you create an atmosphere/environment that is not intimidating.
  4. Save time for questions and make yourself available for the next two weeks to answer them or delegate someone who has done the job before …and done it well…to answer their questions and can also act as a buddy for them.

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