By Lisa Rothberger
Dec. 2, 2010
A good supervisor will provide detailed feedback on performance, help employees to enhance their skills, provide necessary training to increase productivity and, ultimately, encourage growth. In order to achieve this positive and productive environment, we have to create an atmosphere where our employees feel comfortable talking to us, asking questions and even providing suggestions.
Start with an open door policy. This idea can easily be forgotten, so you must remind your staff of this often until it’s understood and accepted. Because your door is open you immediately seem more approachable to your staff. This concept not only increases communication between you and the people who work for you, but also increases the possibility that an employee will bring a profound idea to the table — all because they were comfortable coming in to talk with you.
While we’re on the topic of communication, it’s important your staff feel that you communicate with them on a regular basis regarding their job performance. An employee should know when they have done a great job or if they have made a mistake. Take it one step further and share your knowledge; if you know of a trick or easier way to complete the task, share this with your staff. An employee should always know where they stand with their supervisor. Feedback should be given often, not just once a year during the performance appraisal.
Another key form of communication is the performance appraisal. Performance appraisals are tricky because it’s a confrontational meeting regarding performance on the job, but they are a necessity
. Stop groaning and listen to why. This is an opportunity to have an open forum with your employee to explain how you view their level of performance. It’s a single meeting where you can tell them what their strong areas are and what they need to improve upon. This is an opportunity for you and your employees to discuss future goals they have themselves and those that you have set for them. You can discuss the level of improvement over the past year, so that you are both on the same page for the year to come. Your employees should always know what aspects of their jobs they need to improve.
Quite possibly the most important aspect of supervision is showing your employees they are appreciated. This can be achieved by simply taking an interest in their lives; talking about upcoming plans for the weekend or asking how their children are doing. It is key, to realize that our employees have lives outside of work. The following are a few ideas for showing appreciation to your staff:
- Bring in bagels or coffee during a stressful project.
- Ask about their families and how they spend their free time.
- After completing a big project take staff out for lunch.
- At the end of the work week simply say ‘Thank You.’
- Remember birthdays and their work anniversary date.
These are all examples of showing your staff that you appreciate them and the work they do. All this is made possible with just a little effort on your part. Trust me; a small gesture goes a long way.
Being a fair, yet firm, supervisor can be difficult, but if you have open lines of communication and you are forthcoming with your staff regarding their strengths and weaknesses, the job of a supervisor becomes easier. If you exercise these methods every day, you will ultimately create a win-win situation for your staff and the company you work for.
Lisa Korotkin Rothberger is director of human resources at JARC, a 2010 winner of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. JARC is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland County, Mich. providing residential and support services to people with developmental disabilities. She can be reached at email@example.com.