Skills for New Supervisors – What Should They Have?
So you have a new supervisor or you are about to promote someone into the position – what are the key skills they will need to be a successful leader?
New supervisors typically have very little management training, as they are typically promoted to management for their technical skills. So how do they acquire the management skills they need? In many cases, they model their behaviour after their supervisors and managers, since they see this as the style of management in your organization. This can work very well if they have great leaders to emulate and if they understand the nuances of what the leaders are doing.
The importance of having properly trained supervisors is paramount to your organization because they have the most influence over your company’s success than any other level of management.
If you were to choose to train these new supervisors, here are our suggestions about what should be the top skills to train for, and why:
Role of the Supervisor – new supervisors need to understand their new position and its influence on their staff. They need to know how they fit into the management chain so they can be their most effective, and how what they do links to the strategy of the organization. They also need to understand how to transition into this new role which can often be as a result of a promotion over their peers.
Feedback – one of the most useful skills to have as a manager is the ability to give clear feedback. It is the beginning of any performance management – whether good or bad, or conflict conversation. The ability to be comfortable and direct with feedback enables a manager to move to achieving results.
Coaching – a supervisor may feel that their abilities revolve around their technical ability to solve problems, but now it is about getting results from their people, and teaching them to solve their own. Coaching can be one of the best development techniques a manager can use.
Communication Skills – being a great communicator and listener will help any leader to manage their staff better, and provide confidence in communicating with leaders at higher levels.
Situational Leadership – understanding what leadership style to use in different situations will provide the new supervisor with effective leadership tools. Without understanding situational leadership, most leaders choose a leadership style and apply it in all situations, with varying results.
Performance Management – not only do they need to know how your organization handles performance management and progressive discipline, but they also need to understand setting goals, working with staff to meet their goals, and how to have the tough conversations when performance levels are not met.
If your new supervisors are not equipped with the basics above, it is time to get them into training to ensure both their success as a manager, and yours as an organization.
(photo credit www.nmu.edu)