Must-Have Characteristics of Effective Supervisors

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

There may be some adjustments before a new supervisor is fully accepted by the workforce, but choosing someone with the right skill set can make the adjustment seamless. A supervisor who is fair, knowledgeable and approachable quickly earns respect and gains the esteem of team members. A confident supervisor with good people skills keeps the team on track and resolves issues before they turn into problems.

Excellent Communication Skills

A supervisor’s primary responsibility is overseeing employees to ensure that work is done correctly. The supervisor can accomplish that task with efficiency by providing clear direction that tells the workers exactly what’s expected of them. Clear communication is a sign of good management.

Timely communications regarding procedural changes and team targets keep everyone on the same page and maintain a smooth workflow. Communication that is unclear or incomplete can cause confusion, slow down productivity and lead to processing errors.

Listening is an essential part of communicating. An effective supervisor actively listens to understand a worker’s concerns thoroughly. With a good grasp of the situation, the supervisor can respond in a way that is appropriate, constructive and respectful of the employee.

When a supervisor communicates with business partners and clients as the voice of your company. excellent communication skills are an invaluable asset.

People Skills are Good Management Skills

If you want to retain employees and motivate them to do their best, you need a leader with solid people skills. A supervisor who maintains a positive attitude, behaves with consideration and consistently treats employees fairly is likely to see positive work behaviors in return. Workers who feel valued are encouraged to perform. Engaged employees are more productive employees.

From a staff perspective, supervisors are less effective and less likable if they hide out in their offices all day. The supervisor who takes the time to walk around and greet staff each morning is seen as more approachable. If workers are not hesitant about approaching the supervisor, they’re more likely to communicate their frustrations. This early warning gives supervisors the opportunity to ward off problems and prevent flagging morale.

Positive interpersonal exchanges help to boost engagement and foster a team environment. A boss connects with staff when she shares a story about her grandchild’s birthday party. These small interactions give supervisors and staff a better understanding of each other and create common ground in the workplace.

Self-Confidence Inspires Confidence in Others

To motivate their teams, leaders have to demonstrate leadership qualities. A supervisor’s show of confidence instills trust in workers and allows them to leave the supervisory duties where they belong. Displays of indecision, a lack of knowledge and an inability to delegate undermine a supervisor’s effectiveness. Employees who don’t have faith in their boss may avoid asking questions, resort to using their own judgment or take their concerns to a higher level.

When you hire from within your organization, you’re likely to get a supervisor with the confidence built through hands-on knowledge of the company’s mission and processes. External hires can make up for lack of inside knowledge with fearless decision making and faith in their own abilities.

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