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How to train your supervisors

If you have an HR department, now is the time to ask for their help. A trained human resources professional can teach certain leadership skills that supervisors need to know. Typically your HR department can discuss the relevant policies and procedures for different scenarios. They also will provide your new supervisor with policies related to training and development.

Discuss with your new supervisor what their role in the company is; here is a general description of a supervisor:

A supervisor is considered a junior level position and is a step above a general employee. The supervisor is in charge of the day-to-day performance of the small group and they guide the group toward their goals. If problems arise, they are in charge of solving them and making sure each individual on the team is productive.

If a supervisor has continuous issues with an employee, they can recommend higher action to the manager. A supervisor usually does have power to change the work roles of employees like moving them from one project to a different one.

Establish monthly and weekly reporting procedures. Many companies meet with their supervisors on a weekly basis to discuss the goals, plans, and objectives of the company. The supervisor is in charge of reporting for all the people they are over and discussing problems or concerns. Show the new supervisor how you typically run these meetings and what information you are looking for.

Once you have turned the new supervisor loose; stop by their office and visit on a regular basis just to be sure they are "learning the ropes". Discuss possible problems they may be having and how to resolve them. Start by defining the problems with the supervisor. If they are experiencing problems with their employees, take the time to walk around the office with the supervisor and look for how the employees are functioning. You can point out key issues such as improper communication, faulty printers, lack of discipline, etc. Inform your new supervisor to write down what the problems are, where they are occurring, how they are happening, and why it is happening. Once you have identified everything involved with the problem, you can help the new supervisor make an educated decision on how to solve it.

Remind the new supervisor that they can come to you with any questions. Keeping open communication between the supervisors and management is essential for running the business effectively. Many supervisors struggle in the beginning as they are trying to gain the trust and respect of their employees. If you have promoted within the company, you may find some issues with the supervisor moving from the level of "friend" to "boss". Discuss this with your new supervisor and help them become a leader to their team of employees.

Keep in mind that it takes time to learn a new job. Have patience with your new supervisor, as they may have several questions in the beginning. After a few weeks, they will start to fit in and make the job their own.

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