Barriers to successful supervision and management
Time and time again many of our clients have expressed that finding great managers and supervisors is challenging, yet having a great leader can exponentially increase employee engagement and company growth. Regardless of business size or industry, we have found that poor management contributes to poor performance. Missing the managerial mark could drive good employees to leave the company and cost valuable time and money.
Learning what makes a poor manager can help yours flourish in their role. Sometimes, the barriers supervisors must overcome to be effective at their job are unintentionally set up by the employer. Here are some common challenges supervisors face:
- Failing to officially designate someone as a supervisor even though you expect a person to fulfill the role. For instance, sometimes the duties of a manager are added to an employee’s current position without giving that person a title. This robs the person of any authority to enforce company standards.
- Failing to give supervisors the skill sets and tools to do the job. Simply promoting the highest performer to a management role does not mean they will be a high performing supervisor. The skills needed to be a manager are often different than the skills needed to be a successful programmer, machinist, salesperson, or engineer, for example.
- Providing inconsistent training and education. Supervisors also need to be comfortable exchanging this information across the organization. If their health and safety training and education vary, they may not understand and interpret the job requirements in the same way nor be able to discuss this information with each other.
- Communicating only one way. Supervisors must be both the employer’s face to the workers and the workers’ face to the employer. Employers need to make sure they are responding to concerns coming up through their supervisors, which also ensures concerns going down are addressed.
- Ignoring diversity in the workplace (e.g., culture, ethnicity, gender, age, and physical abilities). Employers who fail to hire diverse supervisors or only hire supervisors who don’t know how to manage a diverse workforce may reinforce stereotypes and fuel conflict. Working positively with diversity engages everybody.
Eliminating these barriers will help supervisors transition into their management and contribute to their success in the new role. Make sure to read Part 2 to learn more about what makes an effective supervisor. If you need assistance strengthening your management team or other human resource needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources.