Tip #579: Set New Supervisors Up for Success

“All resources are not obvious; great managers find and develop available talent.”  Zig Ziglar

Here are the ingredients in my recipe for setting new supervisors up for success:

  1. Clearly define their role and performance expectations, so they know how to prioritize their tasks.
  2. Let them shadow a seasoned supervisor for a month or more, so they can observe how to handle daily, weekly and monthly supervisory activities.
  3. Assign them a mentor, someone who has been a supervisor and can help the new supervisor learn how to maneuver within the organization.
  4. Provide new supervisor orientation to organizational policies and procedures in stages, so as not to overwhelm them.
  5. Teach them what they need to know immediately to function in the organization.
  6. Give them an indexed new supervisor manual that lays out tasks, due dates, resources, and links to relevant policies, procedures and forms.
  7. Hire retired supervisors to provide hours or days of one-on-one job training or situation management assistance for supervisors who are alone in isolated areas.
  8. Recruit seasoned managers who will allocate an hour at the same time every week, to be available to provide advice and counsel.
  9. If technology allows, create just-in-time supervisory briefings available on the organization’s server.
  10. Create a list of resource contact people organized by their areas of specific knowledge.
  11. Set up monthly new supervisor meetings that focus on the development of specific skill sets and provide an opportunity for the supervisors to share experiences and information.
  12. Make sure that there are seasoned supervisors present at new supervisor training sessions, to share lessons learned and provide guidance regarding how to handle problem situations.
  13. Ensure that the managers of the new supervisors meet with them at least every other week to discuss progress and provide constructive feedback.
  14. Remind managers that all employees, including new supervisors, need recognition and encouragement.
  15. Teach managers about different learning styles, so they will adapt their approach to giving assignments and on-the-job training.
  16. Have the management spend time with the new supervisors, both in formal training sessions and in informal lunch discussions, to talk and to build relationships.
  17. Make it imperative that managers know their new supervisors by name.
  18. Provide necessary tools and resources.
  19. If the supervisors are new to the organization, stress the importance of getting their hands dirty by learning how to perform the work of their subordinates.
  20. Provide training in skills and information essential to effective supervisory performance within your organizational culture. These may include any of the following:


Ø  Active listening

Ø  Coaching

Ø  Change management

Ø  Conflict management

Ø  Cultural awareness

Ø  Customer service

Ø  Decision making

Ø  Delegation

Ø  Discipline

Ø  Generational differences

Ø  Handling difficult conversations

Ø  Harassment-free environment

Ø  Interpersonal communication skills

Ø  Interviewing

Ø  Management styles

Ø  Mediation

Ø  Meeting management

Ø  Monitoring

Ø  Motivation

Ø  Performance appraisal

Ø  Performance management

Ø  Personality differences

Ø  Personnel management

Ø  Presentation

Ø  Problem solving

Ø  Project management

Ø  Quality management

Ø  Recruitment and selection

Ø  Report writing

Ø  Stress management

Ø  Team building

Ø  Time management


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