Top tier supervisors are wired in a special way that makes them naturally inclined to provide guidance and vision for their employees. But that doesn’t mean every manager will be the perfect professional mentor for everyone on their team.
The truth is that good supervisors continuously look for ways to improve their own leadership skills in order to build rapport with their employees and to help them as they climb the professional ladder. No matter what industry you work in, making a few adjustments to become a better boss can have a positive impact on the entire company. Here’s a look at nine tricks that are used by today’s top supervisors to ensure that they stay on top of their game.
Set Achievable Expectations for Yourself and Employees
If employees aren’t clear about what is expected of them, then they are set up for failure. Good bosses are able to clearly communicate the mission of their company or department and the individual expectations for each employee, including themselves. Expectations provide direction and improve your chances of getting a job done right the first time.
That said, it’s important to set expectations that are both reasonable and achievable. The employee’s skill-set, company resources and the time needed, among other things, all need to be considered when setting expectations.
Offer and Accept Constructive Criticism
The best way to improve is to learn from our past mistakes and missteps. However, no one likes to be told they didn’t do something right. We can often become defensive or dejected when a supervisor points out that we didn’t hit our mark. That’s why constructive criticism is so important. Constructive criticism is rooted in pointing out what was done right, as well as what needs more work. Be specific, offer direction and keep encouraging the employee. If you’ve clearly stated your expectations and what is needed for a job or project, it’s now up to the employee to deliver.
And feedback should go both ways. Great bosses will also seek out constructive criticism for themselves, because they understand that improvement comes from knowing what you need to work on. Employees will appreciate that you value their input and are trying to make improvements.
Be a Mediator, Not an Instigator
Being a good boss means building bonds between your employees and creating harmony in the workplace. Engaging in work gossip, clearly favoring friends over other deserving employees, and not taking the time to understand all sides of a situation will not earn you the respect of your peers and co-workers.
This goes back to the age-old idea of being a team player, and looking out for everyone’s best interest so that the group as a whole can be as successful as it can be.
Take a “Do Unto Others” Approach
To get respect you need to give respect. Nothing is more demoralizing for an employee than feeling like their boss doesn’t respect them or doesn’t appreciate their hard work. Treat every employee the way you yourself want to be treated, and your work environment will be a good one.
Remember That You and Your Employees are People, Not Machines
Employees often think of their supervisor strictly as “the boss” rather than a human being with feelings, thoughts and concerns. And when we’re focused on meeting our company goals, it can be easy to forget that employees are people, not a part of an assembly line. Get to know your employees and show that you genuinely care for their well-being, interests and life outside of work. Don’t forget to show your human side as well.
Set a Good Example and Moral Standard
Supervisors and job mentors are expected to set a good example for their employees and mentees. If you expect your employees to be honest, forthright and caring, you need to lead by example. A supervisor sets the tone for what’s acceptable and should be someone that employees and mentees can look up to.
Be Solution Oriented
Managers and supervisors have to be problem solvers. You have to be able to fully assess a situation, think outside of the box and not let negativity creep in if something doesn’t go as expected. Whether it’s a system malfunction, an employee that isn’t being productive, or even a mistake on your part, it’s imperative that you correct mistakes as soon as they happen. That way you can get back on track and figure out how to make things work.
Praise Both Privately and Publicly
Giving credit when credit is due is a big part of being a good supervisor. Praise helps employees take pride in the work they do, and it encourages them to be more productive. Praise should be made in both one-on-one and public environments. Praising individuals and teams shows your employees that you appreciate the work that they do and it highlights the wins that are worth celebrating.
Encourage Professional Development and Delegation
Good supervisors aren’t scared by the thought of the people under them advancing in their careers and becoming the boss one day – they encourage it. A good boss will hire people that have the skills they themselves lack to fill in the gaps and encourage their employees to use these strengths in order to improve the business as a whole.
Every employee looks for a supervisor that’s going to help them move forward in their career, not hold them back. Give employees support, advice and delegate out tasks that give them more responsibility so they can grow professionally.