Supervisor is the title of a management job position that involves authority over fellow workers or the workplace. A good supervisor works with his employees to delegate roles and responsibilities and establishes suitable goals and action plans. He mentors and guides his employees towards development and represents their requests to the management. He advocates not only for the employees but also for the organization as a whole, thereby making a priceless addition to the organization.
The supervisor’s responsibilities include ensuring that the employees follow the company’s rules and policies; training and orienting new employees to the organization and its facilities; providing accurate job descriptions for every job role under their supervision and helping the management with the staffing process, ensuring that the most appropriate candidates get selected.
In order to carry out these roles and responsibilities efficiently, supervisors require a set of competencies, as laid out by most organizations in the form of a supervisor competency model. Such a model includes:
- INTERPERSONAL SKILLS– This area includes building healthy working relationships with the employees and the customers to facilitate accomplishment of goals. A supervisor must build an environment of trust and encouragement that supports employees and fosters their ideas and cooperation. This competency also includes clear communication of ideas and information so that the employees work efficiently.
- LEADERSHIP SKILLS- This area includes identifying all the necessary resources required for work projects. A supervisor is required to take timely actions and take appropriate decisions to accomplish the work objectives. A supervisor must also proactively resolve any interpersonal conflicts or issues between employees and work to ensure that these issues don’t arise again. Leadership skills also include leading by example by setting appropriate work standards for self, and for other employees for successful completion of tasks.
- MANAGERIAL SKILLS– This involves sound decision making on the basis of available facts, figures and data and reaching viable conclusions and decisions that will benefit the employees and the organization in the long run. An efficient supervisor must plan ahead, laying down the complete course of action to achieve the organizational objectives within the available time frame. A supervisor must also guide and motivate employees in accomplishing their objectives, and address performance improvements or problems through appraisals and regular feedback. An efficient supervisor must also possess the necessary expertise and professional skills and knowledge in the required areas, in order to set an example for the employees to follow.
These supervisor competency models might vary with regard to a particular organization and its requirements. However, the above mentioned competencies are general in nature and applicable to any supervisory position.
An efficient supervisor must therefore act decisively, demonstrate flexibility, foster continuous improvement and innovation, encourage diversity, think systematically and inspire change, manage performance, manage conflicts and issues, communicate effectively and provide excellent customer service.
A well planned and carefully designed competency model can help achieve such high performance by identifying the performance criteria, providing clear objective performance standards and clarifying excellence standards to meet the performance criteria.