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Seb Anthony

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Supervisory development


What could we do next? I have considered workshops covering the usual topics, absence management, disciplinary matters, performance management, and have covered these previously. Should we re-inforce these messages? consider alternative methods?. My intention is to ask them for some feedback about what learning they would like, but fear, if I do not give some indication of what I can offer, the feedback will be 'lightweight'.
Any suggestions please?

Linda Hunt

8 Responses

  1. Try bonding with the people they are supposed to be supervising.
    What about investing some time and effort getting the supervisors to bond with the groups they are meant to be supervising.
    If they do that it is possible that the information they get from their staff may allow them to supervise more effectively.

  2. review
    Hi Linda,
    Having invested a lot of time and energy into training your people now may be a good time to check their understanding and evaluate the training against organisational objectives and to see if they apply their learning consistently. Their interpretation of the trai ning may differ in which case best practice can be agreed and you almost certainly pick up aspects of training that were not understood. If you have not already done so this creates the opportunity for the people involved to agree measurable targets based on the outputs of the application of their new learned skills.
    Just a thought

  3. Local Community Links
    Try planning sessions out of the workplace to do work with the local community.

    They can put into practice their skills in a different situation and add value back into the community.

  4. Supervisory development
    Following on from Peter H’s comment, I would focus on the human element. Maybe using Emotional Intelligence as the ‘theoretical vehicle’, invest in their capacity to relate to their staff as people. In my experience, many supervisors and managers struggle with the human side of things, eg ‘How far should I get drawn into their personal needs?’ or ‘How can I deal with the interpersonal tensions in the team?’ etc.

  5. Time to get ‘real’?

    I may make some assumptions about your situation, so apologies if these are wrong! I agree with Pete’s comments about checking against organisational objectives. If this was your business, what would be a productive result from everyone’s time? One idea is to press the point that application is their responsibility. What about considering action learning sets? They may have already had enough ‘input’ on theory. Now they may need an opportunity to talk about, hear, reflect on, and describe ‘real’ issues with which they’re grappling. Facilitated well, it’ll help them learn, be practical and you may be thanked for the timely challenge.

    Do e-mail if you want to talk more,

    Best wishes,

    Rob sheffield

  6. am I just building on Rob’s comment?
    One organisation I know of took the situation one step further by getting the supervisors to come up with things that caused them difficulties in the workplace. Then the group worked to coach the individual supervisors on solutions to the problems. In order to get people to bring up issues the facilitator reversed the Ishikawa family of the 5 M’s.
    It was a form of Action Learning set and it had brilliant effects not only in problem solving but in breaking down departmental barriers, improving cross functional working, improving processes, and so on.

  7. next step for supervisors
    I agree with former comments about the use of a learning set or sets. You could start it in a structured way, with each supervisor being asked to bring one thing that ‘gets in the way’ of them being the best, or one thing that they can’t seem to crack. The language needs to be right eg “Everyone has something that bugs them – what’s your goblin?”

    A person volunteers to start (or you just choose someone) You set a very clear framework about timing, and ways of helping, and keep each person’s slot short to start with – about 10-15 minutes. The framework to begin with needs to be clear, and adhered to, whatever they say.

    I’ve never seen it fail in mobilising help, support and development. I would say, too. that this is exactly the right time in your programme to bring it in.

    At the end of the session, you will have an idea of what might be useful in terms of further workshops, or whether they woulod prefer more of the learning set approach.

    Good luck anyway

  8. do they know how well they are doing?
    I’m conscious that you already have some useful ideas and suggestions. From my own experience I would just add that it may be worth checking understanding of what they believe ‘good looks like’ for their role. We often find that people aim to ‘do their best’ but without real clarity on what they are aiming to get to they can be a little off the mark or confused. Once people have a good understanding of this it can then be quite a simple yet very motivational process to check how well they are doing against this goal and what more they can do to improve performance. If nothing else it helps put learning into context so they can appreciate why the topic is relevant and how it will help them do their job better.
    Other than this I would echo the early comment about improving relationships with their team as this can be the anchor for all people issues and confidence in this area will have tremendous knock on effects elsewhere. Good luck! (e-mail me on [email protected] if you would like to discuss)


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