Establishing credibility as the new boss is tough, especially if you're transitioning from a member of the team to the new supervisor. You are likely now in charge of making the rules, delegating tasks, and disciplining others. Supervising a team will be different for everyone. There isn't a one-size-fits-all supervisor. The irony is that supervisor training isn't as common as you might think. Only 34% of companies feel they have adequately prepared their managers. Here are five things you can do to set yourself up for success:
1. Build rapport
Building rapport within your team is the first step to becoming a successful new supervisor. Show effort by sitting down with each employee and getting to know them professionally and personally. Find out what their goals are. If you believe the employee can handle more responsibility, you should give it to them. Make sure you also reward them for a job well done. A successful supervisor continually invests quality time in their employees.
2. Treat others the way you want to be treated
The Golden Rule still holds true – even for supervisors. Treat your team with integrity and fairness. As a supervisor, you should not speak to your employees like children. Instead, understand why they've been placed in their roles and make sure they're comfortable with their responsibilities. You set the stage for your team. It's your job to take responsibility when something goes wrong. We all make mistakes, and taking accountability when you mess up shows the team you're human as well.
3. Believe in yourself
Demonstrating confidence and believing in yourself is contagious. It motivates your employees to be more productive. From day one, a successful supervisor walks the walk and talks the talk. Doing so will earn the respect of your team. There is a flip side, though. You need to understand that simply possessing authority does not make you a great leader. Yes, you need to believe in yourself, but you should also act humbly and continue improving. Don't let your position of authority go to your head. Instead, walk with your head held high - ready to tackle your new role with humility and determination to succeed.
According to Forbes, nearly 90% of employees say they appreciate a boss who is a good listener. Unfortunately, listening is likely one of a supervisor's most unused tools. New supervisors are often ready to make the rules and prove themselves, but you should consider just sitting back and listening. Your employees might be trying to tell you worthwhile and useful things. Take the time to meet with employees in a one-on-one setting. Make eye contact and give them your full attention. By listening intently to your team, you will uncover action items you can use to strategize in the future. Listening with purpose makes you a better coach and more successful supervisor.
5. Seek feedback
Most employees want to feel that their supervisors listen to them, and most supervisors want to know how they're doing. However, often employees are reluctant to tell a supervisor their true thoughts and opinions. Encourage your employees to provide feedback while making them feel as comfortable as possible. Create a non-threatening environment and explain that you need their feedback to become a better supervisor. As a result, they will be more open to sharing. If the employee provides generic feedback, ask them to be specific and provide examples. Once you are in a routine of receiving feedback, make sure you act on it.
Being a successful new supervisor is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication. However, by focusing on these five tips, you will establish a great foundation to help you become a successful new supervisor.