Effective supervisors are crucial to the success of organizations, improving the work environment, reducing employee turnover, and enhancing productivity.  They play a number of critical roles. For starters, they are responsible for planning work schedules and delegating responsibilities to employees. They also motivate employees by serving as leaders and guides. Additionally, they inspect, counsel, manage, and mediate.  Quite simply, no organization can be successful without an effective supervisor.

Understanding their critical skills and how those skills can be developed is important to ensuring their effectiveness.

The critical skills that every effective supervisor possesses

Here are 7 critical skills that effective supervisors have:

  • Decision-making: An effective supervisor may have to make hard decisions from time to time to ensure desired productivity. The decisions have to be based on facts and there can’t be any bias.
  • Communication: Directing other employees is a major part of a supervisor’s job, which is why a supervisor must be a good communicator. Active listening is essential and so is the ability to convey ideas through writing.
  • Flexibility: Change is constant  – this applies to every modern-day organization, and a supervisor should be ready to adapt. Thinking and reacting rapidly are imperative.
  • Interpersonal skills: Supervisors can create positive work environments by showing kindness and compassion to employees. However, this can only be possible when the supervisors have excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Resolving conflict: Conflict is bound to occur in any organization. However, the key to handling it is to resolve it, and this is the duty of a supervisor. Quite simply, improving the work environment is next to impossible if conflicts aren’t resolved.
  • Time management: An effective supervisor must manage time well if projects are to be completed within their stipulated deadlines. This is where prioritization and delegation of tasks come into play.
  • Mentorship: By being a mentor to employees, an effective supervisor can reduce turnover, and attract and retain employees.

How to build supervisory skills

Building supervisory skills is a matter of hard work, commitment, dedication, and of course, practice. It’s important to remember that an effective supervisor today was once a novice. Here’s how you can build your supervisory skills:

  • Be approachable: Supervisors need to get employees on their side, and the best way to do this is to be approachable. Never make your team members feel like they can’t ask you questions. Be willing to listen. Encourage them to feel comfortable and confident.
  • Don’t blame employees for failures: It’s easy to point the finger at employees when a project ends in failure. However, if you do this, you’ll be seen as a bad supervisor who can’t take responsibility.
  • Congratulate employees for successes: Again, it’s easy to take all the credit when things go right, but what you should do is give credit where it’s due. After all, no project is successful owing to the supervisor alone.
  • Trust your employees: A supervisor is only trusted by the employees when the supervisor trusts them. Try not to doubt your employees, and even if you do, speak your mind clearly and let your doubts be known.

You might  also be interested in how to manage remote teams effectively.