Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Skills of a successful supervisor

A successful supervisor makes his employees feel like valued, appreciated team members.

A supervisor who is good at his job guides employees without micro-managing and provides an atmosphere of independent productivity. Although it is not easy, the best supervisor goes without popularity to make hard decisions in the company's best interest.


A successful supervisor will be impartial to employees. He will not exhibit favouritism or make an employee feel as though her job security is based on a personal relationship with her employer, rather than job performance.


A supervisor must know how to delegate responsibility. A supervisor promoted from within may be used to taking on a large amount of the work; in fact, that very spirit of dedication may have contributed to his promotion. However supervisors must realise that their strength lies in managing the bigger picture, rather than micro-managing the smaller details. He must hire staff he can trust to excel at daily operations, so he can step back to co-ordinate and advise.


A successful supervisor has excellent communication skills. He will clearly communicate his expectations to staff, suggestions for improvement and pertinent information and developments regarding the company, as well as disciplinary consequences for inappropriate behaviours. A successful supervisor understands that communication flows two ways -- he will listen to employees and make the staff feel comfortable approaching him with questions, complaints or suggestions.


The staff feel motivated, appreciated and valued by a successful supervisor. He should regularly acknowledge employees' efforts and accomplishments, both publicly and privately. Reward-based motivation may increase productivity -- the supervisor should host staff competitions and reward winners with company-funded incentives.


A supervisor must mediate between employee disagreements. He will provide a safe and peaceful space for employees to air their differences, listen to each others' points of view and arrive at a solution that benefits the employees and the company.


Staff members receive necessary training -- whether new or long-serving employees -- under a successful supervisor. He should always share his own knowledge and teach new methods or review old techniques for the staff's personal and professional benefit.


He evaluates staff at regular intervals. This provides an opportunity to review employee strengths and weaknesses, decide what areas need improving and how to implement those changes, and congratulate and reward hard-working employees for a job well done.


A successful supervisor has intimate knowledge and expertise of the job functions staff members perform. This allows him to empathise with any stresses or difficulties employees may experience and be a source of practical and emotional support.