Being a supervisor comes with great responsibility. You are tasked with overseeing the work of others, providing guidance, and helping your team achieve results. Setting clear goals for yourself as a supervisor is crucial for success.
Being a good supervisor is something that has to be learned. Supervisors need to be intentional with their personal and professional growth to get the most out of their team and themselves. However, becoming a great leader isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes patience, a willingness to learn, consistency, and having clear goals to shoot for.
In this article, we’re looking at some important goals supervisors should set.
1. Improve Communication Skills
Improving communication skills should be a central goal for supervisors due to its foundational role in every aspect of team management. One of the qualities of a good supervisoris the ability to communicate well. Although 72% of leaders believe that communication is one of the most important aspects of the workplace, Gallup found that 69% of managers are uncomfortablewhen communicating with their employees.
Improving communication skills will be an ongoing process as long as you are a leader. But, there are a few places where you should begin to focus on. Firstly, try to practice clear communication. You can do this by eliminating ambiguity. This ensures that tasks are comprehended correctly and executed as per expectations. It will also reduce errors, rework, and the associated costs. thus enhancing efficiency. As a supervisor, you must be adept at communicating and can articulate objectives, feedback, and concerns in a manner that’s easily digestible and actionable.
Hopefully, your improved communication skills will decrease the number of conflict situations, which are inevitable in any workplace. A supervisor with strong communication capabilities mediates disputes, addresses grievances, and navigates challenging conversations. This ensures that conflicts are resolved constructively.
Lastly, good communication bridges the gap between supervisors and higher management. Being able to accurately convey the team’s achievements, challenges, and needs ensures that resources and support are adequately allocated.
2. Foster Open Communication
Once you’ve made strides towards improving your communication skills, it is time to encourage others to do the same. Open communication between supervisors and team members is vital. As I mentioned earlier, most supervisors and managers are uncomfortable communicating with their team. This approach often results in their team being uncomfortable communicating with them. This is why supervisors and leaders must foster open communication in the workplace.
Set a goal to create an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing concerns. Also, encourage everyone to share ideas and ask questions. Be approachable and make yourself available to discuss work matters.
Promote transparency by explaining decisions and company policies. One of the worst feelings as an employee is to experience change that affects your day-to-day and not knowing why those changes were made and how they benefit the company.
Host regular meetings to touch base with staff and provide progress reports. Follow-up communication with active listening. When employees feel heard, they are more engaged and motivated to perform. Maintaining good communication lines is one of the major challenges of being a supervisor. However, when done right, it makes life easier for everyone.
3. Recognize Employee Contributions
Money is not the only motivator for employees. Studies show that regular recognition for accomplishments boosts engagement and job satisfaction. Set a goal to frequently acknowledge and praise your team for good work. Look for opportunities to publicly call out employees who go above and beyond. An employee who has been recognized is 63% more likelyto stay at his or her current job within the next three to six months, according to another study.
Recognize employees during team meetings for wins, finished projects, and progress made. Recognition from a supervisor is powerful positive reinforcement. Here are some other ways to recognize employee contributions:
- Personalized Acknowledgements: This could be a personal handwritten note, a shout-out in a team meeting, or a direct conversation to express gratitude.
- Awards and Trophies: Regularly hosting award ceremonies, whether annually, quarterly, or even monthly, can be a formal way to acknowledge outstanding performance.
- Professional Development Opportunities: Recognize and reward employees by offering them chances to grow professionally. This can be in the form of workshops, courses, or even a conference they’ve expressed interest in.
- Monetary Bonuses or Gifts: While money isn’t the only motivator, bonuses can be an effective way to recognize significant achievements. If not a cash bonus, gift cards, extra paid time off, or other tangible gifts can also convey appreciation.
- Public Recognition: Use platforms like company newsletters, intranet, or social media to highlight exceptional work.
- Dedicated Celebration Days: Organize special days like ‘Appreciation Day’ or ‘Achievement Day’, where employees are recognized and celebrated.
4. Boost Productivity
Boosting productivity should be a paramount goal for supervisors because it directly influences the success and competitiveness of an organization. Productivity is a measure of efficiency—how effectively resources, including time and talent, are utilized to produce valuable outcomes. When a team operates productively, it maximizes output without compromising on quality, leading to increased profitability. For supervisors, higher productivity often means achieving targets within shorter time frames and reduced costs.
This not only enhances the team’s reputation but also allows for resource reallocation to innovation or other growth opportunities. Moreover, a focus on productivity often necessitates streamlining processes, eliminating redundancies, and embracing new technologies—all of which contribute to a more agile and responsive organization.
Importantly, productive environments tend to foster higher employee morale because individuals derive satisfaction from achieving clear goals and witnessing the tangible results of their efforts. This satisfaction can lead to reduced turnover and greater team cohesion. In essence, by prioritizing productivity, supervisors pave the way for better business outcomes, foster a positive work culture, and position their teams and organizations for sustained success in an ever-competitive market.
5. Value Work-Life Balance
Burnout is common when employees feel overworked and unable to achieve work-life balance. This is something leaders have to deal with too. In fact, it is another one of the major challenges of being a supervisor.
An important goal for supervisors is to promote sustainable workloads. Check-in with your team about their bandwidth and watch for signs of overwhelm. Adjust deadlines or redistribute assignments if needed.
Make sure to set boundaries about after-hours contact to prevent burnout. Offer flexibility with remote work arrangements and schedules when possible. Model healthy work hours yourself as well. A supervisor who cares about work-life balance earns loyalty from their team.
6. Provide Better Feedback
Honest feedback on performance and growth areas is a gift to employees. Set a regular cadence for providing both praise and developmental feedback. Be specific with your feedback and balance positive notes with areas for improvement. Focus on behaviors rather than character judgments. One survey found that 75% of employees who do receive feedback feel that it is incredibly important to their work. Also, 65% of employees said that they wanted more feedback.
Giving feedback shouldn’t just be a tick-box activity, it should be an essential part of 1:1s and regular catch-ups. Giving feedback is essential for learning, improvement, and confidence and will help your employees to thrive in their job roles.
Offer concrete options, training, and support to help employees develop in weak areas. Make yourself available for ongoing coaching. The best way to help others improve is through kind, compassionate honesty. Supervisors who give thoughtful feedback empower growth.
7. Enhance Team Cohesion
Employees who feel like part of a team are more connected, productive, and satisfied at work. As a supervisor, make team cohesion a priority. Set aside dedicated time for team building activities – both fun and focused on collaboration skills.
Share more about yourself and encourage employees to share hobbies and interests. Also, celebrate milestones like birthdays, work anniversaries, or team accomplishments. Organize outings and social events periodically to connect outside of work. A strong team bond translates to greater trust and communication.
8. Advocate For Your Team
A big part of a supervisor’s role is being an advocate for their team. Set a goal to be a liaison between your employees and upper management. Identify and communicate upward any resources, training, or support your team needs to excel. Provide regular updates on team successes as well as ongoing challenges.
Be willing to engage in tough conversations to defend your employees when needed. Also, demonstrate loyalty to your team and establish trust. This will mean the world to them when they feel that they are not being treated fairly. Ultimately, employees need to know their supervisor has their back. When employees feel this way, they usually return the favor.
9. Lead by Example
Supervisors must set the tone for their teams. The best way to do this is by leading by example. Set a goal to demonstrate professionalism, integrity, diligence, and sound ethics in everything you do. Be a role model when it comes to treating others with respect and upholding company values.
Employees follow the behaviors modeled by their supervisor. Consequently, if you want to instill qualities like responsibility, positivity, and initiative in your team, you must exemplify those qualities first. Leading by example inspires loyalty and trust from employees.
There are different types of supervisor leadership styles. Whichever type of leader you are and whichever style you prefer, it should inspire your team to do their best and to be their best.
The goals a supervisor sets have ripple effects throughout an organization. With mindful goal-setting, supervisors can strengthen team engagement, increase productivity, and drive important business outcomes. The most effective supervisors lead by example, create alignment, advocate for their teams, and help employees develop to their fullest potential. When supervisors set people-focused goals, they create an environment where all workers can thrive and succeed together.