If you are a senior manager of a trades-based or industrial company, you know how vital it is to have a solid team of supervisors. They are the ones who directly interact with your employees, customers, and partners. They are the ones who ensure the quality and safety of your work. They are the ones who represent your company’s values and culture.
But do you also know how challenging it is to build and maintain a solid team of supervisors? Do you know what it takes to attract, retain, and develop the best talent for your supervisory roles? Do you know how to empower your supervisors with the leadership skills that employees want them to have?
Advice from someone who's done it.
If you want to create a great place to work, where supervisors can engage teams, create trusting and respectful relationships, and lead their teams with confidence, you need to follow the advice of Larry Janesky, the founder and CEO of Contractor Nation & Basement Systems Inc. He said:
“There’s a saying: sh*t flows uphill. All the problems that no one else could solve go up to the leader. I don’t get those problems. My phone doesn’t ring because I have good people. It would be best if you created a great team of people who stay. If you have continual turnover nobody gets good at what they’re doing. Then, you’re constantly rebuilding your company. If you turn everybody over every 24 months you have a brand new company every 24 months and you can never get traction.”
In other words, you need to build a solid team of supervisors who are competent, committed, and loyal. You need to invest in their development and well-being. You need to give them the tools and resources they need to succeed and be the supervisors employees want to have.
How can you do that?
Here are three takeaway ideas for you to consider:
- Hire for attitude, train for skills. Look for supervisors who have a positive attitude, a growth mindset, and a willingness to learn. Don’t focus too much on their technical skills or experience, as those can be taught and improved. Focus more on their personality, values, and potential, as those are harder to change and more important for leadership.
- Provide regular and constructive feedback and coaching. Don’t wait for the annual performance review to tell your supervisors how they are doing. Give them frequent and timely feedback and coaching, both positive and negative. Acknowledge their achievements and challenges. Help them identify and address their gaps, issues, and opportunities for improvement. Support them in their learning and development goals.
- Empower and involve your supervisors in decision-making and problem-solving. Don’t micromanage or control your supervisors. Trust and respect their judgment and autonomy. Involve them in the planning and execution of your goals and strategies. Delegate tasks and responsibilities that match their skills and interests. Please encourage them to take ownership and initiative. Recognize and reward their contributions and efforts.
- (BONUS Takeaway): Give your supervisors permission to be themselves. Ensure they understand how much you support them. Supervisors who feel supported make better decisions and that support allows them to interact better with their crews.
By following these ideas, you will not only build a solid team of supervisors, but also create a positive ripple effect on your employees, customers, and partners. You will also boost your company’s performance, reputation, and image.
If you want to learn more about how to help yours become a team of CareFull Supervisors, and why it matters, you can order your copy of The CareFull Supervisor: The Tools to Succeed and Be the Supervisor Employees Want to Have from the FreisenPress online bookstore1.
This book is a game-changer for anyone in a leadership role. It will equip your supervisors with the tools to excel as leaders, and the skills to create a workplace that inspires loyalty and teamwork.