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Posts Tagged ‘Supervisory Training’

readiness

March 22, 2016 Leave a comment

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” – Peter F. Drucker. It is important to understand that a position of leadership is one of service and not solely of control. As a leader, you have to cultivate the ability to influence your subordinates positively.

leadership

In a company, the supervisors are one of the most important figures, as they directly interact with the employees. As a supervisor, you should promote employee engagement. If employees aren’t engaged or motivated, there is a problem. The nature of the job/ position is similar to that of a coach and a judge. They have to practice firmness and fairness. In order to do this job effectively, they are required possess these traits: intelligent, good role models, have desire and drive, honest, intelligent/knowledgeable, respectful and self-confident. Most supervisors have some or all these traits, however, sometimes their personalities come into play, making them either people-centered or task-centered.

People-centered supervisors emphasize interpersonal relationships, while task-centered supervisors emphasize technicalities. Being either has its benefits, but also has its shortcomings. For example, people-centered supervisors tend to be caring and lenient, but sometimes get too involved in the subordinates’ affairs. Task-centered supervisors are mostly focused and result-driven, but tend to be demanding.

Due to individual differences, it is sometimes counterproductive to focus on interpersonal relationships, whereas less work gets done; or to focus on tasks, whereas there is no team spirit or quality work being done. The best way to handle to handle employees effectively is to find a grey area – blending task orientation with people orientation to find a middle ground. This middle ground is called situational leadership.

Situational leadership emphasizes adjusting the leader’s communication style to the readiness (or maturity) of his/her subordinates. Readiness is the extent to which a subordinate demonstrates the ability and willingness to perform a task. Ability in this context refers to the knowledge and experience of the employee. Willingness in this context refers to the confidence and commitment of the employee. However, please note that readiness is task-specific, not global. Positive performance in a specific task does not translate to positive results in all tasks.

There are four (4) levels of readiness which suggest the appropriate level of supervision a subordinate will require. Readiness 1 or R1 connotes unable and unwilling; that is, the subordinate lacks knowledge and confidence to execute a task. Readiness 2 or R2 connotes unable and willing; that is, the subordinate lacks knowledge, but has the confidence/ is committed to executing a task. Readiness 3 or R3 connotes able and unwilling; that is the subordinate has knowledge/experience, but lacks the confidence to execute the task. Readiness 4 or R4 connotes able and willing; that is the subordinate is experienced and confidence enough to execute a task.

As earlier stated, by following the different levels of readiness, a supervisor will understand the subordinates and provide the necessary guidance to make that employee effective. A R1 subordinate requires supervision 1 or S1 which is the telling/teaching stage. A R2 subordinate requires supervision 2 or S2 which is the selling/encouraging stage. A R3 subordinate requires supervision 3 or S3 which is the participating/co-dependent stage. This is means they require occasional supervision. A R4 subordinate requires supervision 4 or S4 which is the delegating/dependent stage. Subordinates in this stage require little or no supervision in order to execute tasks.

Whatever type of supervisor you are or the mix of subordinates you have, credibility and trust are necessary in order to exercise leadership. It is key for your success that your subordinates believe in the ability, character and integrity of their leader.

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evaluation

February 7, 2016 1 comment

Employee evaluation is one of the most crucial periods in an organization. Quite possibly, as a supervisor, you may have noticed that most employees are not too excited about reviews. This is mostly because of evaluations usually connote a conflict of perception of results and/or negative criticism. For this reason, when performing evaluations, it is important to communicate the reason(s) for the evaluation to your subordinates. Some basic reasons are development/training, feedback, motivation, and recognition.

evaluationIdeally, evaluations is one of those situations where supervisors should be a coach and judge simultaneously – a coach in the sense of being firm and looking forward to an improvement in the performance of the employees, and a judge by being fair, considering even performance in past sessions. Sadly, it is not the case in a lot of organizations, and that’s unfortunate. An evaluation is not an excuse to berate or embarrass an employee. It is to help employees improve their performance and enhance the overall productivity of the organization. To this end, there are three (3) widely recognized performance standards of evaluation – Absolute, Relative and 360◦. The absolute standard involves evaluation based on the periodic (monthly, quarterly, annually) review of an employee’s performance. The relative standard involves evaluation each time an employee has faulted or is commended. The 360◦ evaluation involves evaluation based on reviews from an employee’s clients/customers, peers and supervisors. In my opinion, the 360◦ evolution is the most effective, but also the most tasking to coordinate.

Whichever standard you decide to use for the performance evaluation of your subordinates, here are some pointers:

  1. The evaluation is a legal document and hence be conducted in a private formal or semi-formal setting between only the supervisors and the employee being reviewed.
  2. The information in the evaluation should not surprise the employee. This is why prompt feedback is essential. A wrong doing must be addressed within a reasonable time-frame after committed not saved until performance reviews.
  3. The performance should be held periodically – monthly, quarterly or annually. An effective way is to hold it on the eve/day of the anniversary of employment. This way, it is more of a process than an event, and an employee’s growth or lack thereof can be easily noted.

As earlier stated, evaluations are to review performance, and hence, must be objective. Hence, I’d like to warn against three (3) common errors supervisors tend to make while making performance evaluations:

  1. The halo error: This is overvaluing and/or undervaluing subordinates’ performances based on their personality. Every personality has its strengths and weaknesses. Assertive people aren’t necessarily more productive than quiet people.
  2. The recency error: This is overvaluing and/or undervaluing subordinates’ performances based on their recent activities. This is why it is important to file every commendation/warning involving the employee.
  3. The similarity error: This is overvaluing and/or undervaluing subordinates’ performances based on familiarity/state of the relationship with the supervisor. A review is to objective – a tool to build, not a weapon to destroy. There should be not favoritism in the workplace either, well, at least not when objectivity is required.

Finally, this goes without saying, but employees are individuals and should be reviewed based on their merits or lack thereof, not who/what they are. Please do not ever make concessions or deductions on the basis of age, color, disability, gender or tribe of an employee.

balance

January 18, 2016 1 comment

These days, with the help of technology, it’s gotten difficult to separate personal life from work life. What you could only get done at work, can now get done on the go – receive and send emails, create presentations, edit and view documents, with apps like Gmail, PowerPoint, Word, and Acrobat, all your smartphone. Technology has its perks, obviously, but for the most part, a lot people no longer have a private life, and that makes them ticking time-bombs.

work life balanceEven trying to find a balance between work expectations and life expectations has become a chore; a chore that stresses a lot of people out.

Stress can be tough to get a handle on, especially when it’s being faced on both personal and work fronts. Common stressors, irrespective of age, career, gender, and status, include ailments, bad bosses/supervisors, family issues, financial challenges, personal distress, personal injuries, task deadlines, and technological malfunctions. If these go unchecked, the long-term effects of stress can either be physiological or psychological. Both may have adverse effects on the quality of life of an individual. The physiological consequences of stress include burnouts, heart complications, high blood pressure, and ulcers. The psychological consequences include anger, depression, irritability, psychotic breaks, and resentment. Stress, however isn’t always a bad thing. For example, optimal stress, unlike high stress and low stress (which are bad for the health and overall well-being of an individual), brings out the best performance on the job and in private life as well.

As an individual, the key to a balanced life is quantity at work, quality at home. That simply means putting in a considerable amount of time being productive when you’re on the job/at work – attending meetings, completing projects, meeting up with appointments, responding to emails, and so on; giving your family, loved ones, and yourself your undivided attention when you’re off the clock/at home – laptop and phones off when you’re with them, playtime with young children, bonding activities with teenage children, date/movie night with your partner, weekend/summer getaways, and so on; and on your own, engage in your favorite pastime, take up a new hobby, try yoga, live a healthier lifestyle – more physical activity, less processed food, more water, less alcohol and fizzy drinks, get a full medical checkup (contrary to popular belief, what you don’t know will hurt you, bad) at least twice a year, and so on.

As a business owner/manager, it is your responsibility to help your workers find a middle ground in which they can perform optimally. Some ways to help employees deal with long-term stress is through peer counseling or hiring psychologists (in addition to the on-site/close proximity medical facility), encouraging exercise and physical fitness through the mandatory use of available company facilities or provision of subsidized fitness programs, and the implementation of mandatory sick days or stress leaves (with or without pay) depending on the stressor. In situations where the supervisor is the stressor, frequent supervisory reviews should be done, where subordinates individually and anonymously rate the leadership style and performance of their supervisors. This could help the supervisors improve, and make the subordinates feel valued. When employees are content and happy, they are more engaged and productive.

A balanced life is a happy life, and you owe it to yourself to be happy.

herança

March 30, 2013 Leave a comment

For most of this month, I’ve been working on Herança Financial – its business model, services, team, website and so on. I’m pleased to say we shall begin business on Monday (April 1st). Today, I want to share my month-long journey with you.

HF

I started with the services that would be offered by Herança Financial are Small Business Advisory & Consultation, Business Analysis, Project Management, Supervisory Consultation & Training. Small Business Advisory & Consultation will basically be for new entrepreneurs. Business Analysis & Project Management will be for experienced business owners looking to become more efficient, expand/improve operations, increase productivity and/or transition into other things. Supervisory Consultation & Training will be for business owners who have ground level employees being promoted to management positions.

Next, I had to work on my team. It had to be a group of that had to know-how and proficient in business analysis, business management, entrepreneurship, project management and supervision, with substantial experience, especially in small business; most importantly, people I could trust. The team is still growing, but most of the essential personnel are on board.

After that got sorted out, I had to figure out how to make money! Most consultants charge per hour, and a lot of people are sometimes wary about that because some overcharge without getting any work done. With that in mind, I opted for per project billing and a free initial consult. The way that will work is during the first, free consult, we get to meet the client and better understand their business model or idea, assess their needs in to give the best possible solution(s), and set up a plan on how to accomplish the goals based on the client’s budget. I prefer to focus on value, so if it’s $100 the person can afford, I’ll try to put in $100+ worth of work with the client.

Next, office space. The business model was to meet clients at their places of business, but if we’re going to be working with new entrepreneurs as well, then we had to get somewhere. We got a place by divine connection and favor – a boardroom we can use for meetings for free, anytime clients would prefer to come to us. Even though we work with people in North America and West Africa at moment, these meetings in person are just in southern Ontario – currently  Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, Hamilton and Stoney Creek. I’m working towards setting up an African Regional office in Lagos, Nigeria soon.

Finally, the website. My partner and I went back and forth on the design and layout for the website for a while, but we finally came into agreement yesterday. This is the link to be dummy site. If you’re using a smart phone or tablet, you may be redirected to the mobile version of the site.

So, we’re good to go! Please feel free to contact us with your ideas or issues. It will be absolutely confidential, and we’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. Cheers.