Supervision is gravely misunderstood by many bosses. Some assume that they are required to be strict, follow up rigorously, and instill fear in team members to get work done. In the bargain, they avoid regular discussions with a notion that such discussions give an opportunity for employees to talk only about their challenges or needs. Many times, supervisors feel that they need to give directions and provide all the answers undermining employee creativity and capability. Such practices often led to disengagement and loss of motivation for the team.
While the universe is full of possibilities, many are comfortable making the scope of work for their teams as objective as possible. They end up detailing and giving out only tasks for easier supervision. But, such a narrow outlook could stifle creativity, and employees may find their jobs less purposeful. People come to work with a purpose that is larger than task fulfillment. They seek to learn and discover apart from just earning a living. If these aspirations are translated into personal goals in addition to the goals set for them, there would be higher ownership and engagement.
There are 4 key aspects that supervisors should take note of, to ensure that they have a positive influence on team members
There is no one way to seek! Each person has a unique journey and set of experiences. Both people and situations are complex and perceptions of people introduce an element of situational subjectivity. So, understanding people, their intent and situation will help supervisors in mentoring or guiding the member better. When we start appreciating the diverse outlook through two-way communication, we relate with the purpose and method which may be fresh and innovative. Employees could create their own priorities/ work plans to achieve the goals with some guidance from the supervisor. Even better if these can be recorded on an online platform that records plans, gives prompts/reminders and measures progress to stay focussed.
Belief & Expectation
Initial predetermined beliefs could prove detrimental. The supervisor has to avoid predetermined beliefs and instead, understand the outlook/ methods adopted by team members before finalizing individual action plans. Expectations even when not explicitly called out by supervisors towards a few employees, can instill belief in those employees. Many a time, employees seeing the belief as expectation bestowed upon them, strive to meet the expectation. This shows how impactful the leader’s verbal and non-verbal communication would be on the subordinate. Communicating expectations clearly is one of the first key steps to build transparency and avoid ambiguity as well as misunderstanding. Regular check-ins provide for listening, giving feedback, understanding challenges, and provide support. Additionally, Supervisors need to be mindful of the quality of response and communication. The response should not be in haste but needs to be timely. It is advised to upfront inform response time for each type of response to avoid anxiousness within team members.
The supervisor should be aware that their influence on team members is immense. The texture of handling the team and providing direction is critical. This alone has the potential to impact motivation as well as growth. Many are unaware that their behavior or lack of emotional connection is adversely impacting their team’s engagement and performance. Seeking 360-degree constructive feedback on the team handling from superiors, juniors and peers can help supervisors understand and reflect upon their blind spots and developmental areas. Enhancing the emotional quotient will take patience, time, and effort but the result is worthwhile. High EQ supervisors have a higher probability of progress in organizations.
Many tend to presume cohesiveness within teams as a given and expect teams to dish out results together. Later, they find out that their involvement was required for collaboration within the team. Members of a group or unit, when made to feel empowered, will challenge and inspire each other, manage vulnerabilities and face challenges better. The extent of motivation, or lack of it, can make or break the team’s focus. Communication needs to be balanced wherein no member feels ignored and feedback is taken post the communication. The responsibility of quality communication amongst team members rests entirely with its leader – they are the ones who instill a culture in which uniqueness is encouraged, team stories are shared, efforts are recognized, and achievements are appreciated.
Reference Courtesy & Inspiration
Goleman, D.(1995) Emotional Intelligence.
Penubolu,Y. (2020) The Transformational lens.
Oppong,T. (2018). How Expectation Shape Behaviour for Better or Worse> “Pygmalion effect” by Robert Rosenthal