The challenges for new supervisors can be many. The research tells us that the second most important relationship a person’s life (after family) is with the boss. The research also shows us that when people leave a job, they most often do so not to get away from their companies, but to divorce their supervisors. (First Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman). Obviously, the role of supervisors is important.
Typically, the job of supervisor consists of radically different skills than did the job the person held before being promoted. Goal setting, work planning, delegation, coaching, hiring, managing performance, giving feedback, managing conflict, motivating people, and firing are not duties typical of most non-supervisory job descriptions.
So here you have someone taking on an extremely important job that will have a huge impact on the organization and on those who will work for her, and to succeed, she must be adept at skills she has never done nor been trained to do. No wonder so many fail!
They make a plethora of mistakes. Mistakes that can be avoided if they get the right training early (during the first year of their supervisory career) and are coached as needed.
Here are my top ten mistakes new supervisors make
#1 New supervisors are often either too indirect or too direct in dealing with people who report to them…they have a hard time finding a middle ground.
#2 They often persist in doing their old job, rather than in doing their new one. As a result, they don’t delegate, and they burn themselves out while the people who report to them don’t grow.
#3 New supervisors can sometimes view smart new people as competition, rather than assets.
#4 They can be so afraid to make a wrong decision that they make no decision at all.
#5 New supervisors often fail to consider the changed nature of their relationships with co-workers with whom they were once best friends and now supervise. It is difficult to be a best friend to a subordinate.
#6 They sometimes play favorites, based on former friendships.
#7. New supervisors often see themselves as crusaders, representing their people
#8 When pressured to act unethically, or not in the best interests of the company, new supervisors can be afraid to take a stand and do the right thing.
#9 They sometimes fail to adequately communicate with their team, their boss, and to their peers, not understanding that no one likes to be treated like a mushroom (kept in the dark and fed a lot of “mushroom food.”)
#10 New supervisors often fail to reach out for help, thinking they have to be all- knowing and always right.