Groupwork Institute Blog

Who’s afraid of supervising? 4 Questions to ask yourself

Black-faced sheep looking directly at you between two wooden fence palings

It's tough feeling like you're the shepherd or the sheep... Photo by Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash

Very few people enjoy their leaders treating them like sheep. And very few leaders relish the idea of being a sheepdog, watching every move their staff make. On the other end of the continuum, leaving team members to their own devices leads to people feeling unsupported and ultimately disinterested in their work.

Good supervision is so important for effective management.

Employees need some structured time and a process to reflect on their practice, so they can test out ideas, work through issues and receive feedback.

If you’re a good supervisor, you build on existing skills and encourage reflection. This creates space for insight and learning that helps your organisation provide high-quality services. It’s a clear investment for your workplace to continuously improve efficiency, effectiveness and quality of service delivery.

1. Feel under the pump to get things done quickly?

With regular, useful supervision is in place, you save time across the organisation because roles and performance expectations are so much more clearly defined and people have a greater and shared understanding of priorities.

2. Ever feel you’re doing a good job, but you’re not clear what’s driving the success?

Try well-structured supervision; it can help you mine what your staff member is doing well so they can build on it, and affirm the actions taken to achieve successes.

3. How do you know that people are doing the jobs that they’re employed to do?

And are they doing it in a way that best meets your organisation’s goals? Supervision can also challenge you in the areas where there might be shortfalls and brings attention to accountability. With supervisor and supervisee meeting regularly, the process of supervision helps us stay focused on the objectives of the broader organisation and the boundaries of our roles.

4. What about regular one-on-one supervision with your team members?

As a supervisor, if you’re looking for an opportunity to troubleshoot, a place to discuss things that are challenging and space to explore new ways forward, try supervision. It can help catch difficulties early, before things have become entrenched and people are having serious performance issues.

We have a short course in Supervising Skills coming up. We invite you to join us and discover the joys of really connecting with staff, for stronger workplace relationships, higher performance and greater results.

And it sure beats chasing people around to find out what’s going on for them.

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