State & Local Programs

7 Deadly Sins of Supervisors

Document Author: Rick Lynch, VMSystems

Snap Judgment Selection of Employees
Supervisors often goof at the beginning. Poor worker selection may mean years of worker unhappiness and conflict with fellow workers and supervisors. If the supervisor does a poor job of sizing up the applicant, then a misfit is as likely as not to occur.

Letting the Job Grow Like Topsy
Careless supervisors plus particularly ambitious of lazy workers can shape jobs carelessly. New duties are assigned to the worker who has the capability or the time to squeeze the work in. Lazy workers tend to shrug off unpleasant, demanding or boring duties. Ambitious workers sometimes gobble up all the duties in sight - without regard to whether they are wasting their high-level skills carrying a gold-brick. Good supervision requires good job design.

Failure to Make Assignments Clear
Vague instructions are bad. Supervisors should make specific, detailed assignments and then give subordinates the authority needed to accomplish them. A worker can't do a job without adequate authority. Divided responsibility results in misunderstanding conflict and low productivity

Being a Boss Rather than a Leader
"When I give an order around here, I want it obeyed!" Everybody knows the type. The easy way for a supervisor is to know it all and brook no interference. It's much easier to handle problems if one doesn't have the consider alternative solutions and possible disadvantages.

Indifference toward Discipline and Recognition
Nothing makes subordinates more indifferent toward discipline and achievement than the supervisor who couldn't care less. High morale and high productivity are engendered by the supervisor who demands good quality work and recognizes and regards achievement. The important thing is that recognition is given and more significant achievements are openly acknowledged.

Too Busy Train
The supervisor who is too busy getting out production to take the time to train subordinates adequately isn't doing a good job. This kind of supervisor is the fellow who can never be away from their own job. More often than not, proper training would make it easier to reach production goals.

Playing Everything Close to the Chest
Perhaps worst of all is the supervisor who keeps to all to themselves. They neglect to pass the work. Nobody knows where they stand. Instructions from this person are curt and incomplete. Questions are frowned on or rejected. This kind of supervisor typically keeps their own bosses in the dark, too. Turnover, overloads, slowdowns, and other problems occur unexpectedly.

Copyright: VMSystems

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