Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Make Time for People

When people become new supervisors they usually go through the, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that” phase. This is a great thing to do. Set goals. Plan things out. The bad thing is that many people don’t follow through. They get tied up in operations and forget about all those great plans.

One thing that people normally say is that they’re “going to make time for their staff”. Sound familiar? How quickly we forget.

As a supervisor, you’re a resource for your staff, a mentor, a teacher. To others, you’re a trusted colleague. You’re in a people job now. If that doesn’t fit into your agenda, then you’re in the wrong position. You have to make time for people.

Some of your staff won’t need a lot of supervision, or time for that matter. That’s fine. Let em work. But you still need to be available when they do need you. Others are going to need constant supervision and an open door. When these folks come to see you, ignore the phone, put down the pen and listen. Show them how important they are and how much you care. This is not only courteous and respectful, but also motivating. They’ll believe that you find them important and begin to act like it more. They’ll have more confidence and act more decisively.

If you’re not in the same physical area as your staff you can still be available. Provide a means for them to get in touch with you quickly – phone, e-mail, voicemail, etc. Make sure that you get back in touch with them quickly. No more than 24 hours. Make this a habit and they’ll have greater trust and respect for you.

Need another reason for making time for people? You’ll reduce turnover. As I’ve posted before - most people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.

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