How Much Supervision Do My Employees Really Need?

Too often, managers get stuck acting like parents around a business. They spend more time trying to keep track of employees than focusing on their own work. Some scream commands then slam the doors to their office closed, leaving staff feeling resentful and often confused over the best ways to do their jobs. Others spread themselves too thin trying to do all the work in an attempt to meet company goals without making any enemies. A manager’s role is a delicate balance.

Providing Support without Sapping Confidence

One of the primary ways employees can feel positive about their jobs is by feeling competent. It’s essential that staff gets a chance to handle their own obligations. Your end goal is a synergistic style of supervision, where individuals work together to get a job done. Unfortunately, it’s far more common for managers to take on a different kind of supervisory style.

  • Authoritarians, for instance, are convinced that without constant supervision their employees will allow a business to fall apart. Obviously, this provides little in the way of confidence and works against the overall progress of the company.
  • Laissez-Faire type leaders want their employees to have as much freedom as possible, and for this reason may not give them enough direction needed to do their jobs. Staff may also feel disconnected from a leader who takes too much of a hands off approach, and won’t feel the need to work together at all.
  • Companionable managers, as mentioned earlier, are often so focused on being friendly and ensuring their employees feel well-liked that they are hesitant to do things that might put someone out, even when it’s a simple matter of following through on the terms of their jobs.

Synergistic leaders are able to pool the benefits of alternate styles and cull the limitations, offering a healthy mix of guidance, freedom and support.

Traits of Synergistic Management Teams

Synergistic management focuses on building a healthy work environment where employees feel valued, competent and important. This is done by focusing on the following concepts:

  • Benevolence
  • Reciprocity
  • Harmonious social relationships

Maintaining these three priorities will lead managers to provide more or less supervision in different situations. In fact, it’s often noted that this effective management style has many similarities with Confucianism. For instance, the idea that the right way to do something may be different for different people can be very helpful for a manager trying to help an employee reach his or her potential.

Examples of Applying Synergistic Management Principles

Provide teams with the tools they need to effectively communicate and collaborate.  Managers who embrace social media and encourage its use see increases in innovative solutions and in earned revenue.

Create a community of sharing. Leaders should regularly engage employees in discussions, exchange ideas and make it second nature for their opinions to be heard.

Focus on team meetings. Having one person leading the discussion is often a recipe for employee disengagement. Everyone should have something to add during meetings, as well as the ability to ask questions and offer suggestions.

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