Section 2.7 in the CPTD Certification program for ATD is Coaching. Section B reads, “Skill in coaching supervisors and managers on methods and approaches for supporting employee development.”
I have always had a keen interest in coaching of supervisors and managers. I believe their role is pivotal, and their situation is often challenging. Throughout my career, I spent roughly 40% of my time actually working with supervisors in groups and individually to develop and sharpen their skills.
Successful Supervisor Series
From 2016 to 2018 I wrote a series of 100 blog articles specifically aimed at creating more successful supervisors. I am sharing an index of the entire program hereso you can view the topics covered. The index has a link to each article on my blog in case you may be interested in reading up on certain topics. Note: After you call up the document, you will need to click on “enable editing” at the top of the page in order to open the links below.
Use for Training
You may wish to select articles at random or as a function of your interest, or an alternative would be to view one article a day for 100 days. You could use the series as a training program for supervisors.
In that case, I recommend having periodic review sessions to have open discussion on the points that are made. There will likely be counter points to some of my ideas that apply to your situation.
Some examples relating to Employee Development
Most of this series deals with the development of the supervisors themselves, but many of the articles deal with supervisors supporting employee development. I will share links to 10 specific articles here as examples from the series:
I hope this information has been helpful to you. Best of luck on your journey toward outstanding Supervision and Leadership.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind, and Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.
Think back to the day you took your first job. It makes no difference what the nature of that job was.
You had to go through an acclamation process when joining the new entity. If you are like me, you remember a lot of detail about those first few hours.
It is similar to when you meet a new individual for the first time; you make an initial judgment very quickly.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Blink” describes human ability to put together a mosaic of “Thin Slices” of data to form an initial conclusion about a new environment. Malcolm says people can form an initial judgment in three seconds.
The first few hours of a person’s employment are pivotal for good contact and information sharing. It is really up to the supervisor to manage the transition process so the employee gets off to a great start.
The remainder of this article contains some tips that may be helpful for supervisors to consider.
1. Outline duties and goals
The new employee needs to know precisely the goals of the organization and what he or she is expected to do. It is amazing that many supervisors give kind of a vague description of what is done in their area and expect the new employee to pick up his or her specific contribution almost by osmosis.
A hands on tour and discussion with existing employees is often helpful right at the start.
2. Make it a formal process
Since the new person is, hopefully, going to be an important part of the future of the team, it is worth it to invest in some organization of information for the start of this relationship.
I do not advocate scripting every word that is said or making a video introduction by the most senior person, but it is good to think through and outline the points to cover during orientation.
3. Don’t be Boring
So many organizations make the mistake of sitting new employees down in front of a “trainer” for several days, and the trainer works off a script or set of PowerPoint slides.
After about the first 30 minutes, the new employees are bored to tears and not paying any attention to the information being given. What a horrible way to begin a new relationship with employees.
4. Describe your culture and the most important points to remember
Culture is how the organization thinks and acts as a whole. Make sure the new employees fully understand how they will interface with their new peers, customers, suppliers, and management.
You might even make up some brief role play activities that illustrate these important concepts.
5. Encourage questions and be transparent
New employees are usually a little shy about asking questions. They don’t want to appear to be dumb by asking questions that would be obvious to seasoned employees, so they may be a bit hard to draw out.
Having a set of “Frequently Asked Questions” is a good way to get some information transferred and to get the new employees to open up and realize that the only dumb questions are the ones they are too shy to ask.
6. Explain the Values
The most important thing for the new employee to pick up is the values for the organization. I know several organizations that spend significant emphasis having the CEO explain the values in detail and share some stories on how the values are put into practice in daily activity.
I think it is also helpful for the supervisor and some other employees to share what the values mean to them personally.
7. Do Some Experiential Training
Don’t let new employees sit around all day listening to a stream of managers. Build in some time for people to interact with other workers and just talk.
The general rule is to have not more than 30 minutes of training time without some kind of a mental break.
Include practice time outside the classroom to break up the time and give people some variety.
8. Ask the employees what additional points they want to cover
Getting the trainees involved in selecting the content is a great way to keep them engaged in the process. Since the trainers are intimately familiar with the jargon of the organization, it is not uncommon for new recruits to be in a total fog with the unique acronyms that seem obvious to the trainers.
I recommend that each new employee be given an alphabetized list of acronyms used by the organization. Once you start listing the acronyms, you will be amazed how many there are.
I recall joining one organization and was quite confused about what they were talking about for several months.
9. Include on the job, hands-on training
It is one thing to sit in a conference room and listen to the functions being described by a trainer and something completely different when actually performing the tasks.
I like to assign a “work buddy” for several days or weeks so the employee can perform tasks under the watchful eye of a seasoned veteran.
Make sure the new employee not only knows the goals of the organization but is familiar with how progress toward those goals is measured. Have the new employee sit in on a formal progress review, if possible.
All of these suggestions seem pretty logical, but you would be amazed how few organizations do a great job with bringing new talent onboard.
Since the employees, and how they perform, are really the lifeblood of any organization, skimping on their initial education makes no sense at all.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 500 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations. For more information, or to bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him at http://www.Leadergrow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 585.392.7763