Part 2: How to Help Your New Supervisor Avoid Pitfalls and Achieve Performance Success by Sabrina Smith

Last week you learned two important areas to help your new supervisor avoid pitfalls and achieve performance success. They were: New Supervisor Role Clarity and Transition Management; New Supervisor and Time Management. Today you will learn three additional actions you can take to build a confident, high performing supervisor who experiences the joys of leadership within your organization.

New Supervisor and Self-Management

New supervisors tend to focus on managing their team, their goals, and other daily responsibilities. What often results are behaviors that may be deemed unprofessional, demotivating, and counter-productive when they are under pressure. Your new leader may lack self-awareness, and struggle with exercising self-control when interacting with their team, especially if goals aren’t being met. To avoid this pitfall, here are a few suggestions to help the new leader self-manage and foster a positive, performance focused work environment:

  1. Train your leader to manage their emotions and become aware of their actions and impact on others. There are various books and courses on the market you can turn to for assistance. A book that I recommend is, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.  Consider going through the book with your leader as part of their development plan.
  2. Ask your leader to keep a private journal and document situations that trigger negative emotions/behaviors. This act is about self-accountability, and is meant to help the supervisor uncover the root behaviors that result in poor choices.
  3. Practice self and social awareness behaviors. You may be inadvertently training your leader the very behaviors you will ultimately need to coach them on, so be certain to model these behaviors before your supervisor.

New Supervisor and Team Management

Managing a team effectively can be difficult for new supervisors. The challenge of going from peer to leader can be complicated alone, in addition to needing to reestablish relationships based on the new reporting structure. Many new leaders tend to manage their teams based on the performance of the last supervisor, or as mentioned in the first article, like a glorified agent. To avoid this pitfall, consider the following recommendations to help your leader improve their team management skills:

  1. Ensure your leader starts their new journey by rebuilding relationships and uncovering the needs of their team as the leader – not peer or friend. This may look like one on one meetings with each agent and the team collectively. It’s important that the new supervisor is knowledgeable and open-minded about the needs of each individual on the team, and the team collectively.
  2. Ensure your leader is clear about their performance objectives, so they are prepared to set specific goals with their team. This will ensure each agent is clear about what’s needed to be successful, and remove unpleasant surprises during coaching conversations or performance appraisals if goals aren’t being met.
  3. Make certain the leader understands the value of team and not I – meaning teach the leader how to drive results with and through the team, not for the team. A new supervisor may gain short-term wins by taking over calls, telling agents best practices that made them successful, or challenging them to out (sell, serve, etc.) them. These behaviors have their place, however, what’s critical is the leader learning how to create team and individual accountability to gain results, not by leader becoming a super-agent on the team.

New Supervisor and Goal Management

There are various reasons why a new leader may struggle with achieving goals. This may result in senior management questioning their selection of the supervisor for the position. Consider the below suggestions to aid you in keeping faith in your new leader, and helping them avoid the pitfalls of ineffective goal management:

  1. Make certain your leader understands your corporate strategy and goals. Connect this information to the site’s and individual supervisor goals. Painting a holistic picture will enhance the leader’s business awareness, and help build critical thinking and decision making skills as a supervisor.
  2. Teach tools critical to tracking goals (i.e. reports, dashboards, CSAT data; attrition, competitive performance, etc.) so the supervisor understands when they need to course correct to achieve daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Additional research needs to be conducted to understand the behaviors driving these results.
  3. Partner with the leader to create action plans for themselves or their agents when goals are not being met. Action plans should be a true support plan to aid skill development or address behavioral issues, not mask as a “paper trail” to terminate low performers. Don’t forget to celebrate successes along the journey.

You’ve learned five key areas to help your new supervisor avoid pitfalls and achieve performance success. To recap, they are: New Supervisor Role Clarity and Transition Management; New Supervisor and Time Management; New Supervisor and Self-Management; New Supervisor and Team Management; New Supervisor and Goal Management.

This information is being provided as a resource only. Please note that there are additional steps needed to develop your new leader. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *