Transition to Supervisor
Working in an organization as an operative employee consists of working on specific tasks to physically produce a company’s goods and services. (Stephen P. Robbins) As a low level employee on the organizational hierarchical pyramid incentives are created by working hard to achieve a promotion as a reward. Organizations frequently hire from within their own company to promote individuals to a supervisory level. Knowledge of the people that they are going to supervise and the technical skills necessary have already been learned aside from new supervisory training. (D. A. Stephen P. Robbins)
There is no guarantee that a highly motivated and productive employee rising from the ranks to a supervisory level will have the necessary skills to motivate others. This is the one unknown factor that upper management is gambling on, that their candidate for a position as a front line supervisor will be able to successfully inspire their employees to achieve company goals and satisfy the mission of the organization. A model employee who is self motivated with a strong work ethic, proven track record of performance skills and an established reliability of being on time is a strong candidate for promotion. The ability to transfer these traits to others is the key to becoming a good supervisor. It is much easier to motivate yourself that it is to motivate others. Managing a group of employees that you were once were a part of is even more difficult than supervising employees that you do not know complicating matters even further.
You ex-coworkers, who confided in you, joked around, and invited you out with them to after work happy hours, are now giving you the cold shoulder. You are now considered one of them and are not one of the guys or gals any longer. The camaraderie that once existed with your work team has now vanished. This is confusing to many first time transitional front line supervisors, after all you still are the same person but they see you as different because you have taken on a new role. You are their boss.
Overcoming your new role as a supervisor of the same people who were your coworkers requires you to fine tune your interpersonal skills. You will have to reestablish the trust that you earned with them in much the same way you did when you were their coworker. Understanding that your role as their boss is confusing to them as well, and change is not an easy concept to embrace. Integrating your new duties include communicating company goals, new concepts, expectations of management, and attaining high performance levels. Your employees already are familiar with you and your character and in time they will be receptive in your new role as their supervisor.
Your new role as a front line supervisor with employees you previously worked will have you wondering why you even put in for this job. You will be giving up overtime pay and may even make less money per year than in your former position as an operative employee. The title has a manager supervisor is a progression in your career if you are one who is motivated for upward mobility. However, as alluring as this may sound, the reality of the job requires you to answer to upper management and handle conflicts on the workroom floor as well. You will be a coach, mediator, counselor, scheduler, budget watchdog and sometimes are placed in the position of issuing discipline to your former coworkers if necessary. In lieu of these extra duties it is important to remember to continue your education and keep up to date with the latest technologies to keep your “competencies up to date”. (D. A. Stephen P. Robbins) This helps with enhancing your credibility with upper management and your employees under you as well. Gaining a new respect from your ex-coworkers takes time and is an ongoing learning process.
The outcome of the production levels in your unit depends on the manner in which you conduct yourself as a leader in your work team. Highly motivated employees will eventually use you as an example that a good work record is rewarded with a promotion in the organization. Knowing what motivated you as an operative employee and transferring this knowledge to emulate these skills will inspire your team members to be productive. It is a win-win situation for everyone when the culmination of your efforts in your new role as a supervisor produces positive results. It is also rewarding to an individual placed in a role of accepting the responsibility of being accountable to the organization and being part of the management team. Having the ability to produce work through others rather than just yourself is a skill that is required as a front line supervisor. Producing work from your ex-coworkers is a skill that requires more of an effort and it is imperative that your employees have trust and respect for you in your position as their boss. These ongoing processes are necessary as you transform from an operative employee to a supervisor.
Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo, Robert Welter. "What else is critical for me to know about supervising? ." Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo, Robert Welter. Supervision Today. Upper Sadle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 17.
Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo, Robert Wolter. "Transition from Employee to Supervisor ." Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo, Robert Wolter. Supervision Today. Upper Sadle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 10-11.
Stephen P. Robbins, David A. Decenzo, Robert Wolter. "What are the Organizational Levels? ." Stephen P. Robbins, David A. Decenzo, Robert Wolter. Supervision Today . Upper Sadle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 5.