Supervisor Problems

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Supervisor Interview Assignment
Brian

Interview #1:
Alissa is an assistant manager in the Speaker-Bureau department at a marketing agency in New York City. She plans marketing events and meetings all over the country to help pharmaceutical companies promote their new drugs to doctors with the goal of ultimately having those doctors prescribe the drug to their patients. Alissa has been with this company for three years and in her current position for six months. She directly supervises four employees and co-supervises an additional five employees.

Alissa received a bachelor’s degree in Management and Marketing in 2007. Prior to becoming a supervisor, Alissa was coached by other company managers to help her gain the necessary skills to become a manager at her company. Her company also sponsored meetings to assist in teaching newly hired or promoted managers how to manage employees while dealing with their own work loads.

According to Alissa, the three most important qualities of a good supervisor are organization, dependability and knowledge. It is important that a manager is organized because a manager needs to be able to supervise their employees, supervise their employees’ workloads and complete their own assignments. If an employee does not finish their work, their manager is ultimately responsible. To complete their own work efficiently and effectively, your employees also need a dependable manager who they can trust when they need help with their assignment. However, it is not just enough to be there. A good manager must also be knowledgeable enough to help their employees when they run into issues with their work. Managers need to be knowledgeable of their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, assignments, and projects their employees are working on. Managers also need to be knowledgeable of the content of the work and how to help employees get answers, meet deadlines and overcome obstacles.

Before becoming a supervisor, Alissa wishes she knew how to manage employees that were previously on the same level as her. Alissa has had issues where she needs to motivate some employees who were formerly her peers. These employees did not always take her seriously. Alissa also wishes she knew strategies on how to enforce rules that she does not agree with. Alissa has disagreed with some of her boss’s policies, but if she mentioned that to the other employees she supervises, then she would be undermining her own boss.

One of the employees that Alissa directly manages is her friend, Matt. Sometimes Matt gets very frustrated with the internal system and website. The website is a new platform that was remodeled and “improved” upon from the last platform. However, the new platform has had a lot of issues which has caused a lot of frustration within her team. Any changes that need to be made within the system take time and usually cause additional problems. Whenever Matt becomes frustrated with the system or the client, he becomes loud and distracting, which prevents other team members from completing their work. It can be hard to manage someone that is your friend. Alissa was not sure how to react to Matt’s outbursts. He was friends with his old manager, but they no longer get along. Alissa requested that Matt be moved to her team because she knows that he is a hard worker and the clients really like him. Alissa approached the situation by telling Matt that she knows how he feels. She explained to him that she also gets frustrated with the system, but he needs to learn another way to manage his anger that does not disrupt his coworkers. She explained to Matt that his frustrations are understandable and gave him some examples of how he can manage his frustration, such as taking a walk, going to talk to a friend, or just removing himself from the situation for a short time to clear his head. So far, these suggestions have been working and Matt no longer interrupts his coworkers when he is...
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