The Five Steps of Supervision
As I have thought over the years about what my responsibilities are as a manager, I have come up with these 5 things:
1) Provide the tools my employees need to do their jobs.
2) Provide the training my employees need to do their jobs.
3) Provide direction to my employees in terms of their priorities, quality levels, etc. I have found that the best way I can do this is by helping them set goals for improvement.
4) Once my employees have the tools and the training they need to be able to do their jobs, and they have goals they are working on that help them improve their work, I am then responsible for becoming a resource to them. If they find they cannot achieve their goals because they need additional tools, training, or direction, I am their resource.
5) Since the employees have the tools and training they need, and they have goals they are working on to help them in their work, and since I am available to them as a resource when they reach an obstacle that they cannot overcome alone, I can then legitimately hold them accountable for progress on their goals. If I have done everything that is my responsibility, and they do not make progress on their goals, it is their responsibility because they haven't put forth the effort needed. Effort from them is one thing that I cannot provide; it is entirely their responsibility. I can encourage it, but cannot force it (as we have all learned.)
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