I was recently speaking to a friend who shared that he had been offered a promotion into a supervisory role but turned it down.
He went on to explain that he loved what he did as an IT programmer, and wasn’t interested in the management aspect of the job.
Money was not an incentive for him because enjoying his work was more important than money. I congratulated him on having the wisdom to stay in a job he loved, and not make the mistake that so many people make by changing jobs to chase the money or prestige.
All too often managers identify a great performing employee and assume they would also be great at supervising others. While this may be the case for those employees who are interested in advancing up the ladder, it may not always be a good fit.
Supervising other employees requires many skill sets that are often different from an employee’s technical role. And, organizations that do a good job of succession planning, not only reward an employee for their diligence and hard work but they also create an environment where employees are nurtured, managed and perform at high levels.
So what things should you consider before you promote that employee to a supervisory role?
8 Questions to Consider Before Promoting that Employee to Supervisor
1. Do They Possess the Right Aptitude?
Aptitude is “a natural ability to do something” and, while management skills can be taught, people with an innate gift to communicate and manage others, will usually perform better in a supervisory role.
Don’t let desperation to fill an open spot cloud your judgment in identifying the right person for the job.
2. Do They Need Management Training?
Management training is the key to success, particularly for someone who has never supervised other people. There are many new responsibilities that come with managing others and this person will need basic management skills training.
The organization should have an identified management curriculum that the employee is required to learn. Course topics such as communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, managing performance, time management, budgeting and goal development are examples of core competencies all supervisors should posses.
Most small organizations don’t have the resources to do their own training and use outside trainers to help with this. There are many great online training courses that you can use or check with your local chamber of commerce for management trainers in your area.
3. Do They Have Good People Skills?
Managing other employees requires some basic people skills. The supervisor should be someone who genuinely likes other people (not everyone is a people person) and has an interest in the professional success and personal well being of others.
They should recognize that a job, particularly at a church, is a calling but that people have lives away from work and deal with real life issues. A good manager cares about their employees, supports a healthy work life balance and helps them prioritize the two.
4. Are They Commitment To The Organization?
Loyalty to the organization is an important characteristic for anyone who influences other employees. You need someone who understands the reason the organization exists and has a passion for its mission. This commitment and loyalty is what supervisors help to ingrain in those people they manage.
5. Are They Compliant With Policies and Procedures?
Policies and procedures are how organizations create and maintain quality products and services. Consistency in how an organization complies with policies and procedures determines its ability to create predictable systems and services that meet the needs of members, volunteers and church employees.
Supervisors should adhere to church policies and procedures and support the consistency in practice for the employees they manage.
6. Are They Organized?
Being organized is an important skill set because it allows the supervisor’s office to operate efficiently and in a systematic way. A supervisor needs to have organized files, both electronic and hard files, so they have access to information when needed.
Keeping track of budget expenditures, tracking employee performance and department specific data is an important part of the supervisory role.
7. Can They Be Assertive When Necessary?
Supervisors need to be assertive () when managing others. This skill is used when dealing with those inevitable difficult employee issues.
Supervisors need to be assertive, and not back down from, correcting employee behaviors, challenging poor performance and providing an honest evaluation of completion of goals and performance through the year.
8. Do They Possess A Passion For Excellence?
Excellence does not happen by accident and organizations that maintain high levels of quality do so because a passion for excellence is ingrained into the culture of the organization and is demonstrated by leadership. Supervisors need to model this passion and help employees demonstrate excellence in everything they do.
Great organizations are built on solid management practices that are a result of planned succession, intentional hiring/promoting and consistency in how employees are managed. Taking the time to prepare, train and support a new member of the management team helps to ensure their success, but more importantly the success of those people they supervise.