Friday, November 24, 2017

Why Is Supervisor Training Important, Even a Matter of Life or Death

Supervisor training is important for companies that wish to have increased productivity, efficiency, and communication between their various departments. Supervisors who are properly trained will be able to relay messages between upper management and lower management, thereby leading to increased organization as a whole.

Supervisor training is a required investment for new and experienced supervisors. Remember, supervisors serve as the link between various departments. They must be reliable, professional, and quick on their feet. Ineffective supervisor training will produce low quality supervisors and also lead to:

·         Overall decline of the company – If the workforce is disorganized and fails to understand management instructions, then the entire company will decline due to lack of communication. 

·         Quitting employees and employers – Inefficient supervisors are one of the top reasons why employees and employers quit their job.

Why Communication Skills for Supervisors Are the Most Crucial

Supervisors must have good communication skills if they wish to efficiently operate and manage groups of people. If the supervisor fails to communicate directly with upper management, then critical milestones may be missed, which could lead to catastrophic financial consequences.
Ultimately, it is the supervisors who make sure that information is told accurately and provided in a timely manner, so that upper management and the workforce are on the same page. Proper communication from supervisors will lead to:

·         Productivity – The workforce will understand their delegated tasks and work in a timely manner, which in turn will please management and improve top-down productivity.

·         Organization – Improved organization will eliminate errors and maximize positive outcomes.
·         Increased Morale – Proper communication may increase the morale of the entire company, which will make the workforce feel more valued as team members.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

How to Manage and Correct the Performance of An Employee Before You Are Forced to Fire Them

If you are feeling a bit guilty because your company had to dismissed an employee for performance issues, you may be wondering whether the employee you thought had great potential, could have be salvaged or whether there was something else more you could have done to prevent this tragedy.

Take what you learn below as a method or approach for managing sub-par performers so in the future you give these employees the best shot at improvement.

So, don't look back, but consider how many employees you will help in the future with the following.

When you work with an employee’s performance issues, have several very short meetings, say 20 minutes, spaced out, during the year where you discuss the standards of performance you require.

Share notes between each other--no secrets--and examine parameters such as quality of work, quantity of work, attendance and availability, responsibility and dependability, use of time, cooperation, initiative, personal appearance, ability to accept feedback (constructive criticism), and appearance.

First agree what constitutes outstanding performance (what it actually looks like on each of these metrics), but also above average, “standard”, below standard, or poor. At each meeting discuss where the employee thinks he or she falls within these graded scales.

Critical: Discuss what it will take to reach the next level no matter where an employee falls, and push them to reach it. This engagement supplies urgency and motivation for most employees to keep their performance improvement "top of mind."

It helps the employee also avoid complacency, and completely normal and natural response to boredom or other cognitive distortions that the employee uses to say to him or herself, "things are okay--I can kick back now." The process described above thwarts this drift to mediocrity or below.

Without short term, periodic discussions that are quantifiable in nature, as described above, the likelihood of performance deteriorating further is high, or at least higher.

Refer the employee at any point to your organization's employee assistance program because if something personal is in the way of achieving the required performance standard, you are not going to be able to deal with it and correct it as a supervisor.

Encourage a self-referral to such a helping program at the very beginning of this process, and at any point along the way as a formal referral if things to do not change, before half through your evaluation period.

Purchase a Performance Evaluation System using the methods shown above complete with with Forms, Video, and instructions at

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Documenting Poor Performance and Writing a Corrective Memo That Human Resource Managers Won't Throw Back in Your Face

Don't tread lightly with written warnings. They are actually corrective memos that can be used in legal proceedings if there is ever an employment claim against your company filed by employees who are out to get you and it strung up.

This model corrective memo is a training tool I developed at Arlington Public Schools and Arlington Country government, and it has all the proper moving parts to keep you out of trouble.

Trouble? What kind? Inexactness, emotional weird statements, threats, and things you would say to your spouse in a fight like "you never listen!"

So here's the Documenting Performance outline (by the way, stop reading this blog and get some decent training at the link to the side called "14 Vital Skills for Supervisors". It's also available in Spanish--yes, the only such program in the U.S.A or South America.

Yes, I have looked. Nothing like it exists.

PURPOSE: Let's get this straight. The corrective memo (written warning) is a means of

creating a sense of urgency necessary to motivate an employee to make changes in job performance:  conduct, attendance, or quality of work. It is particularly useful when corrective interviews conducted by the supervisor have not resulted in needed changes in performance. (Note: Numbers below match specific parts of the sample memo found on the back.)

1. Write a statement of specific concern about job performance problem: quality of work, attendanc availability, conduct/behavior. Include specifics: what happened, when, dates, times, etc.

2. Remind employee about prior conversations or discussions concerning performance issues, and when these occurred.

3. Statement of specific negative impact or consequences for the performance problem(s) stated in #1.

4. Statement of what changes are required and when these changes should occur.

5. Statement of possible consequences, administrative actions, or disciplinary steps if problems continue.

6. Statement asking employee to speak with supervisor if needed to clarify anything in corrective memo relative to changes requested in paragraph #3.

7. Statement of support and value. Mention positive performance elements of employee (what is done well, skills, etc.) but emphasize need for change. Mention resources available to help employee with correcting problem, if applicable.

8. Statement recommending employee contact the EAP based upon the job performance problems in case a personal problem of some type is contributing to the performance problems. DO NOT allude to your beliefs about the existence of a personal problem. An EAP referral by the supervisor is never based upon what the supervisor believes or thinks about an employee’s personal problem, but the performance issues. Insert in your letter the name of the EA professional to whom you spoke and his or her phone number. This will make it easier for the employee to follow through.

9. Supervisor’s plan for follow-up. Provide date when this will occur. Be specific about when you will speak with the employee again to see how things are going.

10. Thank the employee for his or her attention to the matter and end on a positive note.

11. Send a copy to the next level supervisor, as necessary. Send or fax a copy to the EAP.

This #11 i(If you have a company employee assistance program, do not buy into the idea that this program is only a benefit for employees. When such programs were originally created in the mid-1970's (I was there!) they were considered management tools (and beneficial to employees), not employee benefits that management should never think about. Today, they have been beaten up, bastardized, and kicked around by insurance companies and fashioned into hotlines and 800# on backs of insurance cards. You do not know if your worker has some hairy personal problem, so encourage them

This one of many handouts in the Supervisor Training program "Oh So Easy" Supervisor Training Program of 14 Skills.

Management: Definitely Offer 10-12 Minutes of Diversity Awareness Education to Employees During the Year

Improve Morale and Decrease Risk When You Provide Diversity in the Workplace Awareness Education

If you are not providing diversity awareness education in the workplace, you may want to offer about 10-12 minutes of this content during the year . It is a lot easier to do than you think, and a lot more welcome than you might imagine. It's all about the approach (the educational and non-threatening approach we use.)

The benefits of diversity awareness include reduced risk of workplace violence, higher morale, improved communication, and most importantly, employees who behave with tolerance toward others while not feeling threatened by the education and awareness information they receive.

You also acquire employees who help maintain a respectful workplace by not acting as bystanders to abuse. It is a very synergistic topic that has multiple layer effects for organizations. Reducing the bystander effect is really key to more positive workplaces. I may produce a PowerPoint on this topic alone.

See the full unabridged program we offer here. Just scroll and click the video you will see half-way down the page.
This program is editable, "brand-able", professionally narrated, and available in DVD, PowerPoint, Video, or a Web course. That makes it good for collecting certificates of participation as proof you took "due care" in the event a legal claim ever happens for something like discrimination. (By the way, I always recommend arm-twisting your insurance company into a discount for reducing behavioral risk exposures. Most states do that already for a drug-free workplace policy. A topic like this one should be no different. See what happens. Let me know.)

WorkExcel Tip: When you purchase products from, you can download them, edit, amend, delete content, and acquire them in any of four different formats. All web courses include test questions, handout(s), certification, and you own web course entirely. Web courses or videos operate from your Web server. They upload in minutes--and they are totally self-contained with embedded PDF handout(s). We can even insert additional handouts you might want to distribute.

Thanks Subscriber - Explore the other links to your left in this email. Phone me with questions. I anwer my own phone.

Daniel Feerst, BSW, MSW, LISW-CP

Monday, October 23, 2017

Toxic Boss: Are Your Employees In the Breakroom Plotting Your Demise?

Are people in the washroom, around the corner, and in the lunchroom calling you a toxic boss?

Are you a toxic boss in need of some coaching?
If so, you will be the last to know, but there are some things you may wish to consider in order to avoid heading in this direction.

A toxic boss isn't just a morale crusher. It is a organizational liability. No, you can't change your basic personality structure, but are things you can do to improve your temperament. The term “toxic boss” is not a diagnosis of any condition, but refers to a supervisor who exhibits certain behaviors that cause employees distress.

These behaviors include berating your employees, creating division among your employees, appearing to be concerned only about getting the job done, and overlooking important needs employees have to feel supported and treated with respect. Some supervisors generate fear among employees with their supervision style, or they act like they care about getting input from employees, but never or seldom incorporate it.

Does this sound familiar to your supervision style? The EAP (do you have one?) can help you examine your supervisory practices and relationship with employees to improve your ability to be more productive while reducing the conflicts between you and your employees.

In the end, both you and your organization will benefit from improved morale, reduced turnover, and many costs associated with being a toxic boss. If you don't have an EAP, a life coach will be an awesome substitute. I will be worth the few sessions you'll need to reorient yourself to approach to your human capital.

Maximizing the Power of the Corrective Interview in Supervision: A Manager Skill for Improving Productivity

What can supervisors do to help ensure that corrective interviews with employees will not become emotional, confrontational, and ineffective? Are their best practices for this skill? You will discover a video here that discusses it quite effectively. The goal is for you to make a corrective interview a learning experience for the employee. In this regard, you attitude
New Supervisor Training on how to correct behavior of employees
determines the degree of success you will achieve. Never make a corrective interview a gotcha session. It is not a point in time to vent anger or gain satisfaction in clobbering your employee with the notes. Think of a corrective interview as a team meeting.

Your first reaction to this idea of making a supervisory meeting a team-like experience with your employee rather than a break bad session may sound unsatisfying. It this is the case, step back and understand that your employee is a valuable resource or a potentially valuable resource you want to shape. See them as a precious commodity, not an opponent.

Although nothing guarantees a corrective interview without problems, there are things you can do to make problems less likely. Always demonstrate respect for your employee with language and tone, and choose an appropriate meeting place. Focus your discussion on the performance issues, not the personality or character of your employee. Check your emotions to prevent using language designed to elicit guilt or shame that can provoke contentious behavior. Help your employee see correcting his or her performance as a goal you share together. Example: “Susan, how can we work together to get your weekly auditing reports to me on time?” Approaching your employee in this manner keeps the focus on performance, but does not preclude a more firm and assertive intervention later, if needed. Try the 14 Vital Skills Program we placed on its own Web site to help you out and learn this and other skills more effectively.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Supervisor Training: No Shame In Conflicts, Only Failure to Learn from Them

Everyone experiences conflicts. There is no shame in it. As a supervisor, you should analyze the conflicts you experience so you can learn from them. The only shame is failure to learn from mistakes and repeating self-destructive patterns that make your life miserable.

After a conflict, identify the extent to which you contributed to it by using this list below. If you find yourself checking off the same items repeatedly after conflicts, your employee assistance program EAP can help you devise personal strategies to get along better with others at work.

. You provoked a fight or at least made it worse with hurtful, cynical or inflammatory comments. You knew the minute you opened your mouth that your remarks would add fuel to the fire.

Impulsiveness. You lost your cool. You let your temper flare or you raised your voice needlessly, triggering resistance.

Stubbornness. You refused to back down or admit error, even though deep down you knew you were at least partly to blame. You were unwilling to listen and learn.

Bitterness. You took out your pent-up anger on someone. A simmering resentfulness drove you to conflict, possibly stemming from disappointments over your career or workplace jealousies. #supervisor training #supervisor courses