Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who's More Important--the Employer or Employee?

Q. I have discovered since being a supervisor that it’s sometimes difficult to meet my employee’s needs and my employer’s equally. I try to draw a balance, but it is clearly not always possible. How do I straddling the fence of loyalty between these two groups better?

A. Being a good supervisor should not an issue of straddling the fence between competing groups. Every great supervisor knows that their first responsibility is to develop a productive relationship with employees so they can get the work done. A productive relationship means fairness, clear and good communication, recognition, and reward. This is how the needs of the employer are put first. The workplace must not be a “them versus us” game. Some supervisors do not understand this point. Because their employees are directly in front of them all the time, and their need to please is great, it’s easy hear employee complaints, be sympathetic, feel as though they are the “main thing.” Some managers may view themselves as “champions for the people.” This is role fraught with stress. There is nothing wrong with looking out for your employees, but if the needs of the organization are pushed to secondary place in the process, you will not serve either.