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How to Supervise People

The Fred Pryor workshop titled "How to Supervise People" covered material focused on effective leadership skills to maximize employee performance. A few of the main topics included: Choosing a leadership style, interviewing and hiring for success, building a highly productive team, training new and seasoned employees and avoiding common management mistakes. Below are some key points:

Choosing a leadership style

  • Leadership style should depend on the situation

  • Keys Issues to Consider

    • How well defined is the job versus how poorly defined is it?

    • How much attention is needed to maintain harmony, attend to "people problems," keep morale up, etc.?

    • How achievement-oriented are your employees? How educated, experienced and able are they to work on their own?

  • Four Basic Styles

    • The Prescriber: high task, low relationship

    • The Persuader: high task, high relationship

    • The Participator: low task, high relationship

    • The Permitter: low task, low relationship

Interviewing and hiring for success

  • Determine job core competencies

  • Identify skill, knowledge and experience required to the job

  • List and define intangible qualities new employee must have

  • Define what skills or training can be taught to new hire employees

  • Set parameters for benefits, salary, bonuses and hiring incentives

  • Develop interview questions in advance and use them consistently with every applicant interviewed

  • Mix question types throughout the interview (behavior-based, open-ended, closed-ended, probing, hypothetical)

Building a highly productive team

  • Set and define the team goals and objectives

  • Determine individual roles and responsibilities

  • Gain employee commitment

  • Identify strength and weaknesses of each team member

  • Match tasks with team member strength and experience

Training new and seasoned employees

  • Ask, don't command.

  • A positive order is better than a negative one

  • Tell why it is important. Employees have a need to know

  • Requests should leave freedom of action to the receiver, consistent with his or her ability and training.

  • Encourage Feedback

    • Watch for nonverbal signs that may indicate doubt

    • Encourage and reward questions

    • Ask open-ended questions, like "What do you think?"

    • Avoid close-ended questions, like "Is that clear?"

Avoiding common management mistakes

  • Mediocre Performance- Clearly define what you want, identify and reward it

  • Boring or Thankless Work – Redesign job to fulfill higher levels of need such as independence, challenge and creativity

  • Money as a Motivator – Identify what motivates the employee best and use alternative methods of motivation

  • Failure to Recognize and Praise Employees – Praise and recognize employees on a regular basis.


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