• Michael Najar, Ph.D

Are You Ready to Supervise?

A natural progression for many employees is to transition from an individual contributor role into a supervisory role. If you are considering taking on this challenging step, there are some things you should think through.

What is involved in supervising well?

As an individual contributor, you have probably experienced both good and bad supervisors. You should spend time thinking about how you would succeed as a new supervisor. You should understand how to lead people, the importance of balancing a budget, and how you will build relationships will people at all levels of the organization.

How will you supervisor your new team?

You need to understand the challenges of taking on an intact team. Do you plan on making immediate changes? How will you deal with the difficulties a leadership change may have on the team? How will you address current issues? How do you plan on building relationships with each member of your team? How will you measure the performance of your team?

Reflect on your previous leadership roles

If you are new to supervision, reflect on your experiences outside a corporate setting. Maybe you have led a volunteer group, captained an athletic team, or supervised a project. Over the years, you have probably gained useful

experiences that can transfer into your new role.

Focus on your people skills

As a new supervisor, your people skills are just as important, if not more important, than technical skills to your success. Above all, as a new supervisor you need to be able to build strong relationships with each member of your team. Only then will you be able to inspire the needed trust, earn their respect and encourage their commitment. Remember that good supervisors are also good communicators. You must be able to set clear expectations, give and receive feedback, establish a system of accountability and direct your team toward the common goal.


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