Skills That All Supervisors Should Possess

It’s somewhat of a misconception that roles like supervisors and managers come naturally to certain people. There’s definitely a partial instinctual aspect of the role, but a lot of the skills necessary to become a supervisor can be learned. ERC identified some of the necessary skills in their HR article called 8 Crucial Soft Skills Supervisors Need To Have. Below are those necessary 8 skills.

1. Communication

You’ve heard the phrase “communication is key”; well it is in this case. Supervisors need to be able to effectively relay what they need from their lower level employees as well as effectively listen to what those employees need from them. Sometimes these conversations will be quick in passing or under stressful circumstances where there might be a tight deadline to meet. Regardless, the supervisor needs to be able to keep their thoughts concise and communicate with a purpose.

2. Conflict Resolution

Supervisors are leaders and that’s how they need to act when they’re on the job. Because conflicts arise when people disagree about a given situation or something non-opinion related goes wrong, the supervisor has to be able to step in and take control of the situation. Conflict resolution is one of the most important supervisor skills to have.

3. Leadership

A common misconception is that leadership always comes naturally. While that’s somewhat true, leadership can definitely be taught as a supervisor skill with training. Leadership includes motivating your workers, delegating tasks to employees under you, providing a positive example for other employees, and improving situations where there’s opportunity to grow.

4. Critical thinking

Supervisors need to be able to organize their thoughts along with the tasks and strategic planning of the company. Critical thinking can be used to solve problems on the floor or major problems within the company. Critical thinking is another extremely important supervisor skill because developing solutions to small and large problems is directly correlated to the company’s success. This is another skill that can be improved through employee training, an essential part of all effective employees.

5. Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are what help a supervisor build a relationship with the employees that he or she supervises. Without interpersonal skills there becomes a divide between the boss and the workers, which could lead to a hostile work environment. While interpersonal skills come naturally to some, they can be built upon through training programs and guidelines. Often, third party training companies are very effective in increasing the productivity of workers.

6. Time and priority management

Work can become overwhelming, and so can everyday life. Not only does the supervisor need to manage their own priorities but also they need to delegate prioritized tasks to the workers under him or her. This supervisor skill is key in boosting company productivity and managing major projects under time constraints. The best supervisors won’t crack under pressure, but will be able to organize themselves and their team to adjust schedules and get what matters done first.

7. Diversity and generational differences in the workplace

This is something that all supervisors should undergo training on. Supervisors have to respect workplace differences themselves and work to foster an environment where other workers do the same. In this day and age, acceptance is important not only for ethical reasons but also for legal reasons. All company employees, not just supervisors, should be up to date on you company policies as well as laws and regulations that are relevant to diversity and inclusion.

8. Problem solving

Problem solving is a fundamental supervisor skill that can be honed through training initiatives. Supervisors that can work through problems both on their own and within a team setting are going to do better than supervisors that cannot reach efficient and feasible conclusions.

Training should when an employee enters a new role and even throughout the remainder of their career. It never hurts to learn new things and hone old skills.