The most important people with the hardest job


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Who are the most important people with the hardest job? Is it the senior leadership team? The specialist with years of experience and knowledge?

I would argue it is the front-line manager or supervisor.

These are the people who must both, do the work and lead the people to ensure the product or service is produced. They require both hands on & technical skills as well as leadership and management ability.

Their actions and decisions literally make or cost the company thousands of dollars a day. A timber remanufacturing plant we work with costs $300 every minute it is not operating or a portion of that if individual machine is down, not run efficiently or is understaffed.

It’s the front-line manager or supervisor who has a big part to play in determining if staff are trained, productive or even at work.

A supervisor from the mill above shared that he will be his people’s trainer, cheerleader, mentor, councilor or whatever they need him to be, in order to get the work done.

New findings of a survey of 6500 employees conducted by Dale Carnegie on what keeps employees engaged today (details of a free Business Briefing below) shows that employees have had new emotional needs emerge over the pandemic. The main person responsible for delivering on those emotional needs is the immediate manager or supervisor.

These emotional needs of employees are:
  • Confidence: Feeling confident to do their job and belief that their work contributes to the success of the organisation.
  • Secure: Feeling psychologically safe and that their leader has their back and that their diversity and that of their colleagues is embraced
  • Hopeful: That they are part of an organisation that is providing personal and professional growth and opportunities for the future.

This is quite a lot for an immediate supervisor to provide, especially when they have these same emotional needs themselves and often experience the highest levels of stress. Therefore, providing encouragement, support and investing in training for these front-line managers and supervisors is a high priority.

We are finding providing these key staff with training on interpersonal skills, leadership and worry and stress strategies pays big dividends for them, their teams, and their organisation. The training provides a chance for them to take a breath, learn they are not alone and to recharge their batteries. Plus, the food is great! Ps. We are all important.

Free Business Briefing Empowered Employees: Managing & Retaining Them
Classics Museum, 9am-10:30am Classic Flyers To Register

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Michael Shaw
Michael Shaw
Michael Shaw is managing director of Dale Carnegie BOP Waikato (www.bop-waikato.dalecarnegie.com). He can be reached on Michael.shaw@dalecarengie.com

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