They say actions speak louder than words. I’ve been thinking about that when it comes to the supervisor training programs we offer. I always want you to walk away with practical tools and the inspiration to use them when you attend our supervisor training programs.
So I asked myself, how can I show you through actions some of the most important aspects to being a high impact supervisor?
Over 20 years in the trenches of leading teams, there are many ‘stand out’ moments I’ve had that made huge differences in my professional life. In the next several blog posts, I’ll share these with you and highlight the deep learnings I’ve had as a result of these experiences.
Here’s the first one.
This happened 19 years ago. Talk about how brief moments in time can make lasting impressions!
At the time, I was the Compensation and Benefits Manager for an international service business. We had an all hands support staff meeting (about 120 folks) gathered to announce some company changes and give business updates. On this particular day, our COO talked about the service we provided to field employees.
She called on our Payroll Manager and asked him how his job provided service to the field and ultimately to our paying customers. He answered with what you would normally think … to provide accurate paychecks, on time. She looked at him and said, ‘No Norm, the service you provide to the field is to give them peace of mind that the money they’ve earned will be there when they expect it so they can pay their rent and put food on the table. The service you provide is giving our employees the ability to focus on their clients and not have to spend time at work talking with your department because their paycheck is wrong.’
When she said that, the feel of the room changed. People got quiet and you could tell most folks were stopped in their tracks. For me, it shifted how I thought about the time I spent. It also made me think differently about the decisions I made. With the shift in thinking, I was more aligned to make decisions with the big picture in mind versus the small idea of what I had fallen into thinking about my job.
How many times do we get caught up in the details and minutia of our jobs and forget the big picture of why we do what we do? As a supervisor, one of the greatest gifts you can give your employees is the deep awareness and remembering of the value they bring and how their job affects the lives of others.
What’s the big picture of your role as supervisor? As a supervisor, you hold in your hand the ability to build-up or crush the self-confidence of each of your team by your interactions and conversations. You hold the ability to believe in them like others have not. You teach them through your actions in the small moments when you are not even aware. You model the way to what appropriate behavior looks like in your department. You set the tone and expectation of what performance should look like.
With this perspective, is there anything you want to do differently?
Image courtesy of Eustaquio Santimano