Do you have a New Supervisor Playbook?

Do you have a new supervisor playbook that you use when you promote or hire for supervisory positions? Are you finding that you make assumptions of how people will be with each other and then it doesn’t go as you expected? Do you find you have to spell out a lot more about people’s communication practices than you think you should have to?

Twice last week, I heard a story of a new supervisor who acted without knowing enough to say what was said or make the decision that was made. It caused¬† that person to look bad in front of many people. The boss was surprised and disappointed. In talking about the incidents, it appeared the new supervisors¬† lacked an understanding of the company culture and/or lacked curiosity about the past. Worse, one of them had worked for the company for a while, yet hadn’t picked up on “how we do things around here.”

That seems like a lack of social awareness and/or social management which are 2 of 4 quadrants of emotional intelligence. Since emotional intelligence can be learned, management has some options. Focused coaching in regular 1-2-1’s can bring a spotlight on what needs to shift.

Problems like this might be avoided by a company playbook for new supervisors that covered some or all of the following topics:

  1. The scope of the job.
  2. The company’s mission, visions and values.
  3. What makes us different from other organizations.
  4. How we expect supervisors to talk to others.
  5. How people are rewarded here.
  6. When to ask for permission and when to ask for forgiveness.
  7. How success is measured in supervisory positions (or all positions).
  8. What should be accomplished in the first 30, 60, 90 and 120 days.
  9. Who to go to for help.

This is just the beginning of the list.

I’m not talking here about employee handbooks, which generally focus on the formal rules that prevent legal complications. I’m talking about keys to high levels of success.

When I think about it, this might be appropriate to give to all employees. Let’s help people be raving successes at work.


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Image courtesy of Sundance Institute