3 Pitfalls New Supervisors Must Avoid

When stepping up to become a new supervisor, there are 3 common pitfalls you should avoid by completing new supervisor training. Supervisors are part of the management team, and to nurture them to become successful, management training is an essential part of their development. 

A comprehensive supervisor training video like
After All, You’re the Supervisor can help new supervisors avoid the mistakes that many who take on supervisory responsibilities make in their first few months on the job.

Pitfall #1: Trying to Still Be “Buddies” with Former Peers (now Subordinates)

It’s natural to want to be friendly with everyone on your team when you’re hired as a new supervisor. And, it’s an especially tricky tightrope to walk when you’re promoted to supervisor in your own department — where one day you’re working alongside your buddies and peers, and the next day, you’re supervising them.  The hard part for many new supervisors is acknowledging that in order to be effective, you must change the way you interact with your team members.

New supervisor training teaches that in nearly every situation, you have to give up being a friend of the people you supervise. This can be a challenging and sometimes painful process, but if you ask the best supervisors you know, they will all agree on this point. It doesn’t mean that as a supervisor, you no longer care about your people. In fact, true caring is vital to your success. What it does mean, however, is that you need to establish a professional separation between you and the people you supervise.

Pitfall #2: Avoiding Dealing with Poor Performance

When you see an employee slacking, breaking the rules, or falling short in their performance, it’s so much easier just to “look the other way” and hope that the issue will resolve itself. But as a new supervisor, putting off disciplining others is a pitfall you’ll want to avoid. As hard and awkward as it can be, discipline is an absolutely necessary skill for supervisors.

A good supervisor training video can provide the basics of how to hold a positive performance discussion: it’s not punitive discipline - you don’t need to whip your people into shape, or bully them to get them to behave. Instead, respectful discipline includes setting clear performance expectations, being sensitive and empathetic to individual situations, being consistent, listening, and putting the responsibility for both the problem and the solution on the employee.

Pitfall #3: Trying to Do It All Yourself

If you’ve been promoted from being a worker to a supervisor, it’s easy to get stuck in the “individual contributor” mindset. Up until this point, you probably only had yourself to rely on when it came to completing tasks and meeting objectives. But now you are supervising a team of people who all contribute to the goals. When things get very busy, or a team member is struggling with a task, a new supervisor is likely to think, “Argh. I’ll just do it myself.” But new supervisor training can help you avoid this pitfall by teaching you how to delegate and develop your team members’ skills, instead.

Give team members the opportunity to “step up” and learn. Monitor your people’s development but resist the urge to step in and do the task for them. They will learn far more from their own experience than they will from watching you do whatever the task may be.

To learn how to avoid these and other pitfalls when becoming a new supervisor, use a supervisor training video like After All, You’re the Supervisor. In this video, viewers meet a top-notch CSR recently promoted to supervisor, who must learn skills like planning and prioritizing, delegating, disciplining effectively, encouraging teamwork, and many others.