By Daniel Schmitt, HR Assistant
Someone recently asked me the question, what do I expect from her as a supervisor, which made me think about my current task in writing about what I expect from Leadership engagement as an employee. My answer to her was that as my supervisor, I want four thing from her:
- Support in decisions I make
- Provide me regular feedback on my performance to achieve set expectations and goals
- Provide me guidance for professional and personal development
- Enable and empower me to support the team to the best of my abilities.
When I think back on her question, she was more or less asking me, what are my expectations of her as an engaging supervisor. I don’ t think my answer to the question would really change much if I thought about the question differently; however, I do believe it makes me think more about the qualities a supervisor or leader should have, and how that makes them engaging.
From my perspective as an employee, a supervisor needs to make his or her presence known to those who work for him or her. This could be done through proactively visiting with and checking in with employees daily, so employees know supervisors are readily available to them. An effective supervisor who is engaging with his or her staff should possess excellent soft skills, be socially and emotionally intelligent, and demonstrate behaviors that are not threatening or overbearing.
Regarding the “checking in” with your staff daily, it’s can be less common for some employees to experience, therefore when you, as a supervisor, make this effort it becomes obvious and enhances the level of engagement with the staff. A supervisor who displays excellent soft skills will be more in tune communicating with staff members which will allow employees to not only feel heard but also find it easier to approach supervisors when they need to. From my own experience, I have found that when interacting with superiors who have great soft skills, they are generally the type who respond to concerns and interactions more diligently and get tasks done.
A supervisor or leader who is truly engaging with his or her team should also be one who is open to feedback and suggestions from employees and is not afraid of change or willing to implement changes that might positively impact and create a more engaging work environment for all. Engaging leaders stand apart from the average supervisor because he or she will generally go the extra mile in employee development which overall is beneficial since that may also help in retaining great talent. Could it be said that if a leader or supervisor is engaging with his or her staff on a regular basis, it could result in improved employee performance and productivity ultimately reducing turnover and improving morale? That has been my experience, however I encourage you to explore your current practices to see where you can enhance your efforts to maximize the results.