There are various ways that a supervisor must adopt for supervising, depending upon the situation and people.
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A supervisor must have various different approaches in his/her arsenal and must know which one to use on what occasion. Sometimes, a situation may demand collaboration more than allowing teams to work independently. Other times, due to the demands of the project, the employees involved or the situation, a more authoritative approach may need to be adopted by the supervisor.
An expert supervisor needs to know which method is the most suitable after carefully evaluating the various circumstances. Using the right approach at the right time helps in ensuring effective management of people and resources.
The Authoritative Method
Adopting an authoritative approach involves providing short and crisp directions and corrections without giving elaborate explanations and conducting discussions. It allows for a task to be completed on time. This method is mostly used in emergencies or when a deadline is fast approaching. A supervisor may also use the authoritative approach when the staff is lagging behind on deadlines or are not cooperating.
The authoritative method ensures that the staff responds to the instructions immediately and fulfils the task as soon as possible. It reduces the time spent in discussions, arguments and disagreements. The authoritative method is the most effective to gets tasks completed in the least time possible.
The Collaborative Method
A supervisor may use the collaborative method when tasks require analysis, teamwork, goals setting, collective decision making, etc. If an employee or a group of employees are required to complete a task, they may offer expert advice on issues that can lead to its early and successful completion. At such times, a collaborative approach is the most suitable.
The supervisor may use the collaborative method to encourage teamwork and develop rapport among the employees before the start of a project. This initial position will help employees to be more open and involved during the project.
The Independent Method
Many times, teams may not need a lot of supervision. Timely supervision at such situations is the best approach. A supervisor may provide instructions and review progress on tasks from time to time while leaving the employees to handle projects independently.
This approach is suitable for virtual teams or teams where the team members are skilled in their field. Depending on the projects, a supervisor may determine the frequency of feedback and review for the smooth completion of the task. The independent method is largely effective where employees are experts in their field and require little supervision to complete tasks.
A supervisor may switch between different methods of supervision depending on the project, employees and the resources available. Choosing the correct approach leads to the timely and successful completion of tasks, enhanced job satisfaction for employees, and the creation of a positive work environment.
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