Quite often organizations promote employees into positions of supervision because of their strong technical expertise. Suddenly these people find themselves with a whole new range of responsibilities. Not only are they new, many of them have little to do with the technical expertise that was their prior strength. With this being such a common occurrence, the question naturally arises as to what is the best way to prepare these people for these new challenges. Without the proper training during that transition process you could end up losing productivity and ultimately affecting the success of your company. These are mistakes that your business just simply cannot ignore. Take a look at these top mistakes made as well as possible responses from employees they supervise.

Top 10 Mistakes of New Supervisors

  1. Seizing power and attempting to hold onto it.
  2. Failing to solicit feedback.
  3. Delegating without authorizing.
  4. Reprimanding employees in the presence of others.
  5. Supervising everyone the same way.
  6. Keeping the interesting work for themselves.
  7. Siding with team members.
  8. Distancing themselves from those they supervise.
  9. Promoting an us versus them attitude.
  10. Engaging in illegal behaviors.

Potential Responses:

  • Low employee morale
  • Loss of respect from superiors
  • Low productivity
  • Legal ramifications
  • Poor individual performance
  • Negative career impact
  • Lack of organizational trust

In addition to the technical issues that they have already mastered, they now need some formal training to help prepare them, often times in the following areas.

  • Principles of motivation
  • Change management strategies
  • Ethics and politics in the workplace
  • Principles of planning
  • Managing their time
  • Workplace organization issues
  • Principles of delegation
  • Principles of work groups and teams
  • Staffing basics
  • Training principles
  • Equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements
  • Counseling and supporting employees
  • Leadership principles
  • Conflict resolution and management
  • Principles behind appraisal and rewards
  • Basic labor law
  • Productivity issues
  • Managing a safe workplace

Most leaders are not born with these skills, they can be taught. Identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop plans to improve their individual competencies.