Why Don’t They Manage and Supervise?
The quick answer to why managers and supervisors seem to not want to be involved in problems, fail to deal with issues, seem oblivious to concerns and neglect many tasks that need to be done, is that often when they attempt to fulfill the roles of a manager or supervisor they get such negative feedback and unpleasant results that it seems to not be worth the effort.
That is the quick answer. However, that can be an excuse for those who never really wanted to take on unpleasant tasks that require careful consideration. They want the position, the title and the salary, but not the hassle. Like Tipper, in the photo, they might wear the costume of a lion (or leader), but they aren’t really a lion (or a leader) at heart.
What about those who seem to have no trouble being bossy and unpleasant, even though they let everything go to heck around them? Well, it is easy to snap at everyone, storm around and be self-absorbed, but not so easy to analyze a specific problem or a problematic person and develop an effective plan of action. A manager or supervisor who is innately mean-spirited will nearly always fall back on being unpleasant when he or she runs out of knowledge and skills.
What about managers and supervisors who are nice people who seem to really want to do well, but things are going to heck around them, too? If a manager or supervisor only feels confident about jollying people out of their bad moods, sympathizing, mild counseling, or making excuses for problem behaviors and performance, that is what he or she will do.
If you are a manager or supervisor, consider how well-managed your team is right now:
*Adequate staff every day–or at least ensuring that all the staff are being used effectively.
*Administrative details handled on time.
*Resources being used correctly.
*The whole group and the work they do moving forward and improving all the time.
Supervision will be demonstrated by:
*Consistent and accurate on-site or at-desk observation of work and how it is being done.
*Immediate response to concerns or the first hint of problematic behavior or performance.
*Appreciating good work, even routine work.
*Looking out for everyone and how they are being treated within the group and by others.
*Keeping the work environment free of distractions and negative influences. If something distracts people from their focus on good work, it’s a negative influence.
*Motivating messages and encouragement.
*Getting the work done well and on time.
*Ensuring that policies and procedures are followed consistently.
*Building relationships with employees, customers and clients, other supervisors and a network of contacts.
*Providing service to customers and clients at a high level, without exception.
*Being an example of good work, all the time.
If you are an employee who is discouraged or irritated at your manager or supervisor, think about the times when their valid efforts have been met with resistance, even by you if the action wasn’t your preference. You might have some empathy for why they don’t make an effort anymore. That’s not a good excuse for them now, but may make a difference in your responses in the future.
The bottom line: Why don’t managers and supervisors manage and supervise? 1.) Their own managers and supervisors don’t make them do it. 2. Employees don’t like it most of the time. 3.) They never wanted to do it. 4.) It requires skill and knowledge they don’t possess. 5.) They think showing up and having the title is all that is required of them.
Don’t you be that kind of manager or supervisor. Self-evaluate often and ask others to evaluate you as well. Make it your goal to consistently and completely do the work you said you would do–for your sake and for the sake of those who rely upon you to do it.