This is part 2 in our six part series on managing supervisors. Part 1 focused on the gap that can exist between owners and supervisors, and how it’s critical to surround yourself with a dedicated and competent team, even though your supervisors may not initially be as committed to your company as you are.
In this post, we talk about the ways you can go about bridging that gap, getting your supervisors excited about your company and committed to it so that they will bring the level of dedication and enthusiasm that you need to grow and succeed.
Help Them See The Big Picture
One of the biggest problems businesses have with their chain of command is that, the farther you get away from the top, the less people understand the overall goal of the business and how they fit in that picture. When people don’t understand the importance of their role, they’re less committed, less creative, and less effective.
For your supervisors especially it’s important that they understand not just their specific job function, but also how that function helps the company achieve its larger strategic aims. Some of this can be accomplished in one on one conversations, but it also helps to have regular meetings with your management team.
“Make sure that there are… goals that everyone knows where we’re heading over the next month, everyone knows what we’re working towards over the next quarter, everyone knows what we’re working towards over the next year,” said Johnny on today’s episode.
The book Mastering The Rockefeller Habits also suggests having what they call a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) for what your company wants to look like many years down the road. By connecting your supervisors to these goals, they’ll have a better understanding of how their job, and the guards they supervise, can help the company achieve those goals.
How To Make Your Meetings Engaging
Of course, just expressing your vision alone is not going to be effective if you can’t actually get any of your supervisors to listen or care. Too often people just like to hear themselves talk in meetings, so it’s important that instead you make sure your supervisors are leaving meetings having taken something concrete out of them. There are a few tactics you can use to help drive up engagement.
Involve EveryoneCreate an agenda ahead of time so that supervisors can prepare for the meetings and come up with questions and comments. In between meetings, give them specific assignments to complete before the next meeting that relate to the larger goals.
Gather FeedbackWe’ve already covered the importance of gathering feedback from officers, and it’s doubly important for your supervisors. You need to hear their concerns and let them be involved in the process.
Vary Your ApproachSome people will respond better to an analytical argument comprised of facts and data, while others respond to a more emotional appeal centered around values and ideals. You need to use both approaches to get everyone on board.
How Owners Crush Engagement
The absolute worst thing an owner who wants to engage his or her supervisors can do is refuse to delegate. You put these people in a management position, you gave them some authority, now it’s time to actually put some trust in them.
Give your supervisors responsibility, let them play part in hitting goal targets. If you don’t, they’re never going to truly buy in to your vision. Listening to words in a meeting only goes so far, eventually they’ll need to actually feel like they’re actually responsible for results and can handle problems on their own.
What’s more, failing to delegate puts a major ceiling on your growth opportunities. At a certain point, your going to be forced into giving up responsibility anyway, and if you haven’t already given your supervisors the chance to work on their own and get invested in the business, it’s going to be hard to transition and scale.
Laying the Groundwork
Once you’ve shared your company’s vision and engaged your supervisors, you’ll have a great foundation to create clear processes that define your expectations for them. Only after you’ve shared the vision can you create a process that your supervisors will understand and be motivated to follow.
We’ll talk a lot more about establishing processes in part 3 of our series next week.