Not only are supervisors and managers responsible for ensuring their department or team meets their targeted objectives, they also have to help develop and grow those who report to them. Whether learning the best employee motivation techniques or developing effective performance management strategies, supervisors must focus on developing a specific set of skills that can help them succeed in their leadership roles.

supervision certificate program, such as the one offered by the University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies, can help you build your resume and hone the core competencies required to build a successful and cohesive team.

1. Adapting to a Leadership Role

Finding out you have been promoted to a supervisor position is an exciting moment: you have reached a significant professional milestone! However, it also means you must make the transition from team player to team manager, which may feel awkward at times.

The best thing to do is learn about effective supervision and continue to act as a fair and respectful professional. According to Indeed, you can help ease this transition by scheduling a team meeting as soon as you take on your new responsibilities and being clear about what everyone's roles will be moving forward. By identifying your expectations and highlighting how performance will be monitored and rewarded, you’ll be inspiring team member.

2. Effective Communication

Solid communication can help with conflict resolution in management and evaluating employee performance, but communication doesn't always come naturally to supervisors and managers. Miscommunication, lack of communication, or misunderstandings can lead to discord and discontent and make it difficult for your team to work together to reach their goals.

According to Workleap, you can build up your communication skills as a manager by:

  • making yourself available to your team and actively listening to them.
  • seeking feedback.
  • relying on communication technology that works best for your team. Use email, text messaging, or social media to stay in touch.
  • using clear and concise language.
  • delegating tasks clearly and providing your team with firm deadlines.

3. Managing Team Conflict

Team conflict is unavoidable—at some point, there will be disagreements among your team that you must address—but by being aware of common causes of team conflict and the best strategies to resolve them, you can minimize disruption from these issues.

Workleap notes that the most common causes of workplace conflict include poor communication, unclear expectations or roles, and disorganized work processes. By prioritizing communication and creating a set of clear expectations, you could significantly reduce conflict among your team members.

In the event that conflict does occur, you should address it quickly, provide all parties involved with an opportunity to share their perspective then clarify roles, expectations, and processes.

4. Delegating Tasks Effectively

New supervisors often have a hard time delegating because they want to make sure the work gets done correctly and prove themselves as the new manager. However, effective delegation is necessary, as it allows you to focus on long-term growth and development while your team reaches its short-term goals.

According to BetterUp, some of the best task allocation techniques include:

  • Set up team meetings to assign tasks so everyone is aware of their own responsibilities as well as what their team members are working on.
  • Offer support and guidance if a member of your team is feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by a task.
  • Monitor progress and verify that your team members are meeting their deadlines.

5. Motivating and Engaging Team Members

Lack of motivation can have disastrous consequences for your team, but sometimes you need to get creative to motivate and inspire team members. The best way to naturally motivate those who report to you is to actively work to create a positive culture within your team. When you encourage teamwork and acknowledge accomplishments, your team members feel like a valued part of the organization and are more motivated to perform.

6Performance Management

Evaluating employee performance is a critical part of your job as a supervisor, and it's key to approach these evaluations with a sense of professionalism and respect. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Human Resources, these are some performance management strategies to use:

  • Outline expectations for your employees and provide them with achievable goals.
  • Communicate regularly with your employees and provide them with actionable feedback.
  • Offer support if and when your team members need it.
  • Provide regular progress reviews, outlining areas where the employee is succeeding in addition to areas where there is room for growth.

7. Managing Remote Teams

In today's evolving workplace, a significant number of employees across various industries are advocating for the flexibility to work remotely, at least for a portion of their schedule. A Forbes article highlights that over 12 percent of the workforce now operates entirely from remote locations, with another 28 percent participating in hybrid models—balancing their time between the office and remote work.

As the trend towards remote work accelerates, managers are tasked with adapting their leadership approaches. Success in managing remote teams, as noted by Indeed, hinges not only on establishing a robust communication strategy and a regular meeting cadence but also on ensuring employees have ample opportunity to focus on their assignments. However, this approach only scratches the surface of effective remote team management.

Addressing the feedback, it's clear that a more holistic view is necessary. Supervising remote or hybrid teams extends beyond simple communication strategies and meeting schedules. Effective leadership in this context requires embracing a suite of practices.

  1. Implementing an open-door policy, even digitally, to encourage accessibility and foster a sense of support.
  2. Prioritizing inclusivity to ensure that all team members, regardless of their physical location, feel valued and included in all aspects of team dynamics.
  3. Flexibility in work arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs and life circumstances of each team member.
  4. Equipping teams with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in a remote environment, thereby eliminating barriers to productivity and engagement.
  5. Cultivating trust and transparency, which are paramount for remote teams to thrive. This includes clear expectations, open communication, and mutual respect.
  6. Encouraging socialization and team bonding activities to maintain a connected and cohesive team culture, despite physical distances.

These strategies underscore the complexity and multifaceted nature of managing remote teams effectively. It's not merely about granting time for project completion or having a communication plan in place; it's about creating an environment that supports growth, productivity, and well-being for every team member.

8. Time Management

Effective time management is crucial for leaders who are tasked with balancing the diverse needs of their team while meeting their own objectives and the expectations of their supervisors. A key strategy in achieving this balance is through the thoughtful organization of one's schedule and tasks.

Creating a supervisor's time allocation calendar is a foundational step in this process. By mapping out specific time slots for different tasks, leaders can ensure a structured approach to their day, enhancing productivity. Sharing this calendar with the team is equally important, as it clarifies your availability and sets transparent communication protocols.

To elevate this strategy, leveraging advanced software solutions is highly recommended. Tools like ClickUp, Asana, Trello, and offer robust platforms for managing tasks, projects, and teams with ease and efficiency. These tools share common features that are beneficial for time management, including:

  1. Task and Project Management: Assign, schedule, and track tasks and projects. These platforms allow for detailed planning, from high-level project timelines to specific task deadlines.
  2. Collaborative Workspaces: Create shared spaces for your team to collaborate. These platforms foster transparency and teamwork by allowing team members to see project progress and contribute in real-time.
  3. Customizable Dashboards: Access tailored overviews of your workload, projects, and team tasks. Custom dashboards help leaders prioritize their tasks and manage their time more effectively.
  4. Automation and Integration: Automate repetitive tasks and integrate with other tools. This feature streamlines workflows, saving time and reducing manual effort.
  5. Communication Tools: Use built-in messaging and comment features for seamless communication. This minimizes the need for external communication tools and centralizes discussions.

By integrating these software solutions into your time management and project planning, you can significantly enhance organizational efficiency. They enable a more strategic allocation of your time and resources, ensuring that both you and your team can achieve your goals with greater ease and effectiveness.

9. Navigating Organizational Change

Perhaps one of the most difficult times to be in a management position is during uncertain periods when the organization is undergoing significant change. Your team will probably look to you for guidance and solutions, and you may not be able to provide them with answers to every question. During these circumstances, be as transparent and honest as possible while trying to keep your team focused on their short- and long-term goals.

10. Developing Your Leadership Style

It is important to focus on personal leadership growth during your time in management. By exploring the various leadership styles and considering ethical standards in management, you can find an approach that suits your professional goals and your personality. Some of the most effective leadership styles for supervisors include the transformational leadership style, democratic management style, and coaching leadership style.

11. Handling Budget Constraints

As the supervisor, you may be responsible for managing your department's budget. Handling budget constraints requires a certain amount of finesse and being as savvy as possible with the funding you have.

According to LinkedIn, some of the best ways to manage budget constraints include:

  • Being honest and upfront about the limitations of the current budget.
  • Being realistic about your team's ability to reach their goals in light of the budget constraints.
  • Being creative and collaborate with your team to come up with innovative solutions that accommodate the budget.

12. Ensuring Team Compliance and Ethical Standards

Striking the balance between monitoring and micromanaging can be challenging, but you must make sure your team remains compliant with organizational guidelines, industry expectations and ethical standards. Providing your team with the tools and resources they need to stay informed, as well as approaching all issues with a fair and consistent approach, will help keep your team in compliance.

Learn More, Today

At the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing and Professional Studies, we offer a wide range of programs designed to provide working professionals with opportunities to learn new skills, techniques, and strategies. The University of Minnesota Supervision Certificate is ideal for aspiring managers or new supervisors looking to develop effective team management skills. Enroll today.