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The attitude of employees can have a direct effect on the quality of work getting done. Likewise, how employees relate to and interact with management staff members can have a direct effect on their attitudes. Supervisors, representing the first level of management, play a key role in fostering quality attitudes. If you're a manager bringing on board a new supervisor, get things off to the right start by effectively introducing employees to their new, hands-on boss.
Prepare the Team
Prepare employees to welcome their new supervisor by informing the team what to expect. Make the announcement during a regular daily meeting if possible, or schedule a brief stand-alone meeting with all affected personnel. Let the team know why the new supervisor is needed and when he is expected to start. Describe the new supervisor's background and capabilities. Allow employees to ask questions -- open communication goes a long way to promoting a healthy workplace culture with positive attitudes and engaged employees. Keep discussions upbeat to motivate rather than alienate team members.
Prepare the Supervisor
Prepare the new supervisor to make a good first impression by sharing information about his new team before introductions are made on the production floor. Provide insight into each employee's responsibilities, strengths and accomplishments. Explain work activities, break times and daily production expectations. Make sure the supervisor knows if any employees have been given special assignments such as functioning as team leaders, safety champions or other key roles.
Make the Introduction
Use the hiring manager's insight into the background of the supervisor and the capabilities and interests of the employees to form a bridge between them. Call employees together at the start of the shift or just before work recommences after a break. Remind the team what has already been shared about the supervisor's background and the value it represents for the production department. Next, invite the supervisor to make a brief statement expressing his interest in being a part of the team.
Making a Connection
Don't abandon these new team members immediately after the introduction. Stay with the supervisor on the production floor as work gets underway. Walk the new supervisor through the various production processes, and allow him to see each employee in action. Explain what's being done and why. Express appreciation in the work to allow employees to feel a sense of pride. Enable the supervisor to ask questions and encourage employees to provide open answers. By the time the new supervisor is left to his duties, the bridge should no longer be needed -- he's now officially a part of the team.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.