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How to Train a New Supervisor

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Solid training can make the difference between consistent performance in an organization and disengaged employees. A 2007 study, “Maximizing Your Return on People,” by Laurie and Bassi in the "Harvard Business Review," demonstrates that organizations that make large investments in people and training typically have lower turnover. This results in greater customer satisfaction and higher profit margins. Well-planned training also results in greater manager proficiency. What exactly defines good training, then, for supervisors?

Learning Goals

Start each training session with learning goals. Provide new supervisors with expectations of what you hope to achieve during the training session. Rather than write down too many objectives, create one to three goals of what you hope to achieve and what learning you hope to accomplish during your training with the supervisor.

Job Responsibilities

Discuss the job responsibilities and duties with your new supervisor. Have the new supervisor’s job description readily available. Make a point to review each duty and responsibility one at a time. Make sure your new supervisor understands each responsibility thoroughly. Provide your supervisor with the tools he or she needs to complete each job task. Find out if the supervisor has questions or needs more information about the tools you have available to assist his in completing each job duty.

Policies and Procedures

Review the company policies and procedures with a new supervisor. To perform his job well, a new supervisor will have to have a solid understanding of corporate policies and procedures. Provide the new supervisor with all of the company manuals, handbooks, policies and procedures available. Provide him with passwords, computer links and access to the company intranet so he understands how to access the information he needs to be success at the new job. Let him know what policies are most often utilized. Explain any disciplinary policies the company uses and what the procedure is for documenting an employee complaint. Inform your supervisor about hiring and termination policies and procedures.


Make sure that your new supervisor has the contact information for anyone in the company that he may need to get in touch with if needed. This may include email addresses and phone numbers of HR personnel, benefits personnel and executive personnel in the company. Provide the supervisor with an Employee Assistance Personnel or EAP number in case you have assistance available for personnel that are having emotional or personal problems and require assistance. Fully equip your new supervisor to do his job well and your supervisor will have the best odds of succeeding.