What Could Your Supervisor Do to Help You Be More Effective at Work?


Becoming more effective at work requires motivation, the right set of skills, or both. A supervisor who wants to improve employees' effectiveness must recognize the value of communication, coaching, training and development to employee motivation. When employees are motivated, they're engaged, and engaged employees tend to be effective employees.

Communication Engages Employees

  • A good supervisor both talks and listens. Employees can't work effectively if they don't receive clear direction. They must know what's expected of them. Supervisors should keep you informed about company expectations, performance goals, how close you are to achieving those goals and what opportunities exist to exceed those goals. But good communication isn't a one-way deal. Supervisors should also listen actively and attentively to learn how employees get motivated or demotivated, and then apply this understanding to keep employees engaged. Information is a powerful tool.

Coaching Builds Employees

  • Communication shouldn't stop at your workstation and shouldn't only focus on throughput. Employees work effectively when they have confidence in their skills and capabilities. Supervisors should take the time to provide feedback and coaching designed to improve the quality of your work performance. Scheduling dedicated meeting times to coach employees makes it clear that a supervisor is making a time-based investment in their development.

Development Fosters Growth

  • While coaching is a continual process, career development planning occurs cyclically and has a longer-term focus. Supervisors who give this periodic activity the attention it deserves, rather than just going through the paces, can help employees grow, and growth builds confidence and effectiveness. When it's time for development planning, supervisors should sit down with you to review areas of responsibility, growth opportunities and training options. Tracking progress toward the plan should reveal some level of improved effectiveness.

Initiative Drives Growth

  • Supervisors can also help you be more effective by providing a sounding board for your ideas. For example, a supervisor might provide guidance and input when you explore opportunities to take on new roles or build new skills to enable further growth. Consider current responsibilities and upcoming projects that require different skill sets. Supervisors can help you explore options for developing or honing these skills, whether through formal training or on-the-job training.

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