In all probability, you will find that your supervisor started
out in the same entry level position for which you have been hired.
Through above average performance, dedication and commitment, he/she
took advantage of the opportunities for advancement within your
department, and is now responsible for the successful operation
of your work location.
In order to be successful, your supervisor must perform a variety
of tasks on a daily basis, including directing and supervising your
daily work experience. In this capacity your supervisor will assign
daily job tasks, conduct training, monitor employee performance,
schedule breaks and be ultimately responsible for the entire day-to-day
operation of your work location.
Your supervisor is also directly responsible for your performance.
He/she will be handling any discipline, if necessary, and will periodically
evaluate your performance. These evaluations are primarily comment
oriented and provide an opportunity for you and your supervisor
to discuss your work together. We hope that we will all learn and
benefit from these discussions.
As you can imagine, your supervisor's position is not an easy one,
and in turn your relationship with your supervisor should be one
of mutual understanding and respect. If this attitude prevails,
your working relationship should be a successful one.
Relationships and Ethics
A great many questions of an ethical nature arise in the average
supervisor's day-to-day dealing with his employee. Listed below
are some rules of good conduct that every supervisor should follow.
1. Supervisor with Superiors
- Do not go over a superior's head regarding any new development
or anything requiring his decision.
- Never ridicule, publicly criticize, or make disparaging remarks
about those in authority.
- Avoid any semblance of over familiarity.
- Don't pass the buck.
2. Supervisor with Other Supervisors
- Never make damaging personal remarks concerning other supervisors.
- Never deliberately attempt to "show up" another
- Do not use abusive language or quarrel with other supervisors
in the presence of employees or others.
- Never deliberately withhold necessary information.
- Never form or join cliques.
3. Supervisors with Employees
- Do not become indebted or obligated to employees.
- Do not make a practice of becoming too familiar with employees.
- Avoid promises except those you are sure you can deliver.
- Avoid any indication of favoritism.
- Never use profane or abusive language toward employees.
- Never brag.
- Do not employ relatives in your department.
- Never yield to the temptation of doing the "smart thing."
Good ethics require doing the "right thing."
- Do not betray confidences of employees.
4. Supervisors with the Public
- Never divulge confidential information to outsiders.
- Do not participate in gossip concerning your employee's matters.
- Never talk shop outside of working hours unless it is of wholesome,
constructive nature and in the interest of the organization.
- Avoid talking about money involved in the organization's business
Following these simple rules will help you gain the respect of
everyone with whom you come in contact.
It is the purpose of work rules to establish uniform practices
in order to avoid confusion and accidents. On the whole, people
want to conform; they like the uniformity of behavior that the
1. The following is a checklist for use in cases where disciplinary
action seems to be indicated.
- Did I get the facts?
- Did I give the employee a chance to tell his/her side of the
- Did I talk to the employee privately?
- Was I as impartial as I should have been?
- Did I inform my boss of my decision and get his approval?
- Did I explain my decision to the employee?
- Did I say why the penalty was necessary?
- Did I leave the employee resentful and protesting?
- Did I tell the employee how to stay out of trouble in the
- What effect did the reprimand have on my relationship with
The reprimand is one method of influencing a person's behavior.
It can be used constructively or destructively, depending on the
know-how of the supervisor doing the reprimanding.
The supervisor should never reprimand an employee just to let
off steam -- it may make the employee mad, defiant, sullen, or
frightened and ruin an otherwise good employee.
2. Following are some guidelines to use if it is necessary to
reprimand an employee:
- Keep it private -- no one likes to be chewed out in public.
- Give the employees a chance to explain -- the employee may
give you facts you were unaware of. Be sure of your ground before
you go too far.
- Consider the employee's personality -- everybody objects to
the absence of tact and goodwill.
- Avoid comments on personal traits -- your reprimand will hurt
enough; don't give it the extra sting of sarcasm and reflection
on personal characteristics or circumstances.
- End up positively -- if the circumstances of the reprimand
allow it, give some constructive advice, letting the employee
talk about his motive in disregarding the rules will reveal
what makes him tick. Such information adds to your insight into
personalities and what you understand, you can make the basis
for rational advice.
3. What is most needed is a supervisor who expects his employees
to do a high quality job. If you close your eyes to faults because
you want to be a good guy, the employees get the feeling that
you are either weak or indifferent and the worker begins to feel
indifferent about his work.
On the other hand, let's say you have a good, dependable, and
conscientious worker who ruins a piece of work one day or does
something else that's out of line with his normal performance.
Do you throw the book at him? Of course not. You know he is just
as disturbed about it as you are, and he will usually come to
you to explain his actions. When you have confidence in a worker's
integrity, you don't treat him as if he were a chronic case.