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Western Kentucky University

CWD: Supervisor Certificate Program

Competency Definitions

Communicator
Supervisors rarely do their work alone. Interacting and communicating with others are major parts of their jobs. Communication is a two-way process. It is effective only when the intended audience receives the message, understands it, remembers it, and responds to it appropriately. Poor communications can result in mistakes, misunderstandings, and conflict. The better a supervisor is at communicating; the more effective that supervisor will be as a leader.
Develops Others
Employees are an organization's most valuable resource. For the organization to operate at its full potential and maximum productivity, each employee must become a fully contributing member. Supervisors assist individuals to improve their knowledge and skills, so they can better perform in their immediate position and are prepared for other opportunities and promotion. The more supervisors nurture and develop their employee, the more likely those employees are to stay with the organization and to make successful contributions.
Leadership Skills
Leadership skills involve setting an example and being a role model. It is about having a certain charisma – qualities that other people are drawn to, trust, look up to, and feel comfortable with. Leadership involves taking input from others and deciding how it fits according to the vision. Supervisors as leaders provide a path for others to follow. Supervisors can inspire and motivate people to achieve their full potential. Leadership means getting everybody to comprehend the goal and then work towards achieving it.
Change Agent
A key element in implementing change and influencing others for success, a supervisor understands how each person fits into the whole organization and how they can add value. Most supervisors are good analysts and decision makers who can define a problem and develop a strategy to resolve it. What distinguishes the effective supervisor is the ability to implement the proposed solution. A successful frontline leader understands the need for change from an organizational perspective, but can also help each employee manage the unique needs of their own change experience. As a change agent, supervisors need the ability to balance change and continuity – to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking and innovation.
Problem Solver
Solving problems and making decisions are a natural part of the work environment. Changes are constantly occurring in materials, methods, tools, equipment, people, and policies. Supervisors' responses to problems and the effectiveness of their decisions have a crucial impact on the people who work for them and the organizations they manage. Using problem-solving and decision making skills will improve both the quality of decisions and the degree to which people support them.
Planner
Planning is a crucial element of every job. It involves defining tasks to achieve objectives while ensuring optimal use of resources to reach those objectives. In planning, supervisors need to understand the timeframe available to them and create a plan to work within and meet the established timeline. More importantly, supervisors need to follow up to ensure the plan is being followed and the project is on track. Supervisors should be able to develop schedules that optimize the allocated manpower available.
Safety Expert
Supervisors play a key role in ensuring an organization's safety program is effective. Supervisors need to have a clear understanding of safety regulations, be able to recognize unsafe or hazardous conditions and ensure that work is being performed safely. Setting high standards for safety communicates to employees that they are important and valued to the organization.
Legal Expert
In today's challenging work environment, where laws regulate virtually every aspect of the employment relationship, risk management is critical. One of the most effective risk management tools is to educate supervisors about the law and how to spot issues and get them addressed quickly. Supervisors should have a basic understanding and be able to enforce compliance with legal areas including safety and health, labor laws, and business law to ensure the protection of employees. ADA, EEOC, FMLA, FLSA are only a few of the labor laws supervisors must be knowledgeable of to ensure that their employees work safely and that the workplace they are responsible for meets government standards. Supervisors need to understand the importance of creating a culture that adheres to company policies and fosters respect in the workplace.
Supervisory Skills
A good supervisor is an essential part of any organization. Effective supervision will help to increase production and quality, improve morale and cultivate a better work ethic among a company's employees. Being a supervisor carries many responsibilities; to deal with these responsibilities requires a number of skills. To manage more effectively, supervisors need to practice these skills on a daily basis. Supervisory skills include: guiding work, developing staff, managing performance and managing relationships.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14