By Jean Roque, President, Trupp HR.

Supervisors can be a company’s greatest asset, but too often these valuable front line managers are not properly equipped to excel in their role. Wondering if it is time to develop your supervisors? The following indicators of a great supervisor provide a valuable benchmark for assessing their effectiveness.

Has a following

Great employees want to work for great supervisors. They appreciate supervisors who provide timely performance feedback, are proactive at handling employee issues, clearly communicate expectations, and are genuinely concerned for their wellbeing. In fact, employees who say they have a more supportive supervisor are 1.3 times as likely to stay with the organization and 67% more engaged.1

Creates trust

Each day supervisors have interactions with employees that can either contribute to increased or decreased trust. Whether it’s following through on commitments, showing an appropriate level of transparency, responding to similar situations in a similar manner, applying company policies consistently, or avoiding favoritism, great supervisors have an awareness of how their actions contribute to employee trust.

Develops promotable employees

Great managers have mastered the art of equipping, training, and empowering. They recognize individual strengths and align those strengths with work assignments. Managers who prioritize strengths are rewarded with engaged, promotable employees. When managers focus on employee strengths, only 1% of those employees will be disengaged as opposed to up to 40% disengagement when managers focus on the negative or neglect their employees.2

Plays nice with others

Great supervisors recognize how their team’s performance impacts others in the organization and are eager to explore how their team’s work practices or performance can be adapted to contribute to the greater good. While establishing loyalty and comradery within a team is valuable, supervisors need to avoid an “us against the world” mindset. Great supervisors do not shy away from or seek out conflict; rather, they are eager to be a part of the solution.

Sees the bigger picture

Making the transition from staff to supervisor can be challenging. Often times, new supervisors struggle with shifting from an employee to a manager mindset. Supervisors who successfully navigate this role will master the art of delegating, measure their success based on team performance rather than their own performance, and will drive decisions based on organizational success rather than individual or team success.


Trupp HR’s Management 1.0 training builds great supervisors. Learn more >>

2 “State of the American Workplace,” Gallup, Inc.