<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do I Develop a Supervisory Manual That Works in Tandem with a Training Program
December 23, 2004
Dear Ground Up: Your supervisor manual should be based on the structure and tone of your employee manual. It should include the procedures and processes that apply to managers--those forms, approvals and work-flow issues that supervisors need to know about to meet company obligations. Follow the employee manual structure/table of contents and add the supervisory steps that augment the process. For example, if a supervisor needs to track attendance, the manual should include thresholds for discipline (e.g., being late three times leads to first warning), along with any sample attendance forms. In fact, if possible you should publish the supervisory procedures within the employee manual. You may not want to give the impression that there are "secret" supervisory procedures. By revealing this information, you can prevent the "us vs. them" mentality. Be sure to write and review the supervisor manual with a core group of managers (or all of them, if the group isn't too large) to ensure that you haven't overlooked any procedures or processes. You will also get buy-in to manage any potential resistance. It's much easier to present a manual written by the management team than one written by a single human resources representative. In putting together this manual and this training, first ask your senior management what skills, knowledge and behaviors (known as competencies) would make a successful supervisor. What do they see missing from their management staff? From this you'll be able to prioritize training resources. Second, speak with your management team to see what issues they face, what problems they have and what they see as their needs. Last, before you begin training, involve your management team in the training by including them as subject-matter experts or in real-life case studies as examples of best practices. SOURCE: Don Gaile, principal, dmg consulting company, New York City, February 10, 2004. LEARN MORE:More information on management skills. The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.