Supervising skills can be described as the ability to manage processes, delegated responsibilities and tasks by observing, guiding and instructing. Very simply, supervising does not mean constant surveillance. It means critically watching, observing and then directing what someone does or how something should be done.

There is a widespread misconception when it comes to determining the level of management at which this skill is usually required, with majority assuming it to be essential only for overseeing the entry-level employees/workers. Truth is, supervising skills are indispensable for anyone who has one or more subordinates working for them. Supervision, as a skill, helps people enhance the professional functioning of their subordinates, helping the overall organization to succeed.

Why is it important to have supervising skills

Except for the entry-level employees, almost everyone in an organization is expected to have one or more subordinates to work for them. Supervising skills are, therefore, a necessity for having a pleasant overall work environment and attaining optimum level of efficiency for organizational success.

Supervising skills can certainly help you nurture the abilities of your subordinates and get the best out of them, making them feel and actually be successful. As a result, the organization will have a competitive advantage in attracting as well as retaining the employees with exceptional performance. On the other hand, absence or inadequacy of good supervising skills can pose a great threat to the workforce competence, morale, and its overall stability.

Another factor, to which the significance of supervising skills can be attributed, is the optimum utilization of a firm’s resources. Resource wastage tends to minimize in the presence of good supervision because all processes are carefully monitored and regulated.

How to improve your supervising skills

As the workforce diversity continues to increase in almost every sector, so does the need to improve your supervising skills. Following are some of the things you can do:

  • Categorize. Varying levels of supervision is required for different circumstances. Therefore, categorization can help improve your skills. Categories can be based upon the varying nature of work (e.g. high or low risk involved), the difference in environments under which tasks are performed (e.g. isolated or remote), as well as the different kinds of workers (e.g. young or experienced). This kind of categorization will help you prioritize where your supervising skills are more critically required and provide support accordingly.
  • Give credit. One of the best ways to add to your supervising skills is to offer praise and be generous with compliments wherever you feel it’s due. It helps create a positive work environment where employees know that you are helping them perform to their best potential. Instead of feeling pressurized, they will be encouraged to show an outstanding performance.
  • Be well-informed. Not only is it important to give honest feedback to your subordinates and offer praises but it is equally important to encourage their feedback and make them feel they are being heard too. Supervising skills can be improved to a great extent if you are well-informed about the concerns of your subordinates, the challenges they face, and the opinions they hold regarding your supervision.