Supervisors – The Hidden Safety Heroes

From safety and quality, to production and turnover- supervisors face a variety of challenges and responsibilities in their roles. Supervisors are key to an organization’s ability to develop personnel and establish expectations for the implementation of a proactive safety culture. They are the hidden heroes! Are you arming them with the tools, resources, and training to effectively develop their teams?

Quite often we see individual employees promoted to the role of supervisor or manager because they are hardworking and dependable. Those are important characteristics, but there are others critical to effective supervision that are many times overlooked. When deciding on these promotions, employers often fail to factor in the complexity of managing people, safety, quality, and production simultaneously. Will these employees be ready for such a task? Do they have the skills to handle the vast challenges and responsibilities that come along with a management role?

Employers should consider establishing a supervisor or manager development program within their organization. This program could help educate and prepare employees prior to assignment. Even if the hardworking and dependable individuals you feel would make good managers do not have any supervisory experience, a development program can help teach them the skills and prepare them to be effective leaders.

Primary development programs could include topics such as: responsibilities & accountabilities, communication skills, conflict resolution, hazard recognition, accident investigation, and more. Most importantly, your program should address effective leadership skills to help new supervisors or managers develop and empower personnel in support of establishing a proactive safety culture.

Once an organization establishes a leadership development program for their middle management, they are more likely to see a reduction in recordable incidents, improved quality, higher productivity rates, increased employee morale, and lower turnover rates within the company.

To learn more about how supervisors can effectively develop their teams, join me at the 2017 Indiana Safety & Health Conference. Don’t miss my session, Supervisors: The Hidden Safety Heroes, on Wednesday, March 1st at 4:00pm!