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LeadingEdition: E-Newsletter for Purdue University Supervisors

Your most important job responsibility

Employees think of their boss as someone who has the power to make their lives easier or more difficult. To make them excited about coming to work or to make them wish they'd stayed in bed. Do you remember your best supervisor? What made them so special?

If you poll employees in all different types of jobs, characteristics of good supervisors vary. Some will say their supervisor is highly organized, while others are not. Some are good at communication; others are there when needed. One common characteristic seems to be the willingness and commitment to help them become the best employee they can be. Employees want to feel that their supervisor cares about them and wants them to be successful.

As a supervisor, you have a responsibility to help your employees identify their strengths and their challenges. If needed, work with them to develop a plan of action to overcome their obstacles. Talk with each of your employees regularly to establish a working relationship with them. But go further than that, and learn what their goals and aspirations are. Making time for your employees should be your number-one priority, but for many supervisors, it never seems to make it into the inbox.

Making a commitment to your employees to develop their skills and professional abilities will have a positive and long term effect on your area � and on you, as well. They will grow in the ability to work as a team, as well as independently. They will be capable of stepping up to the plate when the unexpected arises. Trusting them, empowering them, and holding them accountable for gradually increased responsibilities will allow them to shine.

If you haven't made your employees your number-one priority, take heart! Some simple steps will put you on the right track.

  1. Schedule one-on-one time with each one. Spend that time getting to know them as individuals. Learn where they want to be in one year, as well as in five or 10 years.
  2. Understand the work that they do. Acknowledge their strengths and set aside time to work with them on their challenges.
  3. Expect them to do their share and hold them accountable.

Contact your Employee Relations consultant if you need help jump-starting your top priority.

- Connie Reckowsky, consultant
Employee Relations




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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors.  It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us.  Thank you.