ISSUE 35 ISSN 1712-468
PO Box 418 Main, Stn A
Abbotsford, BC
V2T 6Z7
PO Box 8000 PMB 386
Sumas, WA 98295-8000
Phone: 604-852-0566
Fax: 604-850-3003
Eeenie Meenie Mynie Moe,
One Potato, Two Potato, I Choose ______,
There is a Better Way to Choose a Supervisor!

You’d think that with all the layoffs that have occurred during the last several months, there’d be some strong candidates looking for work. I don’t know about you, but for the most part, the people who have come by our office have been less than stellar.

One lady came in to sell me on hiring her as one of my sales reps. She had good references (which we know these days don’t mean a lot), she understood what needed to be done, and she had a strong presence about her. Her claim to fame was that she was a lead-generating queen.

That was back in September.

Do you know how many sales that person made?


She always had an excuse for why she could not get the job done.

The hiring process is even more of a challenge when it comes to finding good supervisors. Everyone is looking for them. They are hard to find. In fact, my recommendation is that you cannot hire them; you must TRAIN THEM!

As owners, you are dependent upon your supervisors to teach your workers, but not all workers want to be supervisors—nor do they have the skills and abilties.

Although they might jump at the chance, many people are not capable of being supervisors.

  • Some people refuse to take responsibility.
  • Some don’t want to give orders to their friends.
  • They can’t adjust their thinking from being a worker to managing supervisory problems.
  • They cannot plan or follow through.
  • They can’t quit “doing”; they have not learned to implement the skill of delegating.
  • They have poor judgment.
  • They work slowly.
  • They are indecisive.
  • They are inflexible.
  • Their annoying mannerisms prevent them from becoming effective leaders.

Where do you find people who will make competent supervisors? I believe they must be discovered among the ambitious workers willing to pay the price of leadership and who can work well with their associates.

In the past, companies could take a “shot in the dark” when it came to hiring a supervisor. The boss could take the time to work with the person to get the desired results. Today, the approach to selecting a leadership team must be much more structured.

Basically, you need to take 5 steps.
  1. Ask the present management or supervisory team for the names of people they think would make good supervisors. If you are in a union shop, speak to your shop steward or business agent. When I was managing a teamster trucking company, we had minimal union issues because we took the time to include the union in some of the hiring decisions. They worked with us, not against us.
  2. If someone nominates a candidate, take the time to talk to the person about the nomination and why he thinks that person would make a great supervisor.
  3. Form a committee—a person from operations, HR, and managementto review the records of the nominees, their qualifications, and the nominees themselves.
  4. Use a standard objective assessment to assess both the position and the person, to determine his or her match for the job.
  5. The committee selects the individuals judged to be qualified for supervisory training.
The great thing about this process is that it not only provides for the immediate supervisory need, it creates a reserve to meet future demands.

We will continue to work through some of these processes in future CANs.

In the meantime, I highly recommend that you take a look at these three CRG assessments: Job Style Indicator, Personal Style Indicator, and Values Preference Indicator.

Yours truly,

Neal Diamond

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