“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
By the end of Part One, the business was growing quickly, resulting in a number of challenges.
As the business services and staff expand, and the attention of the leader is directed externally, there is a need for further internal departmentalization and the establishment of supervisory levels. A management hierarchy evolves.
This can be a very difficult transition, particularly if, as is very typical, the business fills the supervisory positions with the most experienced staff. These technically competent individuals frequently lack the necessary skills to effectively supervise other staff. They also may not understand that, as supervisors, they are expected to be leaders rather than hands on performers.
Coordination and communication become more complex and difficult as the workforce grows and compartmentalizes in specialty areas. There are too many staff to sit at one table as they used to do when the business was at the craft stage. By this time, the organization has grown into the administrative stage, where policies and procedures need to be written and formalized to ensure consistency throughout the business.
Many businesses start to falter and fail at this point, particularly if the leader and the supervisors are not sufficiently trained so that they can competently perform all of their duties.
Supervisors need the knowledge and skills to be able to: plan, create schedules, delegate work, communicate with different personalities, orient and train employees, manage and evaluate employee performance, provide constructive coaching feedback, maintain a motivated workforce, manage conflict, develop teams, handle discipline, and use good time management to meet project and production deadlines.
While a business is at the promotional stage, it needs to anticipate the next stage and provide training to the team members who will eventually become supervisors. Giving them training after they have assumed those supervisory roles is often too late.
When supervisors are in over their heads and unsure what to do, they can make critical mistakes that affect production, service and staff. When leaders are in over their heads, they can make critical mistakes that affect the growth and even the very continuation of the business.
A business that plans on growing will increase its probability of sustained success if it makes sure that its leader and supervisors have the training that will enable them to fulfill their respective leadership and supervisory responsibilities. The sooner they receive this training, the better it will be for them, for the employees and for the business itself.
May your learning be sweet- and safe.
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