Interview summary One piece of advice that the interviewee wanted to give to a new supervisor was to understand the culture of the organization firstbefore taking over the charge fully. Most of the times, supervisors tend to use the same skills that they have demonstrated in the previous settings and expect the subordinates to submit to them the same way that they did in those previous settings. In reality, the attitude of the subordinates differs from one organization to another and the fundamental element driving their behavior is the organizational culture.
In order to be effective and influential in a new setting, it is imperative that a new supervisor first understands the organization’s history and studies its norms, values, principles, codes, and culture, and then use his/her learning gained from past experiences to supervise the subordinates in context of the new setting. Without a firm understanding of the culture of the new organization, a supervisor may not be able to achieve his/her goals. The interviewee’s favorite part of being a supervisor was the respect he gained from the subordinates. Since he is the supervisor, it automatically occurs to the subordinates that they have to respect him, consider him superior, and give importance to his views and opinions since that is the requirement of the job.
The interviewee likes the fact that he has the confidence and support of his subordinates and they tend to follow the rules established by him. They listen to him when he tells them to be disciplined. The interviewee is particularly fascinated by the fact that he is able to resolve the interpersonal issues of the subordinates; when they cannot settle the matters themselves, they approach him and then he decides it for them.
He likes the fact that they accept his decisions, and this shows that they respect him. The interviewee said that a supervisor cannot gain respect by imposing just his/her own views and opinions upon the subordinates all the time; he/she should hear their stance and then do as he/she deems is right. The interviewee’s least favorite part of being a supervisor is the difficulty he experiences in drawing a line between being a supervisor and a human.
As a supervisor, he needs to be very strict in order to make sure that the subordinates do the work in a timely manner and follow the standard of quality. To achieve this, he cannot compromise upon the principles; the subordinates have to arrive on time, they have to wear the personal protective equipment, they have to finish the work on time, and they have to abide by all the rules. However, as a human being, he feels guilty sometimes when he has to impose fines upon a subordinate for arriving late as per the organization’s policy when he knows that the subordinate had been working till late in the night the previous day.
As a supervisor, he also has certain responsibilities toward the owners of the organization. Drawing a balance between those responsibilities and his responsibilities toward the subordinates sometimes becomes challenging.