Studies prove supervisors have a significant impact on worker productivity. A Gallup study found that 70% of team engagement can be attributed directly to the quality of the team’s supervisor.
Another study states a worker’s productivity can rise by as much as 50% merely by moving them from an average supervisor to a highly competent supervisor.
Simply said, a good manager promotes good engagement, but an excellent manager provides excellent engagement.
So how do companies find these great supervisors? Are they rare professionals that must be lured to your organization?
Good supervisors are likely already within the ranks of your organization.
Most organizations already have good supervisors within their ranks. However, they need effective training to take them from average or below-average to competent.
Here’s why competent supervisor training is essential for your workplace.
Reduces Injuries and Incidents
Workplace health and safety violations involving supervisors are often among the top orders issued by inspectors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA). These violations include things like not providing required safety gear, ignoring stated safety rules, and putting employees in harm’s way.
But when your organization has competent supervisors, everything in the workplace is under their watchful eyes. They understand what’s expected of them and they work to protect employees.
This naturally reduces workplace injuries and incidents, because the supervisor learns how to be proactive about worker health and safety. Instead of ignoring a piece of broken flooring, for example, a competent supervisor notices it immediately and orders a repair before someone gets hurt.
Keeps Communication Flowing Smoothly
Great supervisors also take a proactive approach to internal communication. They constantly request and share information that improves productivity. When it comes to reporting potential health and safety issues, a competent supervisor stays ahead of the game.
Of course, your company must provide them with a reliable way to maintain open lines of communication. This involves expectation-setting and clear instructions about the preferred methods of communication.
If there’s a safety hazard on the factory floor, what do you expect the supervisor to do? What is required by law and internal policies? How fast must they report it? Should they send an email or report it in person? How should they notify their staff?
Competent supervisors want to do things correctly. Training helps them understand what is required by law, while the organization must instruct them on how the law is to be applied. Effectively communication is the best way to keep your workplace operating productively without hazards or slowdowns.
Limits Negative Behavior and Side Effects
A poor supervisor creates a cascade of problems across your organization. Here’s just a short list of adverse effects caused by poor supervisors:
- Employee work refusals, which is their right
- Increased absenteeism and turnover
- More anonymous complaints/reports to the provincial government
- More injuries and OSHA investigations
- Fines and other penalties
- Poor productivity
- Limited potential for growth and profitability
A competent manager or supervisor knows how to reduce these risks as a result of formal and specialized supervisor training that supports and develops leaders.
Competent supervisor training isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law. According to Section 25(2)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a supervisor must be a “competent person,” which is defined as someone who:
- is qualified because of knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance
- is familiar with the Act and the regulations that apply to the work
- has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace
Keep in mind that a manager or supervisor is defined as anyone who is in charge of a workplace or has authority over workers, whether they hold the formal title as one or not. If they create schedules, assign workstations, instruct workers on tasks, or even just provide occasional guidance, they are likely considered a supervisor by the Ministry of Labour.
Does your company need competent supervisor training?
If so, connect with the experts at EKG. We’re more than a typical health and safety training firm. We provide comprehensive consultation, professional services, and modular training courses that can be customized to your company’s individual needs.