The assumption within manufacturing, production, and distribution is that as long as you have technical skills and some experience in the facility, you have the key skills of a plant supervisor that will make you successful.
This is why most companies promote technically strong people into supervisory roles only to see them struggle. To hit your production numbers and achieve success, your supervisors need to:
- Motivate and engage their team.
- Manage conflict.
- Navigate through situations that expand outside of their technical background.
Transitioning Skills of a Team Member to a Supervisor
A supervisor we worked with on one of our previous sessions shared that he had accepted a promotion because of a wage increase.
Not long after accepting the offer, he learned how different his responsibilities were from an individual team member to a supervisor. One of the most significant changes was that his performance was now measured on his team and himself.
After enrolling in a Front Line Leadership Training Program, he became more confident and effective in his leadership tasks. One of the many takeaways he shared was the realization that his job was to produce results through other people.
5 Key Skills of a Plant Supervisor
There are key skills that a plant manager or plant supervisor requires to succeed. Today we will share five to help your leaders reach their full potential.
Skill One: Communicate
Communication is vital in communicating your expectations to your team members, dealing with incidents and issues, and keeping people informed about what is happening.
Skill Two: Manage Conflict
There will always be disagreements in any production or operational environment between team members or team members and supervisors. You must be able to remain calm and curious in a conflict situation. In doing so, you will be more effective in resolving team conflicts.
Skill Three: Motivate and Engage
To drive overall performance, you need to motivate and engage your teams. You cannot force anyone to perform, so you need to create an environment where they will feel motivated to produce results and meet expectations.
Skill Four: Lead by Example
Leading by example may sound straightforward, but this is often viewed through a “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality. However, that is only half of the equation. Your team needs to understand the importance of your request and witness you following the same guidelines.
For example, if you’re asking your teams to wear safety goggles, you must also be wearing yours. In doing so, you’re providing your team evidence that you care about your instruction and that it is essential to follow. From that point, you can begin to measure safety, discuss it, provide training, and address performance issues deemed unsafe. All of these factors combined will become your mantra of leading by example. This is an essential skill you need as a production supervisor.
Skill Five: Address Behavior and Performance Issues
Behavior and performance issues often occur because the employee is:
- Unclear about your expectations.
- They believe they can get away with something they should not.
You need to be able to address issues but not do it in a punitive way. Many supervisors without training can be perceived as accusatory when they address behavior and performance concerns.
Instead, we recommend a conversational approach. This is a better way to encourage behavior that will meet your expectations.
Unlock Your Potential as a Leader
We’ve presented five skills to help you become a better leader for your team. There are even more skills that will make you exceptional as you grow in your role. That is where our Front Line Leadership Training program can aid you in your journey.
We offer three program formats for you to choose from:
- Front Line Leadership On Demand: Our newest program delivers training with opportunities to apply their new skills in between sessions.
- Public Workshops: Offered multiple times a year.
- Onsite: Training delivered exclusively for your team.
- Virtual: Delivered through our virtual training studio.
Visit our website at uniquedevelopment.com to start the conversation or connect with us through one of our many social media channels. We can work together to drive your performance for your production facility.