Research Paper: New Supervisory Skills
Your research paper is based on the following scenario:
You have just taken over as a Shift Supervisor at Fast Fleet Shoes Manufacturing and have a team of 30 under you. Your educational and training level is exactly what you have today.
Your teams rotate shifts every 3 weeks and there are two shifts, morning, 0700-3:30 PM and evening, 3PM to 11:30PM. You have the flexibility to move people around shifts, and you stay on the same shift, with overlap (i.e. your hours are 9-6). Two co-leads take over when you are not there and stay on shifts with their workers.
The previous supervisor was let go for cause, failure to meet quotas and leadership inability. The department's morale is very low and there is a great deal of pressure for your shift to perform.
On top of this, there is a problem with some of your employees, one is always late and the other calls in sick frequently (you can decide what factors lead to their absenteeism). The previous supervisor never did anything about this and everyone knew it was an issue. One of your co-leads has brought it to your attention and wants to know when you are going to fix it.
You also have an employee that has been there for 14 years and has never been promoted to co-lead or supervisor. He came to you and wants to know why? He is an older worker and knows what he is doing, however, one of your co-leads told you that some of the younger workers grumble that he is too slow and can't learn new technology. He also stated that unless he gets the opportunity to move up, he'll quit and make sure that management knows you never gave him a chance.
Finally, there is a brand new worker, a single mother, who is super sharp and a very hard worker. She told you on your first day there how much she loves working at the company and wants to progress upward. However, childcare is an issue and sometimes she needs to leave early. Currently no one does any work from home (your organization has not embraced it as a culture), however, in her position (she is inventory control) she feels she can perform this just as effectively from home several days a week and ask you if this is possible? What is your response?
You are to develop a solution to present to each of your co-leads on how to start fixing some of these issues. Make the paper informative, with some of the techniques and terms that we have addressed thus far in the course that deal with new supervisors. This about the terms leaders vs. managers, counseling, feedback, types of leaders, SMART objectives, SWOT, generational differences, Theory X and Y, MBWA, and favoritism. These terms are not all-inclusive and you are welcome to add others to support your solutions.
This can be a narrative paper, informative paper, a letter (albeit a long one) or a talking paper. You can use the first person to discuss what you think needs to be done. You can also assign tasks or take tasks away from co-leaders.
Your supervisor, co-leads, and workers can have fictional names, you can add in additional issues or factors and most of all, have fun and be creative in developing this workplace. Your co-leads can be good or bad at their job, you can decide how little or much you want to delegate to them as well as how much reporting back to you is needed.
Think about these challenges you will face as a new supervisor. You may want to break this into fixing immediate problems, a six-month goal, and one-year goal.
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