HR Management & Compliance

How Training Can Help New Supervisors

The information in this issue is adapted from the Ask the Trainer feature on BLR’s HR.BLR.com®.

The training question is, “How can HR help newly promoted supervisors and managers make a smooth transition from coworker to supervisor?”

Here is how our training expert responded:

“The first thing is to figure out how to convey your message in the language of the new supervisor,” says Management Consultant Mike Deblieux (www.deblieux.com). “Don’t focus on technicalities and details.” For example, if you’re training supervisors on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), they don’t need to become experts on the law. They do need a thorough understanding of their responsibility under the law (i.e., to put an employee in touch with HR if they learn that an employee may need some time off for his or her own medical concerns or those of a family member).


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It’s also important for a new manager or supervisor to gain the respect of former coworkers, who are now subordinates. “The new manager has to come into the role and be seen as a new leader,” he says. Deblieux recommends that new managers rearrange their offices right away. This sends a subtle message to employees that the office is now the new supervisor’s space and that he or she is in charge.

Deblieux says new managers can also gain respect by dressing “one step above their workers” and build credibility by asking for input from workers before making decisions. “Supervisory rule number one is that you’re better off to ask questions than make a decision 99 percent of the time,” he says.

In addition to establishing a good rapport with subordinates and the boss, new supervisors need to develop a strong relationship with other supervisors, according to Deblieux. He says it’s also important for new supervisors to learn to prioritize their work (since a supervisor’s work is never done) and to understand the need to “address problems earlier rather than later.” For example, if tardiness is a big concern, a supervisor shouldn’t wait until the fifth time an employee is late to address the problem. He or she needs to understand that it should be addressed the first time.


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Are you looking for an effective training resource to get new supervisors quickly up to speed on key HR topics? Look no further than 10-Minute HR Trainer.

Each session in this dynamic, prewritten training resource includes a trainer’s outline, a takeaway handout, and a follow-up quiz. And you get all these for 50 key HR topics right off the bat in the initial book—plus quarterly updates with more essential training.

With this training resource, we’ve provided an easy-to-manage program that lets you train in discrete, 10-minute chunks. It’s a program that’s easy for you to deliver and that requires little time from busy schedules. And it’s remarkably affordable.

As its name implies, this product trains managers and supervisors in critical HR skills in as little as 10 minutes for each topic. 10-Minute HR Trainer offers these features:

Trains in 50 key HR topics, including manager and supervisor responsibilities under all major employment laws and how to legally carry out managerial actions from hiring to termination. (See a complete list of topics below.)

Uses the same teaching sequence master teachers use. Every training unit includes an overview, bullet points on key lessons, a quiz, and a handout to reinforce the lesson later.

Completely prewritten and self-contained. Each unit comes as a set of reproducible documents. Just make copies or turn them into overheads and you’re done. (Take a look at a sample lesson below.)

Updated continually. As laws change, your training must as well. 10-Minute HR Trainer provides new lessons and updated information every 90 days, along with a monthly Training Forum newsletter, for as long as you are in the program.

Works fast. Each session is so focused that there’s not a second’s waste of time. Your managers are in and out almost before they can look at the clock, yet they remember small details even months later.

Evaluate It at No Cost for 30 Days

We’ve arranged to make 10-Minute HR Trainer available to our readers for a 30-day,    in-office, no-cost trial. Review it at your own pace and try some lessons with your colleagues. If it’s not for you, return it at our expense. Click here and we’ll set you up with our 10-Minute HR Trainer.

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