I was talking with one of my former employees yesterday and she recalled the time I said that she was doing “drive-by supervision” — managing staff in fleeting moments as if in driving by to check on a business without taking the time to go in and inspect the details. It works if you have great employees and you want to continue the status quo, but more is needed if you want to impact true professional development or plant the seeds to create significant change.
One thing that is difficult for new supervisors to grasp is how much time it truly takes to supervise staff well. It is a continual, almost daily process in which information needs to be shared, context given, projects monitored in global terms, new challenges outlined, praise dispensed and questions answered. And that is when staff is all hired, trained and doing well!
Supervision is also a hard skill to learn before you supervise someone. If you are mentoring new employees, do what you can to help them understand the process and have some components of the process: conducting the search for new employees, doing evaluations of interns, having 1:1 sessions with you even if they are not direct reports, taking a management class or attending a workshop or whatever you can develop.
It has been said that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. Do your part as a leader to train the future bosses so they can attract talent instead of repel it.