Last week I was facilitating a seminar for a group of new supervisors and one of them asked me, “Cal, if you were promoted from a position within your team to the position of supervisor, would you maintain the same social relationships with your friends that you now supervise?” I thought that was a very challenging question and had to think about it before giving an answer. I advised it would be unwise to maintain the same relationships because it might create a conflict of interest. Maintaining a close social relationship may create a morale problem because some of your employees may accuse you of favoritism.
I am Calvin Swartz, President of Progressive Success Corporation. I am a management consultant specializing in facilitating supervision, leadership, and management development seminars. I will be using my blog as a medium for exchanging views about techniques for solving supervisory and management problems related to interpersonal relations in the work place. This is the first one designed to get your comments and start a dialog about these relationships. In my seminars, I use unique names related to the issues to create interest and assist in describing the situations. I will be using these characters in future topics.
For many years, participants in my seminars have had the opportunity to ask me, “Cal, what would you do if…?” questions. In a recent seminar, a new supervisor, Ibee D. Nusuper asked, “Cal, what would you do if two people showed up late for work? I supervise 16 people in my new job. Last week, two of them showed up 1 hour late. To correct this problem, I called the whole team together because I wanted everyone to get the message I would not tolerate late arrivals. Did I do the right thing?”
“No, you did not do the right thing. Mass punish only alienates those who did not break the rules. In the future you should first ensure that everyone is aware of the rules. Then when an individual breaks the rules, only deal with that person.”
What advice would you offer Ibee? Was it appropriate to call the whole team together when only two people were late? Would your advice be different for other acts of misconduct? Please share your thoughts regarding this situation.