A supervisor can either break it or make it, so having a good supervisor becomes crucial for any organization. Good supervisors can make their team members stay in the house, bad ones can make them leave.
When contemplating a job offer or just the possibility of switching jobs, many professionals also think about their potential future supervisors and their impacts on their careers: Will they understand me and give me enough support and feedback? Will I feel valued, and will my work be meaningful? Will we trust each other? So many questions can rush through one's mind at this point.
Trust is one of the most important cornerstones of good company culture, and it cannot exist without interaction. Teams built trust through a culture of listening, and this is where supervisors play a central role. Supervisors are at the heart of well-being in the work community, and the support they provide plays a significant role in workplace well-being (Böckerman et al., 2017).
Supervisors have become even more important as we have moved almost entirely to remote work. Gauging the atmosphere and energy levels in one's team members has become more critical than ever and requires a whole new set of skills. The importance of trust and empathy has also increased. A recent study found that trust was the most crucial thing in remote work, and the study also found trust to be the basis of all effective collaboration. The study also found that a good supervisor is supportive, caring, and motivating. (Sormunen 2020.)
To answer some of the questions by our future employees, we would like to shed some light on our supervisors' work.
The role of supervisors is one of the key roles in HiQ. They are the team members' glue, sparring partners, motivators, and pillars of support. They are not above the team, and we don't use the term 'subordinate' in the company – we are all team members. We are all equal and work together to achieve common goals.
The supervisor's role is to encourage and support the team members and, in particular, to monitor their workload and well-being. Our supervisors are also involved in day-to-day work, i.e., they are close to the projects and have a good understanding of the different situations that arise in the workplace.
We examine the satisfaction level with the performance of our supervisors through a series of questions in our annual employee survey.
The results have been excellent year after year, and we have been very satisfied with our supervisors. We also react to requests raised and make changes where necessary. For example, we increased the number of supervisors when the teams expressed that wish in the survey.
According to our most recent survey, satisfaction with our supervisors was at 3.69 (on a scale of 1 to 4).
The employee survey also revealed (on a scale of 1 to 4) that:
My supervisor trusts their staff - 3.79.
I feel free to express my views to my supervisor, even if I disagree with them - 3.79.
I think that my supervisor cares about their staff - 3.79.
My supervisor dares tackle problems when necessary-3,67.
We also asked our supervisors for their comments about how they perceive their role and what is important to them in their work.
"For me it´s important that I can trust my team. Trust is the basis for everything we do and it is built through openness and honest communication. I want that my team members feel that they can express their opinions.” - Markus.
"I think it's important that my team has a positive working atmosphere and good team spirit! I encourage my team members to tell me openly what they want from their jobs and if something bothers them. This way, I can ensure that my team members receive work that meets their wishes as well as possible, and that any challenges can be dealt with quickly." – Elina.
"The best part of my job is being proud of my team members every day. I always try to be available and prioritize my team members' issues over the rest of my work. It's important to me that my team members can always talk openly about everything with a low threshold. A good supervisor is present and always listens sensitively also to what is not being said directly. In my team members, I value openness, initiative, a service-centred attitude, and the courage to ask questions and to question.
As a supervisor, I have found it most rewarding to see my team succeed in challenging customer projects and overcome situations together as winners. When the client gives good feedback to the whole team, it becomes our shared success. I also particularly enjoy empowering my team to grow professionally and finding the roles and tasks where they are at their best." – Tuire.
“A team never boils down to one person; it depends on everyone working together, with team spirit and fairness as important parts. I see the supervisor's role as important in growing this, and a big part of that is that the team makes decisions together and takes responsibility for them. Having different perspectives and asking questions complement the team's shared vision of how things should be and how we can get there. I am proud of my team and hope to create a good environment for them to work in." – Erkka.
“I have the privilege of having a very highly professional team that supports each other in every day work. There are no stupid questions and all team members are glad to help when needed. All new team members are wellcomed very warmly. We have acquired a spirit of team work with good sense of humor. I make sure that the everyday challenges in work meet everyones interests and level of expertise. I value my team for being very open in communication towards me so I know all the time if someone needs different kinds of tasks or needs more training in some area etc. Also a very important part of keeping the team in good spirit is having some out of office activities. We have for example been bowling together, kart racing, having nice dinners and so on.” -Jonna .
BÖCKERMAN, Petri, KANGASNIEMI, Mari ja KAUHANEN, Antti 2017. Supervisor’s Support and Job Satisfaction. ETLA Brief 57. [Online publication.] Available at: https://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/ETLA-Muistio-Brief-57.pdf
SORMUNEN, Roosa 2020. The importance of leadership in remote work. [Online publication.] Available at: https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/354553/Opinna%cc%88ytetyo%cc%88%20Roosa%202020.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y