When asked about the toughest part of a job, there is one answer that stands above the rest: dealing with people. Employees often get frustrated or annoyed with their job because of the people around them. These interpersonal problems can lead to the downfall of the hierarchal system within a company.
To better explain how to build work relationships and supervise employees at all levels, Larry Kokklenberg, of Leath Group, LLC, and a World of Asphalt education speaker, provided ten simple guidelines for effective supervision.
- Build trust
There are very few relationships, work, personal or anything in between, that can survive without trust. Kokklenberg says that trust is the foundation for all positive and sustained relationships and that these relationships are vitally important if a team wants to perform at a high level.
When looking at behavior that helps build trust, Kokklenberg said that communication, consistency and leading by example are all important behaviors. On the contrary, poor communication, lack of integrity and lack of reliability were listed as behaviors that hurt trust within a company.
2. Manage by influence, not power
An important distinction to make between power and influence, Kokklenberg said, is that power is the authority or right to give orders and make decisions, while influence is the ability to positively affect ideas and actions. Furthermore, an autocratic top-down model of employment can hurt a business if not handled correctly. Rather than increasing your power, grow your influence by being knowledgeable, respectful, caring and flexible.
3. Create a culture of appreciation
As simple as it sounds, “thank you” goes a long way. Saying thank you costs nothing and gives more than you expect in return. 76 percent of employees say that being recognized by their superiors motivates them in their job. Kokklenberg says that after being more personable with your staff, acknowledging all extra efforts and thanking people for their work every day, the culture of the company will become more positive in 30 days.
4. Be fair and just
No employee should be treated differently, better or worse, than another. Being impartial, unprejudiced and simply fair will show everyone that they are all as equally important and will help build trust and morale within the company.
5. Be respectful
This is an easy one. Would you rather have a boss that is considerate, caring and patient or one that is harsh, abrupt and difficult? When people fear or dislike their superiors, they are constantly stressed or tense about their work situation, which also negatively affects their work.
6. Be a role model
Whether you like it or not, being a boss also makes you a role model by default and being a role model comes with responsibilities. Manage yourself in a positive manner and live by your own values and the values of the company. In return, your employees will respect you and trust that the company is in good hands.
7. Be helpful
Understand that people will come to you for help and advice; boss is synonymous to teacher in this respect. One of the responsibilities of being a boss is to help make everyone else’s jobs easier. Give instructions, feedback and advice to help develop people and their skills.
8. Be positive
Everything you do will reflect back on your staff – your attitude is highly contagious. Positive supervisors will breed positive employees and positive employees tend to do great work for their company.
9. Build the team
Every company or business is one large team. Work gets done by the entire team, never by just one person. Build a collaborative mindset by encouraging cooperation and helpfulness and always reiterating the teamwork aspect of the workplace. In return, you’ll get employees that not only work well together, but enjoy doing so.
10. Link work to a higher purpose
Kokklenberg encouraged everyone to not give people jobs, but to give them a purpose. Be sure to always link your work to your mission statement. This will encourage employees to work for the good of the company instead of working for a paycheck.
Asphalt paving professionals who want to learn more about leading people and building their team can still register for World of Asphalt for up to 15 percent off through February 26.
About World of Asphalt
Held every year except during CONEXPO-CON/AGG years, World of Asphalt is the leading trade show and conference focused on the asphalt and paving industries, whose most recent edition was recognized by Trade Show Executive as one of the “Fastest 50” growing trade shows. The show features the best education, and latest equipment, products, services and technologies for the asphalt and paving industries. The next World of Asphalt, co-located with the AGG1 Academy & Expo, will be held March 29-31, 2022 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. For more information on World of Asphalt, visit www.WorldOfAsphalt.com.
About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 2.8 million jobs and contributes roughly $288 billion to the economy every year.
About the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA)
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,200 companies as members, was founded in 1955.