Insights into Better Relations with Staff Members
Good supervision of labor is perhaps the most important cost control a mission has. Breaking in a new staff member may actually cost several hundred dollars. It also places additional burdens on other staff members who usually gain added responsibilities while the new worker becomes more familiar with the job.
Failure to place staff members properly and to train them adequately result in poor work quality, lack of productivity, and excessive costs. Good rescue mission staff members are hard to find and difficult to keep.
Good supervisors complain that petty jealousy, bickering, and general discontent run high among staff members. Also, minor accidents, illnesses, and abuse of sick leave add to the problems of supervision and management of rescue missions.
Good supervisors must have several qualities. They must have a knowledge of the missions policies, procedures, goals, and objective, and they should be experienced and knowledgeable about work to be done. They must also be able to understand and deal with people. In addition, they must keep informed of labor laws and new training techniques and opportunities for their staff members.
The Supervisory Climate
There are four key guides that a supervisor must follow in developing a healthy supervisory climate:
All of this takes insight on the managers part. Test yourselfhow much do you really know about the people who work for you? Are the happy? Are they free from job tension?
Remember that recognition in work gives people a sense of pride and a feeling of personal fulfillment Deny staff members this opportunity for recognition, place them in work the provides little recognition, and you will create an atmosphere of boredom and frustration.
Boredom is not simply a lack of interest, it is more often a gnawing hunger for something interesting. Boredom breeds frustration, and this may finally erupt into destructive behavior.
Management theory today places emphasis on humanizing jobs. Surveys show that todays staff members are not interested primarily in more and job security. They are more apt to state that appreciation of the work they are doing is of greatest importance.
Rescue mission supervisors must try to be more responsive to staff members needs. Staff members concerns must be transmitted to higher management are must be represented at problem-solving sessions. Including the staff member in the missions planning and policymaking has also proven successful. When the staff members are given an opportunity to see and appreciate the positive end results, they are more apt to place a higher value on their personal contributions. When staff members derive emotional satisfaction from their job, the turnover rate goes down.
Supervising New Rescue Mission Staff members
People who are working for the first time at a rescue mission present a special challenge to a good manager. Their potential is as great as their enthusiasm. They usually come expecting a better quality work environment, since the mission is a Christian organization. And, if they are new to Christian work, they tend to view their work at the rescue mission as more than simply "a job." For them it is often "a calling" and an opportunity to serve the Lord.
Still, it is important for supervisors to understand their need for recognition. New staff members are often unsure of themselves in their new roles. A smart manager will be able to encourage them while working with God to mold them into good and productive servants.
Techniques of Maintaining Discipline
The most difficult aspect of supervision is controlling the staff members performance. This is known as "discipline." The most important factors maintaining a well-disciplined rescue mission work environment are the day-to-day relation ships which are established on the job. You can reduce the need for corrective discipline by
Your leadership makes the difference. The importance of effective leadership cannot be overemphasized. A manager who is arrogant, who is inconsistent, who uses threats and fear as a way to discipline is not well respected by the staff members. Blind obedience should not be confused with good discipline. Force can serve effectively for a short time, but with this type of discipline the results are short-lived.
Good discipline exists when co-workers regularly come to work on time, handle their responsibilities with care, and when they turn out satisfactory work. When they follow the prescribed, written procedures of the mission, then their attitudes and work are good. These are the conditions that every rescue mission manager strives to achieve.
Techniques of Reprimanding
The ideal situation scarcely ever exists. Some staff members develop poor work habits, and they need to be trained in a more positive way. Most often rescue mission staff members will respond to sound leadership by example, and they will thus develop good work habits. However, some staff members may need special attention, and a few will need to be dealt with firmly.
When you find that a staff member has developed a bad habit, it is best to discourage it by discussing it with the staff member. Looking the other way will encourage that individual to continue to commit the violation. Surveys indicate that the frequency and severity of violations always increase when the leader looks the other way. If you permit staff members to "get away with things," you are encouraging them to continue bad habits. The thing to do is to correct a staff member the first time an offense or violation occurs and to help him or her to establish a good habit. This means that you must work closely with your staff members, especially the new ones, to make sure that bad habits will not go unnoticed.
For example, if a staff member who is usually prompt suddenly begins coming in late for work each daynot terribly late, but ten or fifteen minutes each timethe manager should speak directly. The manager might say, "You have been late three days in a row. What seems to be the problem?" The staff member might say, "My husband has a new job. As you know, we only have one car, so I must drop him off before I come to work. We didnt realize how long it would take, and thats why Ive been late every day since he took the new job. Tomorrow well start fifteen minutes earlier so that I can get to work on time."
If the manager had not corrected the staff member about being late, she probably would have continued to be late because she was getting into that habit. The method of handling such a problem is to bring it out into the open.
When managers correct bad habits, they must explain to staff members the good habits they expect the staff members to learn. Its not enough to "That is a violation." You must tell them what you expect, and then must make sure that they are able to meet the standards that you set.
Explain the policies and procedures of your mission thoroughly a to make sure that each staff member has been carefully oriented to h her job. If there is any question, review what is expected, the job description, the work schedule, etc. When doing so, remember to commend staff member for those aspects of the work that are being done well.
George S. Odiorne lists the following "deadly sins of reprimading":
Solving Grievance Problems
It is important that the rescue mission manager take the time and to listen to staff members complaints or grievances. A staff member concentrating on a grievance is not a productive staff member. A grievance whether real or imagined, will block a staff member from being a w staff member. Until you have investigated the grievance and the under causes, you will be losing productivity.
It is human nature for some people to complain often. However, if a staff member does complain, you must give him or her your undivided attention and show that you will look into the situation carefully. By keeping staff members well informed of what is going onby keeping "in the knowyou can eliminate many unreal or imagined compliants.
Grievances are most likely to occur when:
If a complaint goes unsettled, the staff member will tell friends, family, other staff members. Thus the chain of dissatisfaction will continue to you detect discontent within the rescue mission, investigate right and take corrective action. Maintain a record of complaints or lances in your department. Analyze past grievances. If one particular position or department is a sticky problem, analyze the reasons. Have you had a tremendous turnover there? If so, why? What is wrong with the job? If records show that in the last six months you have had four complaints about one particular staff member, look into it. Such a record can a great help to you in working through these problems. By searching causes and taking immediate action, you may eliminate similar complaints in the future. Here are some helpful hints for solving a complaint:
Adapted from Food Service ManagementA Human Relations Approach by Carole Okeefe and Myrna Breskin, 1976 by McGraw-Hill, Inc.