Close supervision and general supervision are two main approaches to managing employees in the workplace. They differ in the level of guidance and direction provided to employees. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to know when to use each one in order to ensure the success of a team or organization.
Close supervision is defined as a method of management in which an individual leader or manager closely monitors and guides the behavior and performance of an employee or team. It is necessary for new employees or those who are not yet proficient in their job functions. The supervisor provides a high level of guidance and direction to the employee. He regularly checks on the employee’s work, provides clear instructions, and closely tracks the progress of the work.
This approach is also often used when a team or organization is new or unfamiliar with the process or task at hand, as it allows for more direct guidance and assistance to ensure that the process or task is completed correctly. Close supervision can also be beneficial in situations where the team or organization is facing a unique challenge or situation, as it allows for more attentive and personalized guidance.
- Training a new employee: When a new employee is hired, they may need close supervision to learn the job functions and become familiar with company policies and procedures. The supervisor may work closely with the employee during the first few weeks or months, providing detailed instructions and feedback to ensure that the employee understands their job duties and is performing them correctly.
- Correcting errors: If an employee makes mistakes or errors, close supervision may be necessary to correct the problem. The supervisor may review the employee’s work regularly to correct mistakes and to provide guidance to prevent future errors.
- Monitoring progress: In some cases, close supervision may be necessary to monitor an employee’s progress on a particular project or task. For example, if an employee is working on a time-sensitive project, the supervisor may need to check in regularly to ensure that the work is on track and to provide feedback to keep the project moving forward.
On the other hand, general supervision, also known as loose supervision, is a more hands-off approach to managing employees. This type is ideal for experienced employees who have a higher level of expertise and knowledge about their job.
This approach allows employees to take more ownership of their work, when they generally have greater autonomy and independence when it comes to completing tasks and meeting deadlines. This type is iseful when a team or organization is more experienced or familiar with the process or task at hand, as it allows for more creative solutions and can help reduce the risk of stagnation.
- Setting goals and expectations: The supervisor may set clear goals and expectations for the employee and provide support and resources to help the employee achieve those goals. The employee is then responsible for managing their own time and resources to meet those goals.
- Providing feedback: The supervisor may provide periodic feedback to the employee to ensure that their work is on track and to provide guidance to help the employee improve their performance. However, the feedback is less frequent than in close supervision, as the employee is expected to work more independently.
- Delegating tasks: The supervisor may delegate tasks and responsibilities to the employee and trust them to complete the work independently. The employee is responsible for managing their own time and resources to complete the task, but the supervisor is available to provide support and guidance if needed.
When should one use close supervision and general supervision?
So, when should one use close supervision and general supervision? Generally speaking, use close supervision when a team or organization has new process or task and needs more guidance and assistance to ensure to complete correctly. On the other hand, use general supervision when a team or organization is more experienced or familiar with the process or task and needs more autonomy and creativity to stay on track.
The type of supervision used depends on several factors, including the experience level of the employee, the complexity of the task, and the level of risk involved in the work. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right supervision approach to ensure the employee’s success and productivity.
Ultimately, understanding the differences between close supervision and general supervision can help organizations create and maintain a productive and successful team. Choosing the right approach for each situation can help ensure meeting goals and processes remain efficient and effective.
By providing the appropriate level of guidance and support, supervisors can help employees reach their full potential and achieve their goals.
The previous blog explains different management styles commonly used in organisations.
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