In many companies, finding and training supervisors is a challenge at all levels. How many times have you seen supervisors or even maintenance managers that would rather do the work than direct the work?
A hobby of mine is time-lapse photography. I was in a warehouse in the cage of a scissor lift filming operations during a peak period. Although the company spent a great deal of time and effort training supervisors for leadership, what I got on film was surprising.
A supervisor was running the floor. He had about 15 people on his crew. I watched as the supervisor raced around the warehouse on a forklift, while about five new members of the team stood around doing nothing. What was needed was the supervisor to get off the forklift and direct his team.
Later when asked why the team didn’t make their deadline, the supervisor complained about a shortage of manpower. He said this required him to jump on the forklift to try and catch up.
The supervisor had fallen victim to “self-enhancement bias.” That is the notion that only he could operate the forklift at that moment if he ever expected to get things back on schedule. Even after watching the film, the supervisor didn’t see the issue. He eventually left the company because what he really wanted was to drive a forklift, while being paid as a supervisor.
This is not an isolated incident, so at Maintenance Best we have spent a great deal of time on leadership and supervisor training. Leaders in companies are needed at all levels including lead, supervisor, and manager. Our supervisor training courses and manager training courses include five separate videos and the accompanying training manuals. They cover all aspects of the things that new leaders need to know to successfully manage an operation.