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Q: easy question?? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: easy question??
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: colin1981-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 26 Nov 2002 15:50 PST
Expires: 26 Dec 2002 15:50 PST
Question ID: 115103
How should the company supervisors behave differently so as to get
their subordinates to experience less stress on the job.

Request for Question Clarification by easterangel-ga on 26 Nov 2002 19:56 PST
Hi! Just to clarify.

1.) Would a reference to management in general be fine or it must
specifically be "company supervisors"?

2.) In terms of the behavior factor does this mean the "policies and
practices" management must undertake to minimize employee stress?

Just let me know. :)

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 26 Nov 2002 20:00 PST
What do you mean, "differently"? Perhaps you can explain what is
happening and under what circumstances? It will be very difficult, if
not impossible, to say how they "should" behave since we are not
experiencing the problem first hand. Please be specific.


Clarification of Question by colin1981-ga on 27 Nov 2002 07:42 PST
As the managing director of a large e-tail sales company, you are
becoming alarmed about the growing levels of turnover company has been
experiencing lately. It already has passed the industry average, and
you are growing concerned about the company's capacity to staff the
call centre and the warehouse during the busy holdiay period. In
constructig exit interviews, you lean that the employees who are
leaving generally like their work and the pay they are receiving .
howerver, they are displeased with the way their manager are treating
them, and this is creating stress in their lives. They are quitting to
take less stressful position.

The question is 
How should the company supervisors behave differently so as to get
their subordinates to experience less stress on the job.(or, less to
get them to react less negatively.....

thanks a lot.....if their any question just inform me......
Subject: Re: easy question??
Answered By: dannidin-ga on 27 Nov 2002 08:08 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi colin1981,

I will answer the question from personal experience. I know many
stressful workplaces and bosses who mistreat their employees. Since
you state that this is an "easy question", I assume that what you want
is some simple advice on the kind of behavior that bosses ("company
supervisors") can adopt to encourage a nice working environment. My
advice to you, the boss, is:

1. Be firm, yet friendly and fair.
You must not be too good friends with your employees. You are still
their boss and as such bear the overall responsibility for their
performance. You may occassionally need to fire one of them, or
otherwise take action that will be perceived by them as "bad" or
"mean". Having too strong an emotional attachment will hurt your
ability to act objectively in the way that is the most beneficial for
the organization, and therefore, after all, for your employees.
On the other hand, this does not mean that you cannot be friendly
towards them. When you ask something of them, make sure you do it with
a smile. Be attentive to their needs, and try to go towards them with
any request that is not excessive.

2. Encourage a healthy and balanced working environment.
Do not overwork your employees except for short periods of time when
this is an absolute necessity. Discourage workaholism, which may be
productive in the short term but will eventually lead to "burning out"
and loss of productivity. Try to think of ways to reduce stress in the
workplace by initiating "fun" activities to relieve the pressure.
Encourage your workers to lead a rich life after working hours. During
busy periods which are naturally stressful, find creative ways to
compensate your workers for the stress.

3. Be a role model.
Do not act as if being the boss entitles you to work less than your
employees. Show them that you work just as hard, and that your work is
just as important (they may not always understand this). Show them
that no work is too undignified for you and occassionally contribute
in various menial tasks (making coffee etc.) though this may seem a
waste of precious time to you. Make your employees look up to you and
they will do anything for you and care much more about your opinion of
them than about the salary you pay. (But do not abuse this to pay them
less than they deserve.) Do not pretend to know more than them about
everything and occassionally consult them for their valuable opinion.
Admit to errors and make sure that they know that you know you are

4. Know your employees' limitations.
Occassionally an employee will perform a task in a way that you deem
unsatisfactory. Do not hesitate to reprimand or criticize, but be
aware that people's ability to change is limited. People can only do
so much. Do not become obsessed with anger or with blame. Instead,
choose your assignment of tasks wisely so as to maximize the gain. If
an employee consistently fails to perform, fire them.

I hope that this is the answer you were looking for for your "easy
question". If there is a problem, do not hesitate to ask for
clarification. I'm here for you (trying to implement my own


Clarification of Answer by dannidin-ga on 27 Nov 2002 08:16 PST
oops, i just noticed the clarification, must have appeared while i was
writing the answer (i don't use automatic refresh...)

anyway, my general advice seems to apply to your particular situation,
wouldn't you say? if you require something more specific, tell me.

i will add one more thing which i find relevant: even if you still had
the ability to staff the call centre, a large turnover is something to
be avoided. new workers are much less productive than regular ones, so
in any case (stress being just one factor) you should aspire to a
stable working environment.


Request for Answer Clarification by colin1981-ga on 27 Nov 2002 08:45 PST
the solution you gave me is being a boss, but i think the company
supervisors can't have that such it possible to give me a
bit more information and can i have some webpage to look over.

the answer you gave me is very good but if it can prove it(like
webpage or etc...)is much more perfectly.

thanks for answering the question

Clarification of Answer by dannidin-ga on 27 Nov 2002 08:54 PST

I will look for web sources to validate my ideas. In the meantime, can
you clarify the difference between a boss and a supervisor? Most of my
recommendations apply to any situation where you have a group of
people who are subordinate to one person, though I understand that
perhaps "organizing a fun activity" isn't something a supervisor is
meant to do.


Clarification of Answer by dannidin-ga on 27 Nov 2002 09:41 PST
Hi colin1981,

Here are some online sources I found relating to your question:

The website of Jist Publishing
("JIST Publishing, Inc., is an Indianapolis-based publisher and
authority on the topics of career, job search, business, and families
in crisis.")
has a page

entitled "How to be a good supervisor". The advice that they offer
complements mine, here is a sample:

"A good supervisor can balance the expectations of employers with
those of employees. Employers want to provide a high-quality product
with excellent customer service that results in a profit. To achieve
these objectives, an organization needs skilled employees. A
supervisor needs to identify new employees with the skills that a
company needs and develop the skill in current employees."

"Use these simple tips to balance employer and employee expectations:"

"Keep employees informed. Share information with employees about
changes that are expected.
Discuss concerns. Encourage employees to share their concerns and
discuss them with you.
Provide islands of stability. Address specific parts of an operation
that need stability.
Personal support. A supervisor's primary responsibility is to support
the organization and activities that are essential to its success.
Communicate and demonstrate support to employees.
Concentrate on positives. An optimistic viewpoint can help employees
consider benefits that may come through change.
Involve employees. Employees who can help make decisions about matters
are more likely to support their company.
Provide training. Employees are sometimes concerned about having the
skills needed to do a job and fear they'll lose their jobs if they
fail. Training can help overcome this fear.
Promote employability. Supervisors can develop a person's
employability by giving them assignments to practice old skills and
develop new ones. "

"The above information was taken from book, Supervisor Savvy!, by
LaVerne L. Ludden, Ed.D. and Tom Capozzoli, Ed.D."

Another fascinating site I found is
Boss Stories -- good bosses and bad bosses. True stories.

Which has many true good-boss and bad-boss stories. Many of these
real-life stories echo my own recommendations of do's and dont's to a
surprising extent. Here are some quotes:

From the bad-boss story "Good boss and Evil boss"

"Evil Boss would be amazingly nice and chatty, then later in the day
be nasty and cold. He would never look for a file - he would yell for
me to immediately find a particular FILE - which would be on his desk
where he kept all of his working files. He once misplaced a document,
and made me go through EVERY FILE IN THE OFFICE looking for it. I
finally did find it on top of a tall cabinet, where I couldn't reach
due to my lack of height. He never admitted he left it there."

From the bad-boss story "The Whip Cracker"

"Recently, our department was working extremely long hours to produce
a proposal before a looming deadline. We were issued a memo saying
that the department was instituting "mandatory" seven-day workweeks
until the proposal went out the door. After working several long days
(7 a.m. one day until 8 a.m. the next day, non-stop) a co-worker was
taking a fifteen-minute break outside, and using the time to unwind by
reading a book. The newly-appointed president of our large,
multi-national company, who apparently had nothing better to do,
happened to walk by my friend as he was reading - on his break. The
next day we received an emailed memo from the president stating that
there was to be "no reading of personal matter while on breaks."

Many of these bad-boss stories would be hilarously funny if they were
not so terribly sad... Here are some good-boss quotes, to counter:

From "An Extraordinary Man"

"...unlike some other bosses I have had who didn't know how to use the
fax machine, he is quite capable of doing every menial task by himself
(and often does). He trusts us to do our jobs without unnecessary
supervision and he doesn't play favorites. "

From "A Family of Good Bosses"

"When the family owner-managers at my company get wind of unhappy
employees they make changes not just for that individual but for the
whole company. They keep up to date on other businesses and institute
programs when they apply."

From "Richard Made Everyone Feel Important" (the name says it all)

"Richard Made Everyone Feel Important. That made the workers feel
special. You wanted to give 100 % and more to please Richard, because
of all the things he had done for you . Now Richard is no longer with
us and I am real sad, because the boss that I have now does not make
you feel like you are worth anything . You can't discuss your day with
this boss like you could with Richard. Richard was one of those bosses
everyone only dreams of having in their company."

Need I say more? I recommend heartily, to you and to anyone else, to
read these touching and thought-provoking stories.

search strategy: good boss supervisor

Hope this helps,
colin1981-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
fast response, and good answer

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