The first line supervisor is the person primarily concerned with keeping an assembly line moving. Success in this position depends on the ability to increase production. First line supervisors must motivate their workers to complete their tasks as quickly as possible while maintaining high quality. Coming up with ways to improve production involves intimate knowledge of the entire process and superb people managing skills.
Knowledge of Each Step of Production
The first line supervisor should have an intimate knowledge of the workings of each step of the production process. This allows her to anticipate and avoid problems and gives her the ability to rapidly fix problems that do arise. The supervisor can keep a notebook with information on each step so she can refer back as necessary. Another benefit of understanding the entire process in depth is that the boss can fill in on any position of the front line as needed. Also, this working knowledge allows for the streamlining of processes which, according to E&P — a magazine for the exploration and production industry — improves productivity.
Appropriate rewards help motivate employees to work at their highest levels. The first line supervisor can offer particular perks to his team as incentives to reach or exceed production objectives. For example, he can reward workers with monetary bonuses for achieving a goal. There are other motivators he can use as well, such as giving the most productive employees their choices of shift work, tickets to art and sporting events, gym memberships or gift cards.
Quickly Settle Disputes
A first line supervisor must be able to settle disputes between employees in a timely manner. When employees argue with one another, production suffers, so it is imperative the manager handle these events immediately. She must discover what has occurred by interviewing all parties and be able to suggest a wise solution. For example, if two workers are at odds regarding a procedure, the boss should be able to define it accurately based on company policy. The employees can then get back to work without further discussion about the issue.
Build Teamwork Atmosphere
The supervisor should establish a bond with his employees and encourage everyone to work together as a team. The Great Systems website suggests only the supervisors who understand how to develop their workers will succeed in increasing productivity. One way this can be accomplished is using motivational meetings in which employees contribute and teamwork is stressed. The first line manager should promote friendly relations between workers so that the work atmosphere is comfortable. Employees should form congenial relations so they can work together fluidly and help increase production. The first line supervisor should publicly praise team efforts and show appreciation for how valuable the group of workers are to the company.
Courtesy of Chron.com