Fifty Things You Need to Know About Being a Successful Security Supervisor/Manager*2013-08-28T17:12:34-04:00

By: Louis A. Tyska, CPP
and Lawrence J. Fennelly, CPO
February 2001
Reprint Protection News

Listed below are brief capsules of what it would take for you to expand your role and become an effective supervisor and, with continued self-improvement and development, a manager.

1. UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE

You must understand the people’s behavior whom you supervise. Learn who your people are, their needs and desire to be treated fairly and with dignity.

2. COACHING.

Learn what it takes to get your people moving in a direction to achieve the desired results.

3. COMMUNICATIONS

Learn the cultural requirements to communicate effectively within your specific organization. What does it require to get the necessary information or requests to flow up and down the organizational chain?

4. LEADERSHIP WHEN THERE IS NO ONE ELSE AROUND.

In the absence of a higher authority, you may be required to exercise judgment and/or authority which may exceed your charter. Be prepared to exercise common sense and to logically address the situation.

5. DEVELOPING THE STAR

It is often said that a good leader develops his or her own replacement. Do not be afraid to develop those beneath you, as they will attest to your success.

6. INTERNAL MEMOS/COMMUNICATIONS

Learn to use the methods of internal communications in the organization as a teaching or instructing tool for those beneath you in the chain of command.

7. REALITY SHOCK

When an event occurs of major proportions that causes you to realize your thinking – i.e., stock market crash.

8. POWER AND INFLUENCE

Every supervisor/manager has a level of power. Exercise power with discretion and never abuse it. Influence is entirely different from power but frequently goes hand in hand with power. Not all with power can effectively influence others. This is particularly true when attempting to influence those higher in the organizational chain.

9. DEALING WITH HIGH PERFORMANCE EMPLOYEES

This type of an employee, while valuable and desirable, is often difficult to manage. The care, attention, praise and other tools necessary to sustain performance requires effort on your part. You may be asked to provide a variety of skills in order to maintain continued peak performance.

10. DEALING WITH HARD LESSONS AS A FIRST TIME SUPERVISOR/MANAGER

Learn to accept that not all those above you in the chain of command are consistent or even skilled in the position they hold. Such events as the first time you are not supported concerning a decision you have made.

11. BECOMING A SUPERVISOR/MANAGER

Through diligence and hard work you can create the responses necessary to those in position to advance your career. It is advisable to understand the model to follow to which has been achieved by others to reach this goal.

12. ASSISTING AND SUPPORTING NEW SUPERVISORS/MANAGERS

Adopting a cooperative team player attitude in your peer and superior relationships is a positive and logical pursuit to compliment your own performance. It is the right thing to do.

13. RETAINING MID-CAREER MANAGEMENT

Organizations should do all they can do to prevent the loss of trained and experienced mid-level managers who are successful and effective in their role. It is cost effective and preserves continuity.

14. REFLECTIONS ON RETENTION OF MANAGERS

The thought if it ain’t broke, don’t allow it to break down immediately comes to mind. If you are managing fairly and compensating appropriately, then the causes for management discontent leading to leaving the organization are minimized. It is obvious that there may be other motivations for making change. It would be wise to review all the conditions to determine what may have affected the decision to leave.

15. MICRO MANAGERS

The quickest method to frustrate employees is to micro-manage them. Disallow the employee to feel creative, participatory, involved and the sense of self worth and productivity diminishes.

16. MANAGERS MANAGING

The ultimate responsibility of a manager is to guide individuals within the organization to the corporate goal and mission.

17. PROFILES OF SUPERVISORS/ MANAGERS

Organizations to have particular profiles and images, which they have developed and/or created. The successful candidate should have - look like - or having the following education to name but a few. Frequently such a profile is assumed or simply is the "way it’s always been". Depending on the organization and the type of business it conducts, this can be either a good or a bad situation.

18. ANALYZING YOUR INFLUENCE STYLE

Just what kind of manager or supervisor are you? How do you influence others whom you supervise to get the task at hand completed on time and without mistakes? There are various methods to influence or manage others. It depends on what type of constituency you are trying to manage as to what style is necessary.

19. THE OPERATIONAL UNIT

Throughout all of work history it is the "doers" who lay claim to being the most important unit in the workplace. Nobody else would have a job if it were not for them! Managers must teach the importance of the operational unit is a part of the team.

20. CORPORATE PHILOSOPHY

Simply put the values by which the organization exists. The fundamental beliefs by which the organization elects to be known and its guidelines for doing business.

21. WORKING WOMEN

Without them, what would any organization be? The force and impact of the Working Woman since World War II has successfully changed and improved the workplaces of the world.

22. EXERCISING AUTHORITY

Authority over a worker is a bridge between the goal of an idea and the desired result. How the manager uses his or her authority has a tremendous influence upon the workforce.

23. SETTING THE STAGE AS A MANGER

The arena in which the span of influence that the specific manager has to manage would well be a stage. How he or she directs and orchestrates the resources that they manage to accomplish the tasks must at the least, be well thought out, fair and logically implemented.

24. COPING WITH STRESS

It is given that managers are stressed with frequent regularity. Even in the best of organizations, stress is a factor. It should never be ignored or neglected. Stress in the workplace is not limited to managers and good managers learn to recognize its presence within the workforce. Since stress can be triggered by the process of work or by outside influences, it is important that the manager knows of the organizational resources available to address the condition. The manager must avoid becoming the cause of stress.

25. THE CORPORATE MANAGER

Frequently misunderstood and maligned as being an inhabitant of a mythical Ivory Tower, the corporate manager is a critical member of the team. It must be remembered that they are the ultimate communicators of information up and down the chain. They are an instrument of the organization to accomplish corporate goals.

26. MAKING THE SYSTEM WORK

The manager is a conductor who orchestrates all the resources to accomplish assigned tasks. When problems arise or obstructions develop, he or she must find ways to negotiate or overcome the specific condition regardless of what the cause is.

27. METHODOLOGY TO IMPLEMENT CHANGE

Given the parameters in which to implement change for which the manager is accountable, he or she must analyze the situation and develop a plan. The plan is dependent upon the conditions that are present, the resources available to affect change, the preparation of the workers to understand and adjust. Under all circumstances and conditions you still have basic ingredients which must be present. Trust, communications and loyalty are but a few.

28. MYTHS OF A "PERFECT" MANAGER OR MENTORS

They are never wrong or make mistakes. They know more than you do about how to get the job accomplished.

29. HAVING A ONE-ON-ONE WORK RELATIONSHIP

The optimum word is work. A successful supervisor or manager needs to have sources of feedback in the workplace. The measure of effectiveness of your efforts includes: are you understood, are you being fair, do you really know what the work conditions are, do your changes have or receive the proper support, equipment, raw material, information?

30. CREATIVE MANAGERS

Creative managers have a method or manner of getting things accomplished or completed in spite of negative conditions or situations. They have a way of making work easy and fun.

31. ACTIONS PLANS

They key word is action. Sometimes an action plan does not achieve its purpose. That is part of what a good manager does, he or she can smooth the path to accomplishing the task at hand when action plans fall short. We know that in order to accomplish anything and to have a start and a finish, we must have a plan of action. They are not always correct or without flaws. Remember Murphy’s Law.

32. LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIORS

Companies and their leaders seem to get what they deserve. Reputations, both good and bad, are achieved by the types of examples that the leadership or owners establish. Ethics, fairness, quality, honesty are the foundation of a positive business reputation. It is the culture of the organization.

33. THE RIGHT OR WRONG INFLUENCE

Directly effects enthusiasm about work. Keeping an open mind about changes or suggestions about improving the work process by a manager will not send negative influences.

34. MANAGING WITH "NEW" OFFICE TECHNOLOGY

The manager or supervisor who resists technology or refuses to accept process changes, particularly with operational administrative controls or procedures, is doomed to be less effective and accepted. Methods to track time and attendance, productivity, quality performance and considerable other information about operational and administrative concerns have resulted in numerous changes in the workplace.

35. ORGANIZATIONAL PRIORITIES

The management and supervision, be it good or bad or somewhere in between, is the instrument of carrying out the organizational priorities. He/she asserts the priorities and implements the plan(s) to achieve them.

36. BUDGETS/FINANCIAL GOALS

Costs are a factor of life for any manager. The type of organization, be it for profit or services, are all guided by financial considerations. The formations of budgets are a plan which the manager must follow just as any other. They must be realistic and in conformity with the requests of the organizational plan. They must be fair and reasonable and realistically attainable.

37. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

It is widely accepted that an organization is only as successful as it commitment to continue to seek improvement and change within its given field. The managers at all levels have an obligation to support any efforts by such groups within the organizations they manage. Communicating ideas, observations and feedback is part of that support. Complying with requests for cooperation and assistance is also a part of that support.

38. CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Managers should not reject opportunities to accept greater challenge as a manager providing they have confidently demonstrated the attributes that provide the foundation for advancement. Preparing oneself is a very important part of being an effective manager. Availing yourself to the external and internal personal development opportunities should be a part of your plan.

39. RISKS

Learn to take calculated risks that can improve conditions both for the tasks at hand and for your own development. Feint-of-heart.

40. FUNDAMENTALS OF MOTIVATION

Everybody responds positively to recognition and praise. But frequently, managers do not include such ingredients as listening, understanding, being nonjudgmental, providing the necessary items to achieve, resolving conflicts and providing a neat and happy environment.

41. BAD ATTITUDES

Employees and managers at times both have a bad attitude towards each other as well as towards the corporate goals. Individuals with bad attitudes stand out, clearly.

42. DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING

The ability to analyze problems and determine the steps necessary to solve the problems.

43. DELEGATING

Delegating means the using of proven methods and giving employees authority to do the task.

44. HIRING AND FIRING

Hiring according to Best Practices, is not as stressful as firing of an individual. It is still a management function that cannot be overlooked.

45. TIME MANAGEMENT

Priority of one’s time and responding to one activity to complete projects.

46. MOTIVATION

This is the number one priority of every supervisor – to motivate the employee in a positive fashion.

47. DISCIPLINE

Every employee needs some form of positive evaluation reference to job performance. Documentation here is a big key factor.

48. GOAL SETTING

Two types of goals, short term and long term. Be careful not to develop too many goals.

49. THE OUT-OF-TOUCH MANAGER

This is a manager who is not on the same track as the corporation and the rest of the department.

50. TIMING

As a manager there are times when we should and should not step up to the plate. Know the climate. Know when to step forward or be prepared to be rejected.