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Supervisor Series - Part 1: Navigating Change in EMS and Traits of a Great Boss

EMS is facing a significant shift as more and more supervisors and chiefs retire and new leaders step into these roles. This transition can bring both challenges and opportunities as the new leaders take on the responsibilities of managing and leading teams in the field. It is important for both the outgoing and incoming leaders, as well as the teams they manage, to navigate this change effectively in order to ensure that the EMS organization continues to provide high-quality care to the community. We will explore traits of a great boss and the factors that make it important to successfully manage.


As a boss, it is important to possess a range of skills and qualities in order to effectively lead and manage a team. Some key traits of a great boss include the ability to value what employees say, solicit diverse opinions, offer constructive feedback, be honest, and keep everyone informed. By prioritizing open communication, actively seeking out diverse perspectives, and supporting the ongoing development of your team, you can build strong, positive relationships within your team and support them in achieving their best work. However, it is important to remember that managing a team is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it may take time and effort to find the approach that works best for your team and your organization. By staying open to feedback and learning from your experiences, you can continue to grow and develop as a leader, and support your team in doing the same.


Value What Employees Say

As a supervisor, it is crucial to establish trust and respect with your team. One important way to do this is by valuing what your employees say and actively listening to their ideas and concerns. By taking the time to listen and consider their input, you show your team that you value their contributions and are open to their ideas. This not only helps to build a positive relationship with your team, but it can also lead to increased innovation and creativity within the organization. In order to successfully manage this transition, it is important for supervisors to prioritize open communication and actively seek out and consider the perspectives of their team members.


According to a survey, 80% of respondents who had a good relationship with their boss cited valuing their input as a key factor in the relationship's success. As an employer, it's crucial to listen to and consider your employees' ideas, even if they seem unrealistic at first. By neglecting to process their input, you not only deprive yourself of potential benefits, but you also risk damaging the relationship. (1)


Solicit Diverse Opinions

As a boss, you should search for diverse opinions and feedback, you can ensure that all team members feel heard and valued, and that your decision-making process is well-informed and fair. This can help to foster a positive and inclusive work environment, where employees feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas. In order to successfully manage this transition, it is crucial for supervisors to prioritize open communication and actively seek out diverse perspectives from their team members. This may involve setting aside dedicated time for team members to share their thoughts and ideas, or seeking out feedback through formal or informal channels. By actively seeking out and considering diverse perspectives, you can help to foster a positive and inclusive culture, and support your team in achieving their best work.


According to a survey, 40% of individuals who reported having a poor working relationship with their manager stated that a lack of involvement in the decision-making process was a contributing factor. It's important to actively seek out and encourage diverse opinions and feedback from all employees, not just those who speak up. This helps to create a sense of inclusion and value, which can boost employee engagement and development. (1)


Offer Constructive Feedback

Offering constructive feedback is a crucial part of any supervisor's role, as it helps to support employee development and growth. When providing feedback, it is important to be specific, timely, and objective, and to focus on the behavior or performance rather than the person. By clearly communicating what is working well and what could be improved upon, you can help your team members to better understand your expectations and how they can achieve success in their roles. It is also important to remember to provide positive feedback and recognition for a job well done, as this can help to motivate and engage your team. In order to successfully manage this transition, it is essential for supervisors to prioritize the ongoing development of their team members through regular, constructive feedback. This may involve setting clear goals and expectations, providing ongoing coaching and support, and recognizing and rewarding good performance. By taking an active role in the development of your team, you can help to ensure that they are prepared to take on new responsibilities and succeed in their roles.


According to a survey, almost 40% of respondents who reported having a good working relationship with their manager said that receiving constructive feedback was a key factor in the success of the relationship. Providing feedback and guidance is crucial for supporting employee growth and development. Although it may require additional effort, offering perspective and insight on your employees' ideas can help them prepare for new responsibilities and roles. (1)

Be Honest

Honesty is a crucial element of any successful working relationship, and as a supervisor, it is important to be open and transparent with your team. This means being honest about both the good and the challenging aspects of the work, and being upfront about any changes or challenges that may impact your team. By being honest and upfront with your team, you can help to build trust and establish a strong foundation for open communication and collaboration. It is also important to remember that honesty goes both ways, and to encourage your team members to be open and honest with you as well. In order to successfully manage this transition, it is essential for supervisors to prioritize honesty and transparency in their interactions with their team. This may involve being upfront about any challenges or changes that may impact the team, and providing regular updates and progress reports to keep everyone informed. By fostering a culture of honesty and transparency, you can help to build trust and support your team in achieving their best work.


According to a survey, honesty is a key element in a successful working relationship for more than one third of respondents. Employees appreciate transparency and honesty, so it's important to trust in their ability to handle the truth, whether it's related to their performance or the company's direction. Being open and candid with your employees can foster trust and strengthen the relationship. (1)


If reality is presented in a non-threatening way, people are more likely to take on new challenges and feel more invested in their personal and collective success. This helps to create a sense of purpose and ownership in their work.


Keep Everyone Informed

Effective communication is essential for any successful working relationship, and as a supervisor, it is important to ensure that your team is informed and up-to-date on what is happening within the organization. This means not only sharing information about key decisions and changes, but also keeping your team members informed about their progress and the impact they are having on the organization. By keeping everyone in the loop, you can help to foster a sense of transparency and collaboration within your team, and ensure that everyone feels informed and included in the decision-making process. In order to successfully manage this transition, it is essential for supervisors to prioritize open communication and ensure that all team members have the information they need to succeed in their roles. This may involve regularly checking in with your team, setting up regular communication channels, and being proactive about sharing information and updates. By keeping everyone informed, you can help to build trust and support your team in achieving their best work.

According to a survey, more than 40% of respondents who reported having a poor working relationship with their manager said that a lack of communication was a contributing factor. It's important for leaders to keep their employees informed and involved in the decision-making process. By failing to communicate decisions and their impact, you may leave your employees feeling disconnected and unaware of their role in the organization. (1)


Few things can be more frustrating than being left in the dark. People crave high levels of candor, collaboration, and curiosity from their managers. While it may require leaders to slow down, building relationships that foster engaged employees and improved decision-making on both sides is more than worth it. (1)


In conclusion, the traits of a great boss are essential for effectively leading and managing a team. By valuing what employees say, soliciting diverse opinions, offering constructive feedback, being honest, and keeping everyone informed, you can build strong, positive relationships with your team and support them in achieving their best work. It is important to remember that managing a team is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it may take time and effort to find the approach that works best for your team and your organization. By staying open to feedback and learning from your experiences, you can continue to grow and develop as a leader, and support your team in doing the same. Overall, by possessing these traits and putting them into practice, you can become a great boss and help your team to succeed.


Sources

Bock, H. (2011, October 14). The heart of managing well - manage bravely. Ragan's HR Communications. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from https://managebravely.net/uploads/1/2/6/6/126639244/ch_1-the_heart_of_managing_well.pdf

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