Management and Supervision Answers

Problem Solvers

  1. Applied Strategic Planning, Leonard Goodstein, 1993
    Charts and checklists with examples to get managers started.

  2. High Impact Tools and Activities for Strategic Planning: Creative Techniques for Facilitating Your Organization's Planning Process, Rod Napier, 1997
    Step-by-step instructions guide you through exercises for gaining employee and management participation, gathering feedback from management about the current state of the organization, creating an organized mission, vision and values statement, and planning so that the vision becomes reality. Ready-to-use materials and handouts are included.

  3. Simplified Strategic Planning: A No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast!, Robert Bradford, 1999
    Provides you with a proven step-by-step detailed roadmap to planning success.


How Do I?

My employee called in sick a few days ago.  We haven't heard from her and when we called her line is busy.  What should I do?

How often does this happen with the employee?  If the employee is always dependable and responsible, then you may want to call the police, explain the situation, and request that they send an officer to check on her.  Don't assume that the employee's illness is the cause of her not calling in.  Sending an employee to check or checking yourself potentially puts you or the employee in a situation that neither of you are prepared to handle.

How do I schedule my employees during the holidays?

First, review the functions and tasks that absolutely need to be staffed during the holiday season.  If you have a large staff or many functions or tasks to cover, you may want to write this down.  Identify who can cover each of the functions or tasks.  Once you complete this exercise, you'll know what you need to have covered and which employees may take off at the same time.

A second approach that requires more confidence on the part of the supervisor, is to share with your staff the functions or tasks that need to be covered and let staff determine their days off.  This is not recommended for a new supervisor.  The benefits of this approach is that 1) you'll find out how well your staff can work together; 2) by having staff determine their days off, you'll have staff take ownership of the challenge and the solution, and 3) you can always assert your authority if for some reason staff can't work something out among themselves.

How should I prioritize my work?

A general sequence for prioritizing work are legal and regulatory requirements where the consequences would include civil or criminal penalties (for example OSHA, DOT or EPA), who the work is for (the CFO versus a department head), what your supervisor/manager says, due dates and what can you complete versus doing piecemeal.  Tailor the checklist for your profession.  As a supervisor you have the added dimension of delegation.  Delegation requires that you look at the progression within the context of who has been assigned to perform the work and their availability.


FranklinCovey. Experts at getting organized.

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