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Manufacturing Managers

What to Look for in Your Next Manufacturing Supervisor

July 12, 2012

TrainingAs CNC machining operations prosper and grow, they may need to add more supervision. Regardless of whether you promote from within or hire from the outside, there are some key capabilities you’ll want your new supervisor to bring to the job. Remember: Not everyone is capable of juggling the many responsibilities that come with being a supervisor, even if they are competent in their current position. And putting the wrong person in charge can be a costly mistake. With that in mind, here are some questions to ask as you go through the evaluation process:

How well do the candidates know the jobs they’ll be supervising?

Do they understand the workflow? Are they familiar with the equipment? Could they trouble-shoot machine problems, or even step in to keep things running if necessary? Do they know how to get technical assistance when they need it?

Do they see and understand the bigger picture?

As a supervisor, they must understand the goals of the organization, precisely what their own role is in the scheme of things, and the responsibilities and expectations for the people they supervise.

Can they lead?

Managers may maintain the status quo, but leaders constantly look for opportunities to improve their operation and inspire the people who report to them to do the same.

Do they communicate well?

Communication is not simply telling people what to do, it’s also listening to what your people have to say. The supervisor must be able to have meaningful conversations with their reports to insure that everyone is on the same page, that any concerns are followed up on and that there are no misunderstandings.

Can they learn and educate others?

Are they capable of learning new technology, systems and techniques and then passing on the knowledge to those who report to them?

Of course, you’ll also be looking for someone who is a good fit with your company’s culture and values. And although exploring these issues may add some time to your hiring process, it’s a good investment in finding the right person for an important job.