Sharon Dabney-Wooldridge

Supervisors play a central role in reinforcing the professionalism of the company by providing effective management. They should possess the following:

  • Planning: developing specific courses of action to achieve the agreed upon objectives. For example, workloading and budgeting.
  • Organization: bringing together both human and physical resources of the company to achieve stated goals. An example is inventory management.
  • Motivation: helping individual team members receive satisfaction from achieving the expected results. This involves leadership, job satisfaction, recognition and rewards (along with consequences). Examples include training and coaching.
  • Control: identifying deviations from plans and the need for corrective activities. It involves feedback systems that informs when plans are on target and when they're not. Examples include quality and cost controls.

Sharon Dabney-Wooldridge
Kleane Kare
Richmond, Va.

James Heck

There are many skills
and characteristics that Team MJV looks for when hiring or promoting supervisors. Surprisingly, very few (if any) include skills related to the daily tasks required to provide the services stated in the cleaning specifications of a contract.

We feel that the roles and responsibilities in regards to cleaning tasks can be taught. There are many other personality traits that we feel are vital for a successful supervisor or "coach" position that we look for and mandate. Some of these include integrity, reliability, flexibility, positive energy and communication skills.

These are skill sets that can be improved upon with continuous coaching but the internal drive for these traits must already be present in order for Team MJV to consider someone for a supervisory position.

James Heck, President
Team MJV
Lafayette, Ind.

Mike Stollenwerk

Supervising is about influence, having the ability to get others to complete a task and achieve a wanted result. The skills I value most are:

  • Character: this sets the tone for everything else. Honesty, pride and respect are important.
  • Communications: this is crucial in making sure the team understands the objective, which includes providing feedback during and after the task.
  • Initiative: acting and making decisions on their own.
  • Creative problem solver: someone who's not only quick to identify issues, but has the foresight to anticipate them and adapt, creating a solution.
  • Accountability: they hold themselves and their team members accountable, demonstrating a firm, fair and consistent approach.
  • Proactive: they're focused on continually seeking improvement.
  • Follow-up: personally verifying the wanted result has been achieved and communicating back to associates and others as necessary.

Mike Stollenwerk, Vice President
SE Wisconsin & Illinois Operations

Next month: How is your company embracing sustainability?

If you'd like the opportunity to share your opinion, send an e-mail to Dan Weltin