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First Time Supervisor: Strategies for a Successful Transition

Understand the skills and knowledge you will need to be an effective supervisor and the path forward to successfully supervise others.

One of the most effective ways to improve organizational performance is to improve first-level supervision. Getting new supervisors off to a good start in the management arena is a driving catalyst for developing a thriving and effective organizational culture. This topic will offer a path to mastering different skills to help you advance and grow. This information is designed to pre-pare the front line for success in future leadership roles. It provides a realistic and practical look into supervision by providing awareness and knowledge of what is necessary to be successful in a supervisory role. It focuses on communication and interpersonal skills, coaching, delegation, motivation, empowerment, and accountability, which are crucial elements needed for entering the management realm. Management is more of an art than a science; however, the basic skills have been clearly identified and can be learned. This material will allow you to begin to gain confidence in your emerging skills as you develop your abilities to your highest level. Becoming a supervisor is the first step in the challenging and rewarding field of management. This information will help you understand the basics of supervisory responsibilities, the expectations for the position, the skills and knowledge you will need to be an effective supervisor, and it offers a path forward to successfully supervise others.

61 minutes
Course Exam
Certificate of Completion

You’ve worked hard to earn your promotion to the role of supervisor, and you’re excited to have the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge in a leadership capacity for your organization. However, being a first-time supervisor presents a variety of challenges, many of which you may not have anticipated. Some of the obstacles you’ll need to navigate during the supervisor transition process include:

  • Motivating others. You’re likely a highly self-motivated individual, which probably made you stand out from your peers and helped you land the supervisory position. Now, you will have to shift your focus to motivating others. Many first-time supervisors struggle with the fact that some of their employees don’t share their vision and do not bring the same enthusiasm to their job function. An important part of your role will be determining what makes each worker “tick” so you can motivate them to perform at a high level.
  • Managing the change in relationships. As a non-supervisory employee, you may have enjoyed being “one of the boys.” One of the most difficult challenges during the supervisor transition process is being able to establish boundaries without alienating your subordinates, some of whom may be your close friends. You now must lead the workers that you once served with in the trenches — and make some tough or sometimes unpopular decisions along the way.
  • Mastering the administrative aspects of the position. As a front-line employee, your proficiency at the technical aspects of your job helped you gain recognition from management. As a supervisor, you will need to spend more time on mundane administrative tasks such as budgeting, planning, preparing reports and more. Some new supervisors soon find themselves wishing for the “good old days” when they were not burdened with paperwork and could just focus on doing what they do best.
  • Hiring and firing. New supervisors often dream of building and molding a team in their image. But finding and hiring the right people is not easy. It frequently requires sorting through stacks of resumes, conducting numerous interviews and making that all-important final hiring decision. And if the new person doesn’t work out, it can be a source of embarrassment. Firing an employee can be even tougher, especially if the person is someone you once worked alongside.
  • Coaching and development. First-time supervisors must become proficient at developing their staff so that each team member can maximize his or her potential. Many new supervisors discover that they may not have the patience or communication skills to nurture their charges and help them improve their areas of weakness. Part of being a leader is providing guidance that will generate performance improvement instead of chastising employees for their mistakes. You will also need to take on the role of a psychologist by listening to and helping to resolve various employee issues.
  • Coping with pressure. New supervisors sometimes place additional pressure on themselves, as they feel the need to justify their promotion and not disappoint those who helped them ascend to the position. It’s important that as a brand-new supervisor, you set clear expectations with your boss so that you will know exactly where you stand. It is also essential to allow yourself some time to grow into the position — remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and good supervisors are not created overnight.
  • Making immediate and drastic changes. As a first-time supervisor, you may be eager to make sweeping changes within your work area or department. After all, your time on the front lines enables you to identify what is working — and what needs fixing. However, too much change too soon can be difficult to manage and will likely cause significant stress for your workers. A better approach is to keep the “big picture” in mind — implement change gradually with the ultimate goal of achieving your long-term vision for your work area.
  • Managing time. New supervisors often find themselves overwhelmed — you’ll probably have a lot more on your plate than when you were a front-line employee. Becoming proficient at time-management can be one of the biggest challenges for brand-new bosses. You’ll need to allocate time for meetings and administrative tasks while still performing the operational duties of your job, dealing with employees and handling conflict. You’ll need to develop strong organizational skills so you can manage your time effectively and efficiently.
  • Creating/maintaining a productive work environment. You’ll need to ensure the work environment is conducive to achieving your departmental objectives. Depending on the situation, this could mean revitalizing a toxic environment where team members are reluctant to work with one another or maintaining the status quo in a healthy, well-functioning culture.

Our Supervisor Transition Program Provides the Training You Need to Succeed in Your New Role

Examples of specific areas covered by our first-time supervisor training program include:

  • Successfully developing new relationships with team members — Learn how to overcome the awkwardness that frequently accompanies the supervisor transition process, so you can develop healthy, productive relationships with former coworkers who are now under your leadership.
  • Evaluating your current supervisory skills — You will be able to assess your “hard” and “soft” skill sets so you can determine your strengths as well as areas that may need improvement. You can then create an action plan to hone your skills, enabling you to become a more effective, well-rounded supervisor.
  • Becoming proficient at employee development — A supervisor is only as good as the people who work for him or her. Our training program will help you find ways to motivate your employees and assist them in developing their skills to maximize their performance.
  • Learning the difference between leading and managing — While the terms “leadership” and “management” are often used interchangeably, they are not necessarily the same thing. Our program will help you understand the subtle differences between the two concepts and how they apply to specific aspects of the supervisory function.
  • Implementing change effectively — Change is a constant in today’s rapidly-evolving work environments. Our training program will help you determine effective methods for implementing changes within your work area, as well as for adapting to change throughout your supervisor career.

Choose the Training Format That Works Best for You

At Lorman Education, we understand that busy professionals need flexible training options that will fit their schedule and learning style. You can choose the format for our “First Time Supervisor: Strategies for a Successful Transition” training program that works best for you. Options include:

  • Live webinar — This one-hour live streaming format gives you real-time access to the information, allowing you to apply it to your job function immediately. You can also interact with the presenters by asking questions and receiving clarification regarding areas of confusion.
  • OnDemand — We record many of our live webinars for later viewing. You don’t have to worry about being available for the live event if it doesn’t fit your schedule. You can log in on a 24/7 basis and watch the presentation at your convenience.
  • Audio & Reference manual — This program is available on a USB flash drive containing PDF and MP3 files. You will be able to view and listen to the course materials on any compatible device.
  • MP3 — You can also receive our first-time supervisor training program as an MP3 download so you can listen to the presentation via your computer, smartphone or tablet while you’re in the office, at home or on the go.

Why Choose Lorman for Your Supervisory Training Needs?

Lorman Education has more than 30 years of experience in providing high-quality, convenient training solutions for professionals in a wide range of industries — we’re passionate about helping our students get the training they need to achieve their career objectives. Our faculty shares our commitment to excellence in education — we focus on selecting the most knowledgeable instructors who bring a wealth of real-world experience and a solid educational background to the training process.

Through our training opportunities, you can obtain the skills you need to improve function and efficiency, remain compliant with the regulations and continuing education requirements that impact your industry and stay ahead of the field in today’s highly competitive job climate.

Explore Your Purchase Options Today

You can order the “First Time Supervisor: Strategies for a Successful Transition” course right now or check out the other available purchase options. A cost-effective way to enjoy all our training programs is by purchasing our All-Access Pass where you get one full year of unlimited training in any format for one low price.

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Why Lorman?

Over 37 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.


Understanding the Role of a Supervisor

  • How a Supervisor's Job Is Different From Nonsupervisory Roles
  • New Responsibilities
  • Benefits and Challenges

Challenges That New Supervisors Face

  • Learning Your New Role
  • Dealing With Co-Workers
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making

Effective Interpersonal Skills

  • Communication Skills
  • Motivating and Coaching
  • Delegation
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Why Lorman?

Over 37 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.


OnDemand Course

This course was last revised on August 16, 2023.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

  • HR Certification Institute 1.0
  • This E-Learning program has been pre-approved for 1.0 (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR®, aPHRi(TM), PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi(TM), and SPHRi(TM) recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.
  • SHRM 1.0
  • Lorman Education Services is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This program is valid for 1.0 PDC(s) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

To earn each credit Lorman offers through the OnDemand learning platform, you need to watch 100% of the program. Also, for certain credits you will need to fulfill additional requirements which will be displayed on the "credits" tab when viewing the course.

  • Those applying for AIA and HRCI must view 100% of the program and answer the questions following the program.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

MP3 Download

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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Why Lorman?

Over 37 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.


Larry Hammond, Sr.

Larry Hammond, Sr.

V1H Consulting

  • Principal with V1H Consulting
  • Through his workshops, strategy sessions, and keynote addresses, he focuses on helping organizations that are stuck in the way it has always been done, thinking without ever achiev-ing true satisfaction, to transform
  • By producing an organizational culture that creates a contagious leadership environment, he helps organizations achieve maximum performance, increase employee retention, and heighten employee engagement
  • More than 20 years of senior leadership, coaching, training, and development experience
  • Mentor in business, marketing, sales, human resources, entrepreneurship, and leadership in public agencies and community organizations
  • •Facilitated management and employee feedback sessions
  • Coaches leaders and managers in public and private industries around team building and culture development
  • Developed, delivered, and evaluated a variety of training seminars, including, customer ser-vice, change management, strategic planning leadership development, and public speaking
  • Provided leadership training to Leadership Pasadena, a leadership program that empowers, inspires, and connects leaders who strengthen a diverse community
  • Designed, developed, and delivered management and leadership programs for managers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors that helped clients improve employee and organiza-tional performance
  • Certified in Managing Organizational Change (MOC)
  • 34 Strong Certified Strengths Coach
  • Completed graduate courses in public administration from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and in information technology, University of the District of Columbia
  • M.A. degree in public administration, The Tseng College-Graduate, international, at California State University, Northridge; B.S. degree, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA
  • Can be contacted at 626-379-4108 or [email protected]
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Why Lorman?

Over 37 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

All of your training, right here at Lorman

All of your training, right here at Lorman.

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Product ID: 410831
Published 2023
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