Employees should not be viewed as tools or machines that exist to get a certain amount of work done.
Just as machinery needs maintenance and computers need to be upgraded, employees are not static entities. The supervisor must serve as the primary source of job-related information to the employee. This means seeing that the employee knows what to do, does it, does it correctly and does it in a timely manner. They are the basis for overall productivity, but they are human beings with needs and feelings.
Employees want information and they should be getting information from their supervisor and not the grape-vine. Role is an all encompassing term that refers to more than just skills or tasks that are associated as part of a job.
Task accomplishment, goal achievement, objective completion are all terms related to productivity. The direct supervisor must always be aware of employee needs, deficiencies, and personal goals.
First line supervisors also serve as the communication link between employees and the organization, representing the employee’s interests in discussions with administration. The role of the quarterback is to serve as the leader of the team, to motivate the other players, to outline a goal or plan and help everyone carry that plan through.


Productivity should not be thought of as amount of time spent working at a task, but in task completion. When mutual respect exists between an employee and supervisor, a bond exists that facilitates maximum productivity.
An employee who is achieving, progressing and growing in skill and confidence is a more productive employee. The supervisor must represent the employee to the administration and the administration to the employee. The quarterback’s job is to tell the players the play in the huddle, take the snap of the ball, throw the ball to another player, hand the ball off to another player, or run with it themselves. Seeing that each employee is growing, improving, developing skills and talents and has an opportunity for new challenges is a major function of the supervisor.
That representation can only take place if the supervisor knows their employees, what their job needs are and that those needs are being met. Another worker can seem to have a lot of free time or working at a very leisurely pace, but both can be very productive.
Since law enforcement is a physically dangerous occupation, personal safety is primary to the supervisor. Providing clear, accurate and complete information up and down the chain of command is critical within a successful organization and the supervisor is at the heart of that chain. The function of the supervisor is to assign relevant, meaningful and necessary tasks to employees and see that the employee has the knowledge, skills and resources to accomplish the tasks.


Simply put, morale is how an employee feels about his job, job tasks, the organization, fellow, workers, the supervisor, and even himself.
Each supervisor must take seriously his or her personal responsibility that each employee always is safe and return home safely each day. With that in mind let’s look at the four functions that make up the first line supervisors role.
When tasks are not completed, not completed correctly or not completed on time, both the employee and supervisor have failed in some way. Since these feelings affect a worker’s productivity, they naturally fall under the influence of the supervisor. While more difficult to influence than task accomplishment, morale factors are equal to productivity in overall success of an employee or work unit and ultimately the organization. Since law enforcement is also a highly stressful occupation, the supervisor has an important function of serving as a stress reliever not a stress producer for employees.
While not all employees will always be happy about everything, the supervisor can help to see that attitudes are positive and do not negatively restrict productivity. The supervisor must be knowledgeable of sources of stress for employees and what can be done to inoculated or protect employees from becoming dysfunctional due to stress.



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