SESSION 1 :  The Supervisory Role

1.1  Introduction

The supervisor’s position in management is unique. It is the only level of management with responsibility for directing the work of non-managerial staff. Team members (associates) may view the supervisor as being the management, since he or she may be their only contact with management.

A supervisor is a person at the first level of management who is responsible for getting the “hands on” employees to carry out the plans and policies of higher level management.
In days gone by the supervisor was the person in charge of a team of workers. He was the person who would set the pace of working. That person was literally the ‘foreman” in the team. The term “supervisor” means “to look over” and was often used to mean the “master” of a group of artisans.

Today the supervisor’s job combines some of the talents of the ‘foreman” (leader) and some of the “master” (skilled administrator).
Many companies have discarded the word “supervisor” in preference for the term “facilitator” or “team leader”. It is widely believed and accepted now that the way to get the best out of people is to treat them as human beings. In many companies gone are the days of the “boss” and “worker” relationships. This is particularly true of the companies that subscribe to “empowerment”. In these companies, the word “associate” or “team member” is used to address people at all levels in the organization.

1.2     Supervisory Skills
1.3     Supervisory Results
1.4     People at Work
1.5     Motivation and Job Satisfaction
1.6     Evaluating Your Tendencies
1.7     Case in Point
1.8     Unlocking Employee Potential
1.9     Motivation Theories
1.10   SESSION ONE – The Supervisory Role

SESSION 2 : Group Dynamics

2.1   Introduction

It seems self-evident that a random collection of people in a restaurant or on a bus – is not a group. However, if something happens to change the pattern so that they have a common purpose, the collection of people will have become a “group”. If, for example, people standing in a line band together to keep someone from crashing the line, they will have transformed from a collection of people to a group with a common purpose.

Groups do exist, they are omni-present, group forces have extremely important effects on the individual and the consequences of group behaviour (from an organizational point of view) can be either good or bad. Therefore, proper knowledge and understanding of group dynamics can be used to consciously improve the consequences of group actions.

Group behaviour is tremendously important to the team leader who wants to run an effective team. The effective team leader knows when to make decisions by himself and when to use groups, including meetings and committees.

It was not until the Hawthorne studies in the late 1920s and early 1930s that management began to recognize that behaviour is affected not only by formally defined relationships but also by more informal relationships. Subsequent research and observation have made it abundantly clear that within the formal structure there exists a pattern of “social” relationships or “informal groups” which do not appear on the organization chart and may not be formally or even informally recognized by the organization. However, there is ample evidence to prove that these patterns of informal social relationships have a great deal of influence on behaviour:

  • Informal groups can either restrict or enhance productivity
  • Similarly, the informal group can speed up or slow down information flow

Unless the organization is created and sustained through groups, the informal organization is likely to be at odds with – or at least not fully supportive of – the goals of the formal organization. When the organization is created and supported by participative groups, the formal and informal organization will be undifferentiated

A group is any number of people who:

  • Have a common purpose or objective
  • Interact with one another to accomplish these objectives
  • Are aware of one another
  • Perceive themselves to be part of a group

As a “system” this group may be either “closed” (with only internal interaction) or “open” (processing much information coming from the outside).

A group is defined as a set of persons among whom (by definition or observation) there exists a definable or observable set of relations. Group performance and behaviour are affected by three classes of variables:

  • Such personal factors as motives, perceptions, abilities, and personality traits
  • The environment (both spatial and social) in which the group action takes place
  • The variables related to the group’s immediate tasks or goals

2.2     Types of Groups
2.3     The Hawthorne Experiments
2.4     Groups and Teams
2.5     Management and Management Functions
2.6     Self Directed Work Teams
2.7     SDWT’s and Health Tecna
2.8     Making a Team Work
2.9     What Team Leaders Need to Know
2.10   SESSION 2 – Group Dynamics and Organization

SESSION 3 :  Control and Leadership

3.1   What is Controlling?
3.2     The Supervisor and Control
3.3     Establishing Self-Control Mechanisms
3.4     Characteristis of a Good Control System
3.5     Cost Control
3.6     Quality Control
3.7     Production Control
3.8     Leadership and Leadership Styles
3.9     Delegation
3.10   Influencing Style Questionnaire
3.11   Influencing Style Dimensions
3.12   SESSION 3 – Control and Leadership

SESSION 4 :  Stress Management and Communications

4.1     What is stress
4.2     Defining Stress at Work
4.3     Assesing the Workplace
4.4    Recognizing Symptoms
4.5     The stress response
4.6     Communication
4.7     Communicating Effectively
4.8     Listening Skills
4.9     Face to Face Communication
4.10   Meetings
4.11   Written Communication
4.12   Presentations
4.13   Session 4 – Stress Management and Communications

SESSION 5 :  Industrial Relations

5.1   Introduction

South Africa is essentially a dualistic society. This dualism is reflected in its paradoxical ideological basis and in the separation of people of different race groups. The dominant ideology rests on a belief in individual freedom and the operation of the free market principle. However certain groups have been denied individual freedom and, as a result, the market has never operated freely.

Besides the basic paradox, there is also the fact that, owing mainly to previous policies, different sections of South African society may now subscribe to different ideologies. While one group still supports individualistic and free market principles, the other group has become increasingly supportive of socialistic ideals.

The dichotomy in society has necessarily been transferred to the industrial relations system. Already in the early years of industrialization white workers, fearing that they would be replaced by cheaper black labour, adopted a protectionistic stance. This protectionism was entrenched in law when the Industrial Conciliation Act of 1924 excluded black African males from the definition of employee and thereby debarred them from participating in the official industrial relations system.

The result of white worker protectionism and the Industrial Conciliation Act was that black employee movements developed independently from the then mainstream of the union movement, consisting of unions representing those persons who were entitled to use legally established structures and procedures. Even in the latter movement, divisions arose between those bodies which adopted a protectionistic stance and the non- or multi-racial organizations.

During the 1930’s and 1940’s, when unionists of all races were very active and when many unions acted on behalf of all workers, it seemed possible that black employees might be accommodated in the system. This possibility became less likely when, in 1948, the Nationalist Party came to power. Labour and other legislation introduced created further polarization. In 1953 the Government attempted to create a separate system for Blacks by the introduction of Workers’ Committees. These were hardly used.

The black trade union movement arising at that time became over-politicized and, with the bannings in 1960, it disintegrated. In the meantime, the rest of the trade union movement had adapted to the status quo. Between 1950 and 1970 strike action decreased and bargaining occurred mainly in statutorily established bodies. South African industrial relations appeared to have settled into a comfortable mould.

The illusion that all was well in the industrial relations system was shattered with the re-awakening of black worker consciousness in the 1970’s. Early in this decade various bodies were established to promote black employee interests but the real impetus towards a new dispensation was furnished by the Natal strikes of 1973. The Government reacted by allowing for the establishment of liaison committees to improve communication between employers and black employees. Despite these measures new black trade unions now came into existence. They concentrated on strong shop floor representation and in 1974 the first plant-level recognition agreement was concluded.

 In 1977 the Wiehahn Commission was appointed to investigate means of adapting the existing industrial relations system to meet changing circumstances.

Its most revolutionary proposal was that freedom of association be granted to all employees and that black trade unions be permitted to register. It was believed that black trade unions could be better controlled if they were part of the system and that they might be absorbed into the established labour movement. The Government accepted most of the Commission’s recommendations. The Industrial Conciliation Amendment Act of 1979 and subsequent Amendment Acts in 1980, 1981 and 1982 radically changed the South African industrial relations system. The most significant change was that all employees now had equal status in terms of labour legislation.

The newer unions did not become co-opted into the existing system. Instead they helped to establish a new type of system in which the conclusion of recognition agreements at plant-level became accepted practice. Since 1980 these unions have gradually gained dominance in the labour relations arena and although many of these bodies are non-racial, black employee interests now form the focal point of industrial relations. In the process, the multi-racial movement existing before 1970 has disintegrated.

The Government, though perhaps not expecting its 1979 legislation to have the results that it did, reacted by adopting a principle of non-interference in the labour relationship. Developments have thus, in the main, been left to run their course.

5.2     Trade Unions, Employer Associations and Government
5.3     Labour Relations
5.4     Labour Disputes
5.5     Labour Relations within the Company
5.6     Collective Bargaining
5.7     TheEmployment Relationship
5.8     Conflict
5.9     Your Conflict – Management Style
5.10   Unfair Labour Practice
5.11   Grievances
5.12   Discipline
5.13   Session 5 – Industrial Relations

SESSION 6 :  Productivity and Work Measurement

6.1     What is Productivity
6.2     Change in Productivity Levels
6.3     The 5 S’s and Waste Elimination
6.4     Kaizen
6.5     Work Measurement
6.6     Basic Procedure of work Measurement
6.7     Time Studies and Rating
6.8     Basic Time Study Equipment
6.9     Rating
6.10   Compiling the Standard Time
6.11   Session 6 – Productivity and Work Measurement

SESSION 7 :  Quality and Safety Management

7.1   Introduction

The word quality means different things to different people. There are many ways to describe quality, and each of the quality gurus has formulated their own definition.

For the moment we can consider quality in the following two ways:

  • Quality consists of those product features which meet the needs of customers and thereby provide product satisfaction
  • A quality product is one that is free from deficiencies

Let’s take a look at how both the product and product features affect quality.

Keep in mind that quality in the eyes of the consumer means “value for money”. Quality also means “fitness for use” and of course “conformance to specification”. We should perhaps just mention that a product can be fit for use but not necessarily conform to its design specification.

Fitness for use describes the product’s ability to do what the manufacturer says it is supposed to do. Conformance to specification means that the product will be dimensionally correct within the specified tolerances laid down for it. Conformance to “spec” also implies that the product will conform to any other design or operating characteristic that has been set for it.

7.2     Customer Needs
7.3     The Quality Trilogy
7.4     The Cost of Quality
7.5     Responsibility for Quality
7.6     Quality and its Implications
7.7     Quality Involvement
7.8     Quality Responsibilities
7.9     Assessing Weakness in Quality Control
7.10   Safety and You
7.11   Accident Situations
7.12   The 3 E’s of Accident Prevention
7.13   First Aid
7.14   And if that’s not Enough
7.15   Session 7 – quality and Safety Management