I hear from almost every carpenter out there that they want to become a Foreman. It makes sense right? We should all want to progress and grow. If I had to guess, you were never given a defined path to get from laborer to carpenter or carpenter to foreman. This is something that I have personally struggled with in my career. I have seen companies make the mistake of promoting someone because they are a hard worker. Work ethic is only one of the skills that makes a good supervisor. Maybe you have had one of these as a foreman; the guy who works really hard but is a poor communicator and/or a poor planner. How did he/she perform as a supervisor? Probably not well. Working under one of these people can be extremely frustrating. The last thing you want is be promoted before you’re ready. This will only hurt you in the long run. I have compiled a list of the skills that I think make a foreman the crew will follow. Take a look and rate yourself on each to find your weakness. Once you have identified your weak points, start working to improve them. I find it best to work on one at a time, starting with the greatest need first.
Supervisors Skills Checklist
· Planning – You need to be proactive in your planning for safety, sequences, materials and equipment, not in the reactive firefighting drill.
· Communication – Ability to explain the plan, dynamic presenter for safety meeting etc., and clearly define expectations for safety, schedule, and production.
· Interpersonal Relationships – Letting others on your crew know that you care about them will gain their trust. Every supervisor should strive for an environment of trust and open communication.
· Technical skills – This one should go without saying, but you obviously need to know what it is the crew is working on. It’s should be an ongoing learning process, there is always something new to learn about every process.
Your future is up to you and you alone. Take it upon yourself to improve the skills needed to get you to where you want to be. Hard work will only get you so far, get yourself noticed and thought of as a leader by showing the skills listed above.