A first line supervisor needs to receive proper training not only for their individual self but also for the personnel they will be supervising. “Time and time again, studies show that the biggest mistake new supervisors make is to try to wing it” (Nowicki, 2004). Being a first line supervisor is a difficult job and not everyone is fit for the job. Supervision requires integrity, morals, patience, self-motivation, instinct, and leadership skills.
Supervisors’ initial first line supervisory training is extremely imperative but, training throughout the duration of their career is equally important. If the proper training is not applied then problems can arise from the proper separation of friendship and leadership roles. Nowicki states (2004). , “part of the curriculum of a new first line supervisory training program should be how to evaluate officers’ performances and how to take corrective action”. Swope (2001) believes a strong leader is one who makes sure that all of his officers’ performances are up to par. A strong supervisor possesses many attributes like being well versed in departmental policies and regulations.
I agree with the way that Sergeant Rick handled the situation. Sergeant Rick followed policy exactly to what it did state. The scenario did mention that “it was common practice in the prison to give people days off for special circumstances” (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2012). Officer Johnson I believe did choose to abuse the sick leave policy. Breaking the rules at work could possibly result in consequences brought down on us by our superiors. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11, ESV). Sergeant Rick had to visit Officer Johnson’s home because of his abuse of sick leave in the past. Had Officer Johnson been home, Sergeant Rick would have no reason to recommend disciplinary action.
If I held a supervisory position and an officer came to me requesting a day off, I would first look at the schedule to see if staffing permitted for an employee to be off. If my squad was fully staffed, because of the special circumstances, I would allow my officer to take the day off. If allowing the officer the day off would leave my squad short staffed, I would unfortunately have to deny the request. As supervisors, we will sometimes let coworkers and friends down. An effective supervisor is one who makes decisions for the betterment of his team or organization and follows regulations and policies. A great supervisor is also one who is human and uses his discretion wisely. It is okay to show compassion and empathy when the circumstances permit. That is why I believe if a squad is fully staffed, it would not hurt the agency or the mission of the agency to allow an officer off for a special circumstance.
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