Personnel Management Issues Facing Supervisors

Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation

Having more than 13 years of successful leadership experience, I have encountered a fair share of personnel management issues and situations. My current span of control is 191 employees and a leadership team of five supervisors, which I must oversee in all aspects of personnel management, operations, and customer interactions. As part of my position, I must demonstrate excellent leadership and effective management of employees. This includes ensuring a high quality of the product, adhering to standards of practice and process control, and delegating any minor personnel issues to the supervisor. The biggest challenge I faced and continue to face is motivation factors and ensuring everything meets the high level of standard that the company sets. It isn’t easy with new employees, in particular, requiring constant check-ups and ensuring accountability. I believe these are issues that every manager faces across industries. However, as I learned from my experience, proactively addressing personnel problems before they become systematic due to the social nature of personnel management is vital to ensure success.

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Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization

A supervisor position carries difficult responsibilities, including personnel management which can be challenging both logistically and mentally. Particularly in technical and engineering fields, those promoted may not be ready to effectively address personal management issues such as accountability, motivation, or efficiency. Employee engagement remains relatively low across industries at 30%, which negatively impacts productivity, and the need for improvement is dire. There are certain theoretical principles of management issues that supervisors must consider in professional experience.

Theory 1

Accountability is a major personnel management issue as 46% of high-level managers scored poorly on the indicator of holding employees accountable. It is a difficult aspect that encompasses personal style as well as social dynamics. However, accountability to deliver results is vital for a firm’s health. The principle of felt accountability is a complex concept in management directly related to psychology and social contingencies. Several models that outline accountability aspects are based on social identity, role theory, phenomenological perspectives, and organizational environment. Integration of accountability into management practice is vital, requiring an understanding of employees’ social activities and cognitive processing, which guides decision-making (Hall, Frink, & Buckley, 2015).

Theory 2

Lack of motivation is a common issue among employees across industries, leading to poor performance and burnout. Motivation and morale need to be kept to ensure the highest level of efficiency within an organization. The concept of motivation is largely based on incentive, which an organization’s management can be provided for employees. The proper incentive can satisfy desire and opportunity, drawing the necessary behavior from personnel to perform well. Vroom’s motivational framework suggests that the influence of human capital and their abilities on motivation has a direct cross-relationship with high-performance work systems (Aryee, Wallumbwa, Seidu, & Otaye, 2012). Managers should consider incentive as the ability to satisfy the moral and physical needs of an employee. This can be done by assigning a worker to a more fitting role for them or creating opportunities for development and growth in either position or compensation. Furthermore, organizational culture and values also strongly influence motivation, allowing firms to achieve necessary goals.

Theory 3

Developing a skilled workforce that is highly flexible, provides excellent quality of work, and can adapt to innovative working practices in the industry is a challenging aspect and ultimately determines the mobility and efficiency of the personnel. The Three Levels Approach model of workforce development presents strategies at the systems, organizational, and team/individual activity levels. It encompasses everything from the competent arrangement of resources, policy, and structure to mentoring programs and development opportunities. Finally, at the team and individual levels, identifying development priorities and providing support and guidance to colleagues is necessary for effective growth. A comprehensive and systematic approach such as this is necessary for sustainable and efficient development.


The role of a manager or supervisor is complex and multifaceted. It must cover various aspects of personnel management and ensure the effective functioning and productivity of the department. It is important to consider that managing a large number of individuals encompasses the consideration of systemic, social, and personal problems. Using these theories, one can address some common issues related to employee management and find solutions to benefit the organization.

Testing and Application/Active Experimentation

I attempt to implement these principles and theories of personnel management into my real-life experience. I am a strong believer in felt accountability, as it is a value that I establish under my chain of command. I found it to be effective in the implementation and enhancement of quality standards. Furthermore, it allows me to monitor work assignments more efficiently and respond with problem-solving measures if necessary. I also employ motivational theories to some extent. I attempt to communicate directly with employees and ensure their needs are met, and incentives are present. Any moral or social problems are resolved quietly through conflict resolution. Finally, I strongly emphasize workplace development of my personnel, establishing a mentoring system for new employees, and offering training opportunities when possible. I utilize a form of the Three Levels Approach, which considers factors at all levels of the company and ensures the department is operating proficiently. This is done by monitoring departmental results, developing countermeasures, and upholding high-quality standards, all of which require workforce development and specialization to achieve.

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Hall, A., Frink, D., & Buckley, M. (2015). An accountability account: A review and synthesis of the theoretical and empirical research on felt accountability. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 38(2), 204-224. Web.

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