The ability to self-supervise is generally advantageous and helpful for the growth of an individual in his various aspects of life. This skill is most valuable when the person starts to embark on a career and aims to develop it. Individuals who can self-supervise are also called self-directed, self-managed or self-regulated people.
It does not only benefit the person; it also creates a positive impact on the people who are, in a way, connected with the individual. A very common example would be the workplace scenario. If employees are self-directed and self-managed, supervisors will not have to worry about constantly looking out for them.
However, self-supervision also has its share of disadvantages. You might be wondering what these drawbacks could be when self-supervision is a highly beneficial skill. One of the downsides of self-supervision is the tendency of individuals to decrease their level of work efficiency.
Another disadvantage is the decrease of work productivity, which is an effect of inefficiency. Both negative aspects are very possible to happen especially if an organization takes away first-line supervision. One other drawback of self-supervision is a tendency of the employee to be authoritative or “bossy” as they call it, towards other people.
Effect on Work Efficiency
How will work efficiency be affected with self-supervision? This is possible if a company restructures, thus eliminating first-line supervisory roles and moves instead to cross-functional supervision or team autonomy. The bulk of the supervision is left to the different teams with no appointed supervisors to manage them. This concept is effective if the company is prepared for the organizational change in structure such as taking stock on work control processes.
However, if the employees were not conditioned to perform beyond their actual roles or accept higher level responsibilities, it can affect the company performance. Moreover, if there are no efficient support systems like fully functional equipment, available resources and appropriate technology to suffice self-supervised work, it can create an impact on work efficiency.
Effect on Work Productivity
A possible decrease on efficiency of employees may happen if the organization did not make the necessary preparations when shifting from a traditional structure to a more self-directed approach in the workplace. In addition, the employees’ work productivity will also be affected, although this is not always the case. As mentioned earlier, this can possibly occur in a company that is not sufficiently prepared to incorporate self-supervision to its employees.
It is a good move to allow employees to work without a first-line supervisor, but if the work control process is unclear, the structure can become disorderly. Work control processes would include determining the work quantity of the workers, proper allocation of resources to the teams, regular evaluation of the work volume and work output.
Tendency to be Authoritative
Some people have been used to self-supervising especially if there is a lack of support and guidance from parents while growing up. These individuals are bound to work hard to survive and direct their own lives without the assistance of other people. When they start building their own careers, it will not be hard for them to adjust to any work environment because they can handle various situations and can perform their work with less supervision.
However, there is always a tendency to develop a dominating or authoritative behavior, especially for individuals who have an aggressive or overly assertive personality. Having the confidence that they can self-supervise, they make attempts to take control over other people’s actions and activities or intervene on decisions. The usual victims of this situation are the weak individuals when it comes to managing themselves or those who are used to being dependent on others.
Self-supervision is a skill that an individual must be proud of, but not to the extent of taking advantage of others, which goes beyond personal management and self-direction. The main focus of self-supervision is personal development and growth in terms of proper guidance, intelligent decision making and self-monitoring as well as self-assessment.
Always use the ability of self-supervising for your own good and not make it a tool for manipulating others or trying to compete with your supervisor with a belief that you are way better than they are.