The Role of the 911 Supervisor

What is Supervision?

The role of the Communication Supervisor in obtaining the organization’s objectives through subordinates. Supervision is defined as the act of overseeing people and influencing their

Powerphone_213 Role of the 911 Supervisor

production and morale. The supervisor should define goals for the staff, counsel and coach the employees, keep superiors informed, and provide answers to job-related questions.

We can define the supervisors’ administration responsibilities using the acronym PODSCORB: Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting.

Planning refers to Defining things that need to be done and forecasting needs
Organizing means Providing clear lines of authority and responsibility
Directing relates to Making decisions and giving directions
Staffing requires Recruiting, training, assigning, and retention
Coordinating refers to Ensuring unity of action between shifts
Reporting means Keeping administration informed, and
Budgeting is about Fiscal planning

Traits of the Communication Supervisor

The traits of a good communications supervisor include: being a good listener; being objective; showing no favorites; not being afraid to ask questions and showing interest in the operations; and making sure they are a decision maker and a good communicator.

iStock_000018704293XSmall Traits of the Communication Supervisor

They are trainers: they train and coach their staff to their full potential and greatest level of proficiency. They are personnel officers: they assign specific tasks to those most qualified in very specific areas. They are planners: they anticipate issues and problems and design a proactive approach for resolution. They should be leaders: persuasive, knowledgeable, have common sense, honorable, reasonable, and fair. They are also decision makers: they need to be decisive and verbalize what they want or need from their staff.

What are some of the traits found in superior leaders? They are personable. They display enthusiasm: they are still excited about the job. They have ambition: desire for themselves to succeed, and for those they lead to succeed, as well. They are diligent: they do whatever it takes. Integrity: they have a sense of direction, clear purpose, and goals.

They are intelligent. They use imagination and humor. They possess technical skills in that they have a reasonable understanding of what the job entails and can answer questions when staff comes to them with problems. They have faith, not only in themselves but in staff, as well. They have a sense of confidence. They use persuasion and tact. They are courteous toward staff members. Criticism is constructive and professional, and they criticize in private and praise in public.


Leadership is defined as the art of influencing, directing, guiding, and controlling others in such a way as to obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect, and loyal cooperation in the accomplishment of an objective that is for the betterment of the agency as well as the community.

There are several various types of leadership styles. The autocratic leader is one who is highly authoritative and makes decisions without input. The democratic leader seeks ideas and suggestions from staff and allows them to participate in decision making that affects them. And then there is the free rein leader, who exercises just a minimum of control and seldom gives staff members the attention or help they need, lets them be by themselves and on their own.


Give credit when credit is due.

Motivating Employees
The positive types of motivation for your employees include providing an opportunity for development; a challenging and interesting job; increased responsibility to employees; advancement if at all possible; fair treatment by supervisors; simple things such as titles, business cards, special projects to work on, voice mail, and email addresses; and recognition and praise, be it informal or formal.

Motivation vs. performance. Are they the same? No, they are not. Just because you have one doesn’t mean that you have the other. Motivation is intrinsic: it’s inward; it comes from within the individual. It is a sense of empowerment, responsibility, and personal growth and development.

What is “no cost” recognition? This recognition, praise, and motivator does not cost the agency or the supervisor anything but time and effort. Let the employees know up front. Use first names. Greet them by name. Give credit when credit is due. Have employees sit down and have a meal with the supervisors. Send employees to a training program that they feel they need, not one that they’re just being sent to. Listen. Recognize the team when appropriate. Have an employee attend a higher level meeting with a supervisor. Ask the employees, “What are you interested in doing? What do you see as a problem within the organization, and do you have a solution to that problem?” Offer thanks for a job well done.

The Frustrated Employee
Here are some guidelines for identifying the frustrated employee. Do you know the warning signs? Be alert to those that have a problem getting along with others. Their performance was once great, but now is deteriorating. They seem preoccupied. They miss or avoid calls. They have an increased number of conflicts and/or complaints from co-workers, supervisors, and the public, as well. Do we know how our workers feel?

Provide opportunity for a feeling of success. Try to catch them doing something right. It’s so easy to catch them doing something wrong.

What are the workplace symptoms of frustration? Direct verbal attacks is one symptom. Such attacks include excessive criticizing, belittling others, sarcastic or bossy behavior, talking back and insubordination to supervisors, picking arguments, faultfinding, and name calling. These should not be tolerated by the supervisor; these issues should be addressed and corrective action must be taken.

Indirect verbal attacks include rumor spreading, uncomplimentary stories or jokes, disparaging remarks, and racist comments. The employee may also exhibit non-cooperation. They destroy property, they waste things, and they take excessive breaks, more or longer than they are entitled to.

Do we prevent frustration? We first have to discover it and then attempt to remove it. Are we sure that our own supervisory techniques are not the cause of employee frustration? Do not be impatient or unreasonable. Maintain a tolerant and helpful attitude. Keep in touch with employee’s attitudes and moods. Keep the communication open. Keep employees informed about situations that affect them and tardiness should not be tolerated; it should be addressed.

Give additional attention to an employee who is not popular or feels inferior. Make sure they are not left out. Make assignments based on abilities. Patient, non-directive counseling to reduce anger, develop objectivity, and gain insight into the problem. Provide opportunity for a feeling of success. Try to catch them doing something right. It’s so easy to catch them doing something wrong. Professional counseling may be required, such as Employee Assistance Programs or other private programs through health benefits.

Enroll now and enjoy the benefits of learning when and where you want.

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Referenced Material

Goulart, N., Are You a Leader-Motivating?,

Cienlearning, Coaching and Mentoring Employees, Apr 13, 2013,

Lawinfo, Bad Attitude in the Workplace, Aug 12, 2013,

Gary Moore

Gary Moore

PowerPhone's Director of Training, Gary Moore, Dr.P.H., specializes in instructional design, curriculum development, blended learning, eLearning, web-based training, multimedia and CBT development for PowerPhone. He has been a professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts for more than 25 years. Gary is also the author of several books on implementing successful online courses and programs.

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