Direct Supervisor Roles

The direct supervisor is the individual who oversees the service activities and provides frontline staff with constant direction, assistance, and feedback. Support from supervisors may build nurse commitment. As organizational representatives, supervisors who strive to create favorable job conditions are likely to experience a reciprocal concern for the organizational wellbeing from nurses. In this way, the supervisors’ discretionary effort may be rewarded with engaged and productive nurses (Fu, 2016).

The supervisor and the supervisee both share responsibility for carrying out their role in the collaborative process. The activities of supervision are captured by three primary domains; administrative, educational, and supportive. Supportive/Restorative function focuses on developing nurses’ ability to cope with the emotional effects of the work through decreasing job stress that interfere with work performance, providing the nurses with nurturing conditions that complement their success and encouraging self- efficacy.

Supervisees are faced with increasing challenges that contribute to job stress, including the growing complexity of client problems, unfavorable physical work environments, heavy workloads, and emotionally draining environments such as indirect trauma (National Association of Social Workers and Association of Social Work Boards, 2013). Also, the supervisors’ roles incorporate all aspects of a nursing role.

It includes 1) Educative/Formative function focuses on developing nurses’ skills and abilities through identifying their training needs and set goals to meet these needs, identifying and developing their attitudes, skills and knowledge, link theory to practice, developing their critical self-reflection and Problem-solve problematic issues; 2) Administrative/Normative function focuses on developing nurses’ understanding of the professional and ethical requirements of their practice through being clear about their roles and responsibilities with patients and the organization, Managing their workload commitments, Planning their work both specifically with individual service users and the work relating to organizational policies and processes (Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui, 2011). Moreover, the roles of supervisor are divided into authoritative and facilitator role. The authoritative style is related to the supervisor’s assertiveness regarding supervised actions.

This style is divided into three roles: prescriptive (the supervisor gives advice directly to the supervised and explicitly directs their behavior), informative (the supervisor gives information and instruction to the supervised) and confrontational (the supervisor gives immediate feedback) and the facilitator style is related to gradual information provided to the supervised. This style is divided into three roles: cathartic (the supervisor appreciates the supervisee to express the emotions, thereby reducing the tension of supervised); Catalytic (the supervisor encourages the supervisee to reflect on certain areas or significant experiences, by stimulating to be self-directed and reflective); support (the supervisor tends to emphasize the personal dimensions and to promote security of the supervised (Diogo et al. , 2016).

The key elements of supervisory role were identified as: 1) supervisor’s span of control is required to provide direct care, 2) Leadership of care is the core element of a supervisory role which is expressed through a) knowing the needs of patients, knowing the ward staff and broader multidisciplinary team; b) sharing expertise, supporting and developing expertise in others; c) directing and overseeing the overall quality of care provided by staff; d) involving active involvement in developments in practice, and 3) The strategies used to achieve supervisor role were identified as proactively a) being present; b) knowing and sharing knowledge and skills; c) developing and sustaining standards of care (Seers et al. , 2015). Supervisors play an important role in daily work. The nursing supervisors help nurses to fulfill the job responsibilities, clarify hospital policies and directions, provide relevant information needed to nurses and provide ongoing feedback.

The nursing supervisors are involved in various human resources practices; engaging in staff recruitment, conducting performance appraisals, making promotion decisions, and selection, career planning, and maintaining occupational health safety. Supervisors who care for the nurses by listening to nurses’ opinions, appreciating the extra effort of nurses, giving chance to nurses when they make mistakes, helping nurses campaign for better benefits and conditions, and helping nurses to achieve goals are regarded as supportive supervisors (Yim, 2014). Supervisors are perceived as representatives of the organization, and have responsibility to direct and evaluate performance of nurses.

As supervisors are organizational agents while treating subordinates, perceived supervisor support may contribute to perceived support by the organization (Anjum and Naqvi, 2012; Chaman, et al. , 2014). Also, supervisors have a key role in coping daily with major challenges, as well as in demanding efficiency, and they can affect the quality in different ways, including the effect that they have on job satisfaction or staff well-being. In fact, a lack of support from the direct supervisor could prompt nurses’ dissatisfaction and burnout (Galletta b et al. , 2011). Also, Supervisors are the organizational leaders who are the connecting layer between nurses and executive management in hospitals.

The responsibility of supervisors includes fostering healthy work environments that support and sustain the quality, safety and costs for the organization, helping the nurses to increase the skills and communication with patients, enhancing the understanding of the clinical job performed by the nurses and facilitating learning (Simmons, 2013). Therefore, when nurses perceive their supervisors as supportive, the nurses will feel obliged to reciprocate by showing a favourable attitude in the form of work engagement (Othman and Nasurdin, 2013). Work engagement Organizations, especially those in the healthcare industry, encounter challenges, difficulties and competitive pressures. The increasing costs of health care, an aging population, growing sophistication of technology, and emergence of new diseases have created a greater burden on hospitals and the nurses.

On the front-line of this dynamic landscape; the nursing professionals must deal with increased demands, improving healthcare quality and reducing cost, whilst at the same time nurses must cope effectively with workplace stress, exhaustion and burnout (Othman, et al. , 2014). Nurses should engage in favorable attitude in the form of work engagement to deliver quality care (Othman and Nasurdin, 2011). Definition of work engagement Nurses’ engagement is the extent to which a nurse is committed, both emotionally and intellectually towards the work, mission, and vision of the organization (Sagayarani, 2015). When a nurse is engaged, he/she is aware of his/her responsibility in the business goals and motivates his colleagues alongside, for the success of the organizational goals.

The positive attitude of the nurses with her/his work place and its value system is otherwise called as the positive emotional connection of the nurse towards his/her work. Engaged nurses go beyond the call of duty to perform their role in excellence (Mohamed and Ali, 2016). Work engagement is a work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption (Azanza et al. , 2015). Vigor is characterized by high levels of energy and mental resilience while working, by the willingness to invest effort in one’s work, and by persistence in facing difficulties. Dedication is described as having a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge at work.

Absorption is characterized by full concentration, happiness, and engrossment in one’s work whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulty detaching oneself from work. Thus, work engagement is characterized by strong sense of identification with one’s work (Demerouti, et al. , 2010; Beukes & Botha, 2013; De Bruin, et al. , 2013; Murthy, 2014; Elst and Meurs, 2015; Chernyak-Hai and Tziner, 2016). Work engagement is the positive antithesis of burnout. Contrary to those who suffer from burnout, engaged nurses have a sense of energetic and effective connection with their work; instead of stressful and demanding nurses look upon their work as challenging.

Accordingly, engagement is characterized by energy, involvement and efficacy, which constitute the direct opposites of the three burnout dimensions; emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and lack of personal accomplishment (Demerouti, et al. , 2010; Adriaenssens, et al. , 2015). Also, work engagement is defined as the relationship of the nurses with their work. In engagement, nurses employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances while in disengagement nurses withdraw and defend themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during role performances. Therefore, work engagement is about how the nurses think about and how much they want to be involved in their work (Gozukara and Simsek, 2015).

Engaged nurses as being fully physically, cognately and emotionally connected to their work roles, and they have the desire to invest themselves fully in their tasks (Mathumbu and Dodd, 2013). Work engagement is a mental and dispositional state of energy investment, coping with difficulties and directing the effort to work with which the nurse identifies and feels high pleasure to perform. This is not a momentary sensation; engagement at work is a positive, pervasive and persistent mental state. In other words, the engaged nurse is one who is full of energy, feel great pleasure and inspiration for what nurse does (Rasli, et al. , 2012 and Vazquez, et al. , 2015).