As mentioned earlier, you begin a job by develop-ing
a plan and organizing the steps and the resources needed.
Without a definite job plan and organized steps, you will
have no way to judge the progress of the job. Answer
these five basic questions before you begin:
What must be done?
Where should it be done?
When should it be done?
How should it be done?
Who should do it?
Having decided on these basic considerations, you
can begin the job. But wait; how are you going to know
whether you are doing a good job or not? Are you going
to finish on schedule? Will the finished product meet set
standards? Standards are the key to answering these
questions. To keep track of your crews progress, you
must measure the progress against some standard.
What is a standard? A standard is a basis by which
you can compare your performance against the
performance level expected by your chain of command.
Standards can consist of specifications for tasks or
equipment or a time span allowed for completion of a
test or action. For example, the semiannual Physical
Readiness Test (PRT) measures your physical abilities in
strength and endurance against an established standard
for your age group and gender.
As a third class petty officer you will sometimes
function as a first-line supervisor. In that capacity you
must be aware of the performance standards that apply
to your assigned tasks. Usually either your supervisors or
the technical manuals or PMS cards that apply to the
Occasionally you will have to set your own standards for
performance. That may sound difficult; but, actually, we
all set standards everyday. For example, if you decide
your car is clean enough, then you have set a personal
standard for the appearance of your vehicle. When you
tell your workers a field day is good enough, you set a
standard they will apply to other jobs. Keep that in mind
when you set standards. Make certain your standards for
good enough and best possible are the same. A
superior performer does more than just meet standards.
The true professional makes every effort possible to
As a supervisor you will often encounter your
immediate superiors. There are three basic reasons why
you would want or need to contact your immediate chain
of command. First, you might go to an upper-level
supervisor when you need help. Second, you may wish to
seek advice when trying to solve an unfamiliar problem.
Third, you may be called upon to relay information to
your boss. The type of information you relay will often
involve the status of work in progress or the mission
readiness of your particular area of responsibility. When
called upon to report information to your superiors, be
careful to report accurate up-to-date information. Don't
stretch the truth to make your section look better. Often,
critical decisions have their basis on the reported
readiness of several seemingly minor areas. Remember
the four B's when reporting to superiors:
Be on time
The most important performance feedback is
POSITIVE FEEDBACK. When your people do a good
job, tell them so. You may be unable to recommend them
for a medal or letter of commendation, but make sure
they know you appreciate their good performance. In
addition, make sure their coworkers know you appreciate
their good performance. Place positive counseling sheets
in division folders, and through your division head
express appreciation at quarters. Those types of feedback
provide informal recognition. Few things cost less or
accomplish more than a pat on the back.
The second type of performance feedback is
CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. When your sub-
ordinates fail to meet established standards, you are
responsible for correcting the problem. Although that
may sound simple, correcting a problem involves more
than simply informing a worker that his or her work is
substandard and must improve. Often, there is a reason
behind poor performance. Personal problems, thinking