As a first-time supervisor, how do I get the work I'm looking for from my junior-level employees?

Supervising staff is the hardest and most important part of the job.

Supervising staff is the hardest and most important part of the job. The type of work we receive from employees depends on the information we provide to them in advance. You must empower your staff with good information in order to be successful.

First, provide context: How does the task fit into the overall objective of the company? Let them know their work is tied to team success.

Second, structure: In what format do you want to receive it? Are you looking for quantity or detail? Be specific.

Third, timing: Is it a priority? What's the deadline and how much time should it take to do the specific task?

Fourth, success: What resources are available and how will you evaluate it?

And finally, you must always be available for their questions and feedback. It's difficult, but vital, to be willing to interrupt your own work to help junior staff. They need to know you're invested in their growth and success.

Holli Kolkey Dickson is account director at Porter Novelli Life Sciences.

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