A guide to making supervision more effective
What is Supervision?
Supervision is the process by which a trained senior professional helps another person to learn and develop professionally through engaging in a process of review and reflection of their work. It is ‘one-to-one’ (with exceptions), and is supportive rather than judgemental.
A useful definition is as follows: ‘The formal supervision, by approved supervisors of a relationship-based education and training that is work-focused and which manages, supports and evaluates the work of colleagues’ (Milne, 2007).
Effective supervision is important to all, whether a new employee or the CEO of an organisation.
Ineffective supervision can reduce productivity, increase absenteeism, create or prolong workplace conflict, damage the culture and have an impact on the quality services being delivered.
For supervision to be effective, the supervisor needs to understand what is expected of them in the induction process. Whether a supervisor has a comprehensive role throughout the induction period (and possibly beyond) or has limited duties such as being shadowed for a number of days, they should explain their role to the new worker.
Supervisors need to have faith in themselves. One of the worst things you can do as a supervisor is to doubt your own abilities. If you're new to supervising others, recognise that you will probably make some mistakes along the way, but that does not mean you are not a good leader. Cut yourself a little slack, but then commit yourself to doing the best you can.
Supervisors must have the right values and attitudes to be effective in the role. Clearly, the supervisor must reflect the values of the organisation and the “settled ways of thinking of feeling about something” that are ‘attitudes’ to the work being done.
Before attending a formal supervision meeting, the supervisor should be prepared with:
As a supervisor you must be consistent. It's important that your employees know what to expect out of you. Be sure to always lay out the rules and expectations to new employees and to enforce these policies consistently. If there are changes to the policy, make sure the employees understand them.
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