Following is a summary of supervisory responsibilities to review as you prepare for your training sessions with new student staff members. Also, please carefully review the Student Employment Responsibilities and Procedures, which includes information regarding responsibilities and procedures for student staff members. Contact Career & Employment Services if you have questions not addressed within this communication.
Supervisors may also access Unum Life Balance, which provides management consulting services as part of the range of resources available to staff and faculty members (contact Human Resources at 253.879.3369 if you don't know the university's access code).
The supervisor determines the quality of the student's work/learning experience. Often students have close, long-term relationships with their supervisors. The supervisor can be a key figure in a student's college experience and in his or her professional development. By affecting attitudes about work, the supervisor can influence the student staff member's future success.
People who are satisfied and enthusiastic about their jobs often cite quality of supervision as an essential factor in feeling positive about their work experience. Student staff members are like any other employees; they want to do a good job and they want to be treated the same way you would want to be treated by your supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for creating a work environment that promotes positive work performance and allows the goals of the department to be achieved. Good work performance reflects good supervision. To cultivate a trained and effective student staff, you need to make management of student staff members a priority. Develop policies appropriate to your department and insure they are utilized. Make sure that the student staff members in your office are properly trained, evaluated, and, most importantly, recognized for the important part they play in meeting departmental goals.
Many students have little previous work experience, so they need special attention when it comes to training. Make your expectations very clear. Basic departmental procedures, second nature to you, need to be explained in detail to an inexperienced staff member. If you concentrate on preventing performance problems by providing thorough training, evaluation, and recognition, both you and your student staff members will enjoy the benefits of a rewarding work experience.
Being an effective supervisor is not easy, but the rewards are great. Each individual you supervise will present a new challenge--and a new learning experience for you.
Proper supervision is essential to a successful job match. As a supervisor of student staff members, you have several responsibilities. You are responsible to your own supervisor to manage your student staffing resources efficiently and effectively to meet departmental goals. You are responsible to insure that the necessary employment-related forms and procedures are properly handled so that students are authorized for payroll. You authorize time sheets on a semi-monthly basis and monitor earnings to insure students do not exceed their work awards. In addition, your role is to train, motivate, guide, and evaluate the student staff member. Like all other employees of the University, students need to know the goals your department is working toward and that their work is important and necessary to reach those goals.
In carrying out these responsibilities, you not only accomplish the work within your own department, but you also influence your student staff members in significant ways. As a mentor and resource person, you affect student retention by providing a support system for students. Studies have shown that working on campus tends to increase the likelihood that students will remain in school. You educate students about the world of work. You also serve as a model for the development of a work ethic and good work habits.
Student staff members' work performance is most satisfactory when:
An employee is more likely to be enthusiastic about the job when there is a clear understanding of how his or her job performance affects the department. Upon hiring a student, the supervisor should plan a thorough orientation program to welcome and introduce the new student employee.
Proper training is an ongoing process, and should be planned that way. Your training program should be designed to address training and performance issues (absenteeism, maintaining confidentiality, customer service, etc.) that are essential in your department. By making performance expectations clear, you lay the groundwork for evaluating the student's performance. Most training occurs on the job--you demonstrate and describe the correct methods to be used. Once the student begins employment, you should:
An employee's self-concept has a direct effect on work performance. You are responsible for creating a positive work environment and acknowledging the student's importance in reaching departmental goals.
Evaluating performance involves comparing actual work performance to the expected performance you identified during your training program. It is a lot easier to do a good job if an employee gets crystal-clear feedback on how he or she is doing. Ongoing evaluation promotes employee effectiveness, development, and job satisfaction. General work expectations are outlined in the Student Employment Responsibilities and Procedures.
Consider these suggestions for items to include in a student employment manual for your office. Choose those which are appropriate for your particular office.