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Successful Supervision

Set mutual goals:

Establish clear performance goals:

  • provide clear direction to both managers and employee
  • focus on effective communication strategies (consider all-staff training)
  • clearly define “success”

Employees might want (or need) to set goals to:

  • qualify for future jobs and roles
  • give direction to training plans
  • overcome performance problems

Always work with your employee to identify needed/desired goals.  You must make sure your employee has a strong sense of ownership and commitment to achieving the goals. 

Provide ongoing training:

Employee job training may be needed to:

  • improve performance in an area because of underperformance
  • prepare for a new program or initiative  
  • make sure all staff can fulfill the terms of the succession plan

There are four basic types of training: 

  • Self-Directed Learning
    The learner decides what he or she will learn and how.
  • Other-Directed Learning
    Other people decide what the learner will learn and how.
  • Informal Training
    There is no predetermined form. This is probably the most common type of training and includes on-the-job training, coaching from supervisors, using manuals and procedures, advice from peers, etc.
  • Formal Training
    There is a predetermined form. The form usually includes specific learning results, learning objectives and activities that will achieve the results, as well as how the training will be evaluated. Examples are college courses, workshops and seminars.

Review performance regularly:

  • Measuring employee performance has come a long way from the annual performance review to an ongoing performance management process. 
  • In the past, managers and employees met once a year at the annual performance review, to look back at the work done during the previous year and to evaluate what was accomplished. 
  • Managers have now shifted away from this annual performance review to a more comprehensive approach called performance management.
  • Performance management:
    • is a collaborative process where supervisors and employees plan, monitor and review employee’s goals and performance
    • starts with a plan about what the employee should accomplish and how 
    • follows up on the plan with informal, ongoing monitoring and feedback 
    • helps supervisors and employees summarize accomplishments and challenges annually with a performance management form

Example Performance Management Forms and Information:

How do I motivate and retain employees? 

Don't just count on cultivating strong interpersonal relationships with employees to help motivate and retain them. 

Establish organizational policies and procedures, compensation systems and employee performance systems to support employee motivation and retention and ensure clear understanding and equal treatment of all employees. 

Employee Retention Strategies

McNamara, Carter. Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision. Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2007.

Foundation Center:

Download A General Human Resources checklist 

The Nonprofit Good Practice Guide:

“It Pays to Help New Staff Start Right”

Employment Law Guide for Non-Profit Organizations: