The Office of Student Employment supporting supervisors: coaching, consulting, and training

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Supervising student employees can come with many questions and challenging responsibilities. The Office of Student Employment provides a variety of professional resources to ensure supervisors are equipped to enhance the student employment experience.

By offering year-round support to supervisors through a variety of resources, such as recruiting and networking opportunities, training programs, and individual consulting, the office is able to support supervisors in uplifting their student employees.

One of the main networking and resource opportunities offered by the Office of Student Employment is the Student Employee Supervisor Summit, an annual mini-conference that enables supervisors to grow and teaches ways to be impactful when leading student employees.

This year’s summit took place on February 26, and the day included a keynote address on identity-conscious supervision in student affairs and a variety of informative breakout sessions, along with networking opportunities for supervisors. The theme, "Building Blocks to Supervising Success," built upon the theme from last year’s summit, which was “Building Your Toolbox.”

“Last year was kind of just on building or getting your tools ready,” Olivia Daley, an employer relations consultant at the Office of Student Employment, said. “So, then we thought about, okay, now you have your tools, what are some things that you might build upon with that?”

This year, topics included learning about coaching students through difficult situations, training and onboarding, and motivating others. Supervisors who attended the event gained insight not only from the event sessions but also from others across campus in attendance.

“I think that the main goal of the summit is that people come and get to meet other people and get other opinions and strategies for how to supervise,” Daley said. "They can see how other people do things, get some new ideas, and just learn one thing about how they can be a better supervisor to their student employees.”

Kathy Putnam, the clinic manager at Campus Health, said that you can never learn too much. Putnam, who attended the previous year’s and this year’s Supervisor Summit, said that even if a supervisor feels they’ve had a lot of training, there are always new processes, new training materials, and new things that can be used to help supervisors with their students.

“I think that as a supervisor you just have to realize that you need to always be open to personal growth, and you're never going to know it all,” Putnam said. “And the more that you can get yourself out there and the more you can learn, the better you're going to be.”

Even if a supervisor feels they already know how to best supervise and communicate with students, Daley emphasized that there are a variety of different topics covered at the summit to help everyone.

Coaching is something that we encourage all of our supervisors to know about because it's a great way to challenge and to empower your student employees for learning and growth.  

Olivia Daley, Office of Student Employment

Lauren DeHaan, the assistant director in the Office of Student Employment, stressed the importance of supervisors knowing they have support. DeHaan said even though many people think of what their office does for students, she emphasized that supervisors are a crucial part of the student employment process. 

“We acknowledged that a lot of the student employees on this campus have more connections with their supervisors and anybody else that they work with,” DeHaan said. “And so, part of our overall effort is to make sure the student experience is successful and to make sure supervisors are successful.”

Aside from becoming a better supervisor to students, DeHaan also believes it is important that supervisors take time for themselves for professional development, such as attending this event. She said the staff in the Office of Student Employment have been excited to start offering an event where supervisors could do so; however, it still may seem challenging for some to take the time away from the office.

Luckily, the Office of Student Employment offers many other professional development events that supervisors can attend, such as the Brown Bag Training sessions and the Jaguar Training Series.

The Brown Bag Training sessions are hour-long events where supervisors can bring a snack or their lunches and learn about a topic important to growing as a supervisor. “The nice thing about the brown bag structure is that it’s kind of meant to be something that can be done in an hour, pretty quick and easy, so supervisors can easily take some time out of their day to pop in, meet some other supervisors, and learn something,” DeHaan said.

The previous Brown Bag revolved around the topic, “Creative Onboarding: Starting Strong!” and allowed supervisors to gather, learn, and discuss how to start strong from the beginning when new student employees are hired to join the team.

Brown Bag topics are developed based on feedback and what will best support supervisors. Daley said the trainings are designed to be helpful not only to those that have attended their other events but also for those who want to come to a specific training event.

Supervisors in a breakout session during the Supervisor Summit  

The Jaguar Series is a three-part hybrid training that takes place during different semesters and covers many topics. Participants in the series network with other supervisors, gain new resources, and learn how to support their student employees.

The office also aids those who want to become supervisors with initiatives like the Hire Achievers Program and the On-Campus Internship Program, which are funding assistance programs.

“We do get a lot of departments and employers on campus who want to hire more students, but maybe don't have the budget to do that, so those are great programs for them so they can still be able to hire students,” DeHaan said.

Outside of events and training sessions, the Office of Student Employment also offers consulting services, one-on-one support, and departmental support for those with specific challenges or questions. “We're always happy to meet with supervisors, either one-on-one or even in small groups within departments, to help them with more individualized support, based on whatever their needs happen to be,” DeHaan said. For those who cannot find the time to leave their offices, occasional webinars are even available.

With all these resources in place for supervisors, DeHaan and Daley stress how the office is a big advocate for supervisors on campus. Daley said that they will help with anything on the employer side of student employment, such as workplace issues, hiring questions, and training.

“More than anything, we do at least want our supervisors to know that they do have somebody in their corner and that we are always happy to offer what we can to make sure that their students are successful and so are they as supervisors,” DeHaan said.

More information

More information and supervisor resources provided by the Office of Student Employment may be found here.

 

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at duecomm@iupui.edu.