Supervision / Managment Tips

From the NPT…

Many supervisors view their jobs as making sure they oversee as many cringing peons, grateful to hang on to their jobs no matter how wretched, as possible. It’s the American way in 2012, isn’t it?

Carlye Christianson, senior counsel and director of special projects for the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, doesn’t think so. She sees supervision as overseeing productivity and progress, in addition to coaching and mentoring. She sees low morale, poor performance and increased turnover as problems. Go figure.

During a recent Risk Management and Finance Summit for Nonprofits, Christianson reviewed the power of supervision (as she envisions it). For example, she offered her 10 keys to effective supervision:

  • Provide support for development;
  • Establish an open-door policy and one-on-one meetings;
  • Praise and encourage;
  • Set high expectations;
  • Require accountability;
  • Ensure understanding and buy-in to mission and vision;
  • Instill independence;
  • Share;
  • Create ownership; and,
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses.

She also reviewed common supervision mistakes:

  • Supervising too closely;
  • Failing to keep employees informed;
  • Failing to connect employees with the organization’s mission (or “soul”);
  • Failing to listen;
  • Ignoring team dynamics; and,
  • Failing to be available.

In addition, Christianson talked about performance management, not just supervising, but getting the most out of everyone.

  • Allow employees to develop to full potential;
  • Allow the organization to have informed and accurate information regarding career development, training needs, etc.; and,
  • Develop information in a setting that allows employees to not be defensive and to respond favorably to feedback.
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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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