Supervisory Guidelines

Op7.16-7 Supervisory Guidelines

Supervisors of student employees play a significant role in their development, not only in assisting them in becoming responsible workers and acquiring the related skills, but also in their personal adjustment and growth. Supervising student workers can indeed be a most rewarding experience.

  1. Orient the new employee - After a student is hired it is advisable to set aside time to orient the student to the department. The following topics should be included:
    • Staff introductions and tour of the office
    • Work schedule and variations for holidays and exam periods
    • Job responsibilities and related performance standards
    • Procedures for recording and submitting hours worked
    • Payroll deadlines and paycheck distribution
    • Security and confidentiality policies
    • Supervisory role: who is the student's supervisor?

    On basic procedures, student training modules are available at for new employees.

  2. Communicate expectations and explain the student's role - Provide a written job description and communicate job standards and expectations.
  3. Train student employee - Take time to train your new employee in the particular skills necessary to perform the job. This may include time management, phone skills, quality service practices, and the handling of difficult situations.
  4. Give feedback - Student employees, like all employees, benefit from consistent and appropriate feedback on job performance, provided that it is communicated in a positive spirit.
  5. Provide a workspace - Student employees need a workspace that is safe and comfortable.
  6. Be fair but flexible - Supervisors who are too lenient are not doing students any favors. Work study and on-campus jobs are "real jobs." Though it is important to have high standards on the job, it is also important to understand that student employees are students first and employees second.
  7. Treat student employees in accord with their rights - Student employees have the same rights as all employees per university regulations.
  8. What motivates student employees?
    • Recognition (from supervisors, peers, Student Employee of the Year Award)
    • Money
    • Experiences to add to resume
    • Building transferable career skills
    • Flexible schedule
    • Interaction with other students/faculty/staff/visitors
    • Relaxed work environment
    • Opportunities to take initiative
    • Being busy at work
    • Networking opportunities
    • Convenience of on-campus position
    • Opportunities for leadership and responsibility
    • Learning time management
    • Improving communication skills
    • Sense of pride and accomplishment
    • Work title
    • Knowing that staff depends on them/crucial to operation of office
    • Investing time and energy to build skills
    • Food and fun