Ten Strategies for Helping Supervisors Succeed with Student Employees

1. Be an Example.
Model strong work habits through efficient, dedicated work practices. Let your own approach to daily work be an example from which students can learn.

2. Be Flexible.
Understand that student employees are students first and employees second. Though it is important to have high standards on the job, it is also important to be flexible to accommodate academic obligations.

3. Communicate Expectations.
Communicate the job standards and expectations to your student employees. One can't assume that these are self-evident to the students, even though they may seem obvious to you.

4. Give Feedback Frequently.
Provide consistent and appropriate feedback to your student employees. Student employees, like all employees, benefit from feedback in job performance, provided it is communicated with a positive spirit.

5. Be Fair.
Supervisors who are too lenient are not doing students any favors. Student jobs are "real jobs". Treat student employees as you yourself would like to be treated in a given situation.

6. Train, Train, Train!
Take time to train your student in important work skills, attitudes, and habits, such as perseverance, time management, phone skills, quality service practices, handling difficult situations. This is the "common sense" from which success is made.

7. Be a Team Player.
As a team leader, develop and nurture the unique contributions of each team member. Take a global perspective.

8. Give Recognition.
When you see a student "going the extra mile" or "persevering through difficult situations," acknowledge this in front of other staff and peers. People need to feel appreciated.

9. Share the Vision.
Have regular staff meetings with your student employees, and inform them how their work fits into a larger purpose of the department and institution. Remember, purposeful work is meaningful work.

10. Be an Educator.
To the degree that we each contribute to the lives of others, we are all educators. How can you contribute to the education of your student employees?