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Excellence in Supervision as an Objective

Posted: July 26, 2013

This year we formed a “community of practice” for all JCHE staff who supervise people.  This is a diverse group—from maintenance to kitchen to social work to accounting folks; people who supervise one part-time person to people who supervise close to 50; people with extensive executive training to people who excelled in their substantive area and grew from there.

We are hoping to create a safe environment for sharing challenges and problem-solving together, and also jointly expanding supervision skills.

We got a great boost this week when two exceptional staff members from Maloney Properties came and did a basic supervision skills workshop.  Jennifer Kadilak and Kathy Tyrell Luce offered the wisdom they’ve gleaned from working in a very large management company big and forward-thinking enough to have staff dedicated to helping people become more effective supervisors.

Jennifer and Kathy have taken best practices from both clinical and property management supervision and organized them in a way that encourages all supervisors to be proactive and thoughtful, and to take supervision as seriously as we take any other work product. The central message of their presentation was “get to know the people who you supervise—ask them what they need from a supervisor, how they prefer to receive feedback, what are the things that cause them anxiety and what do they think you can do to respond, etc.”—in other words, supervisors should seek the information they need to help those they supervise achieve their highest goals and the agency’s objectives.  They provided a set of questions to get this feedback as soon as someone starts the job and at key junctures.  Of course, they emphasized that performance reviews are a critical part of the system, but should never contain feedback that is surprising to the person receiving it—ongoing, regular, honest communications are key.

I know I will make changes to my own practice based on what I learned.  Thanks to Maloney Properties in general and Jennifer and Kathy specifically—I know we share a commitment to excellence in housing property management.

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