Effective supervision is a fundamental requirement that enables an organization to adequately achieve its set goals. It promotes individuals to carry out their roles adequately for the purpose of organization appraisal. Supervision is a discipline that involves the guidance of other people either in a professional or individual context. Supervision is often wrongly interpreted as an act of literally controlling other people in an organization. organizational supervision is done by a supervisor who is appointed by the organization’s management team. He/ she is also a member of the managerial team within the organization. Critical considerations are made by the appointing team in order to ensure that the person appointed possess the right characteristics and qualification. Supervisor’s roles include monitoring and evaluation of work performance, elaborating on organization priorities, sharing information on work in order to improve quality of services delivered and initiating discussions on issues concerning possible and existing problems. An organization is required to lay down its expectations from supervisors to act as guiding principles for the supervisory department. Organizations are expected to control the workload handled by each supervisor to ensure that they function effectively. To realize this organization should distribute supervisory roles throughout the organization with a central supervisor who oversees the overall supervision of the entire organization. According to Seden supervisors are always learning from predicaments and challenges they face in executing their duties as supervisors. Inevitably supervisors have challenging responsibilities which may bring hard and painful learning experiences. Other individuals from the organization also learn from the supervisor notably in the decision-making process. Supervision is an interactive process that requires individuals to share information during this process depending on the personal relationships they can share personal concerns (Reynolds et al 2003, p.68). The essay seeks to explore the functions of organizational supervision and to find out whether supervision provides learning opportunities to practitioners.
Functions of organizational supervision
Organizational supervision entails conducting general management skills which include scheduling, resolution-making, problem-solving, delegation and organizing meetings. Supervisors have responsibilities of managing teams, identifying needs within the organization for instance proper definition of job roles, recruiting of new employees, career development, and performance appraisal. Supervisory roles require supervisors to set goals, observe, and give feedback on the performance of employees in order to make an informed decision to fire or to retain employees. Supervisors are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the productivity and development of employees who normally report to them directly (Seden & Reynolds 2003, p. 92)
Supervision involves the management of teams in order to improve their practice and teamwork. Supervisors build the capacity of different groups of people so that they are able to deliver quality services. Teams are fundamental in an organization because it is in these groups that individuals are organized in order to get the work done. If the team environment is poor people may quit, research evidence has shown that efficient teamwork leads t good outcomes in terms of output and efficiency. Employees are motivated by proper supervision of teams by supervisors staff retention is a high and significant reduction in absenteeism. Solidarity is not an optional discipline rather it is important if people are able to interact well amongst themselves offer their best and work efficiently together. However, this is not realized if proper supervision and planning are not done. Supervisors need to create awareness of the organization offer support and nurture team members at a personal level. This makes individuals feel that they are individually engaged with the entire roles of the organization, they appreciate being part of the organization and dedicate themselves to contribute positively to it. organizations need to train employees to work together as a team in order to help each other, recognizing where important with other employees and learning to trust each other. For this to be achieved managers and team supervisors need to constantly nurture teams and motivate them to offer their best (Reynolds et al 2003, p.132).
Supervision also involves clarification of principles by supervisors; this requires the supervisor to be confident and certain about the particular principles. Supervisors use these principles to make organizational decisions. organizational structure should be clear to all individuals in order to control overlapping of responsibilities. The chain of command headed by the supervisors should be clearly defined to help all employees in conflict resolution. Complex concerns in an organization are termed as the role of supervisor to handle them however, supervisors are encouraged to clarify these issues to other members of the organization so that they can help on occasion that the supervisor is absent. Continuous career development equips supervisors with skills to handle complex organizational concerns adequately. This enhances smooth learning of the organization, employees trust the supervisor to resolve conflicts. Another role of supervision is to protect the vulnerable group within the organization. Workers with disabilities may require special facilities to facilitate their daily tasks in the organization. Supervisors need to ensure that all this equipment is in place, vulnerable groups of people also require equal treatment with other normal workers by supervisors and other members of the organization. According to Seden and Reynolds dilemmas have led supervisors to hesitate and prevaricate in protecting vulnerable individuals within the organization. Instead of acting immediately supervisors just ponder on the idea for a long time and never act. However, this issue is still being debated, vulnerable persons are not sheltered from felonies as they should be, neither are they firmly supported to challenge discrimination and segregation. Different organizations put vulnerable persons into services that do not have appropriate facilities and opportunities to aid these individuals to resist cruelty in the organization. During supervision, managers are expected to find out whether the needs of the vulnerable are adequately met (McNamara n.d, p.19).
organizations have different groups of people working for them, one of these groups is volunteers. Volunteers are treated in a similar way as organization employees, however; the difference does not portray any form of maltreatment. Volunteers offer their skills, energy and time to an organization for free. The organization can only appreciate their efforts with a small token to facilitate them in rendering services. Supervisors need to manage this group of workers in a careful manner to avoid conflicts within the organization. The world of volunteering has changed from the old understanding of volunteers though some aspects of volunteering may still sound true. Motivation and expectations of volunteers vary considerably; some people volunteer to gain practical experience for the purpose of a future paid job. Volunteers may also offer up their time to make good use of their idle time for instance after retirement. The most significant change in the field of volunteering is the integration of volunteers into a broad and complicated system of professionalization of the voluntary field. Apart from fulfilling their tasks in the capacity of volunteers they may be formally employed, managed, equipped and monitored and eventually be brought into the official structure of agreement and partnership. Supervisors are expected to conduct monitoring and evaluation of volunteers throughout their tenure as volunteers. They are able to decide whether a certain volunteer will be formally recruited into the organization framework or not supervisor’s judgment should be free and fair (Kane et al 2004, p. 19).
Although most organizations that have voluntary sector notably big organizations have debatably drawn closer in framework and management to both public and private sector, the function of volunteers still signifies sectors major difference. This has brought up major management queries based on this volunteer’s organization relationship remains to be significantly different from employed workers. Questions on whether volunteers should be treated differently from paid workers still linger, volunteers offer services to the organization and it is not clear why they should be treated differently from paid workers. Clarification is expected from the supervisor in order to avoid any conflict among paid and unpaid workers as well as the organization. Complex issues in managing paid and paid workers may arise when volunteers and other service users who were formerly serving as frontline workers are appointed to work onboard; this may lead to tension among their former colleagues. This is mostly observed in smaller organizations where the board members serve both administration and governance roles and in instances where board members are allowed to carry on with their old tasks. The fact that volunteers may have relevant qualifications and experience to enable them to secure a job may also create tension within the organization.
Conflict in the volunteer sector could also come up if a volunteer who has been serving a fundamental task informally and on unpaid grounds, the organization may at some point require the job to be done by a paid worker. The organization may advertise the post and the volunteer does not manage to secure the position resentment or volunteers opting to quit may occur. These complicated issues in the voluntary sector require sensitive supervision and management. The development of guidelines by supervisors creates awareness to both the volunteers and management team on what is expected from each group. Running of the organization is not interrupted by conflicts arising as a result of unclear information between the paid and unpaid workers. Managing volunteers is the responsibility of supervisors at all levels within the organization. Volunteers play a fundamental role in an organization by offering free services. Supervisors and other paid workers are expected to offer relevant support to the volunteers in order to motivate them and to enhance smooth running voluntary activities (Kane et al 2004, p. 16).
Organizational supervision also entails the management of human resources. Human resource is key resource in an organization; people help the organization to achieve its set goals adequately and on time. However, this is realized through proper supervision and coordination of human resources. A clear understanding of human resources needs help with supervision and management of human resources. According to seden supervision of human resources help the organization to keep track of the organization’s activities and assess whether the organization is working toward the achievement of the set goals. During supervision, supervisors are able to identify the need of workers is required to facilitate smooth service delivery. However, human resource supervision should not be carried out in a way that does not intimidate workers; supervisors should be in a position to understand that workers also need their space. Researchers assert that it is important to conduct physical support only when it is necessary, too much physical supervision creates tension in the workplace. This may affect the productivity of workers and a tense relationship between the workers and the supervisors. Supervisors are not watched they are managers out to ensure that organization activities are running as expected and correct any anomaly that may arise in the process of implementing organization activities (Seden & Reynolds 2003, p.231).
Workers and supervisors experience adjustment and disruption both at the personal and organizational stages. These two parties need to understand the underlying factors in order to act appropriately in resolving issues related to human resource management. The process of supervision should put into consideration the needs of the employees which include social, personal and spiritual needs depending on the organization setting. This is to enable supervisors to mitigate human-resource-related problems such as career development, workers motivation, salary increments, promotion and provision of appropriate resources to enhance employees’ safety at the workplace and performance. The human resource manager is charged with the supervision of human resources and he/she is expected to address human resource concerns in a professional manner without any form of bias. Supervisors are considered as an instructor both by leading and training on the job. A part of supervisors’ roles is to advance the performance, career and skills development of employees they usually supervise. The organization lays down policies like induction, performance appraisal, and disciplinary actions to govern its daily activities. However, it is the responsibility of the supervisors to finally decide on what needs to do regarding human resource management in the organization. Seden and Reynolds assert that having a practice-led supervisor in an organization ensures that implementation of the policies is real and active. Managing to guarantee individual professional development and career development of the employees is a complicated concern in an organization. Personal experiences, educational achievements and aspirations require harmonizing with the requirements of service users, stratagem and policies of the organization. Peel claim that supervision offers the most successful tool for balancing these competing objectives (Kane et al 2004, p. 16)
Supervision sessions offer an avenue to discuss organization services from a user’s perspective. This aids in the planning of responses, identification of employees’ training needs and rhyming these requirements with the existing training and development chances. Frontline supervisors require professional and on-the-job training in order to equip them with the necessary skills to address organizational needs. Researches have shown that frontline line supervisors strive to enhance the career development of the organization workers at the expense of their own development. Top managers need to take seriously their roles to encourage and offer development opportunities for other supervisors. During this interaction, process practitioners are able to open up and share their personal experiences such as feelings and stress. This person could be work-related or not (Seden & Reynolds 2003, p. 231).
Supervision and learning opportunities
Supervision offers learning opportunities to both the supervisor and the supervisee. While running everyday activities of the organization both parties come across challenges that act as a learning opportunity. They gain skills to resolve new challenges and to improve on their weak points. organizational learning aims at building the capacity of supervisors so that they are competent enough to deliver their supervisory roles. Learning experience exist in the problem-solving process that supervisors go through, painful learning experience is witnessed when practitioners recognize their mistakes. Committing a mistake and appreciating that as a learning opportunity entails recognizing what would work better as a result of observing things go wrong. All practitioners have a chance of learning from extreme events were the results of investigation offer lessons to be dispersed and digested. Consultation among practitioners during supervision creates room for improvement as different practitioners offer different ideas. Mistakes are not supposed to happen in an organization but seden and Reynolds argue that once a mistake occurs it should be corrected immediately. The incidence that led to the occurrence of the mistake and how the mistake was corrected becomes an opportunity for developing and improving the skills of practitioners. Supervisors from different organizations convene meetings to share supervisory ideas, from these gatherings supervisors learn new ideas. Later, these ideas are passed on to other practitioners within the organization eventually learning spread throughout the organization and among all practitioners (Seden & Reynolds 2003, p.231).
Supervision and organization appraisal
The process of supervision seeks to analyze the commitment, performance and achievement of the employees and organization. This is mostly done for the purpose of performance appraisal of workers and the entire organization. Supervisors are able to identify organizational achievements as well as individual achievements and then appraise them. Performance appraisal is the power of performance supervision which in turn affects organizational performance. Supervisors are able to recognize and conquer difficulties experienced by workers during their daily running of the organization. Frontline supervisors are assessed by the top manager in order to rate their performance and address any problems that are pointed out during supervision. Supervision for the purpose of performance appraisal may be conducted by external supervisors in order to avoid bias. Performance appraisal is an important tool as it motivates the organization to work harder for better results. However, it also has an equal prospect of causing a negative effect to the employees who are discouraged poor results. It has been found that some supervisors are not competent enough to carry out supervision for the purpose of performance appraisal. The faulty result portrays a false picture of employees as well as the organization (Reynolds et al 2003, p.154).
Extent of supervision
Supervisors are expected to give full support to the workers as well as the organization. Structuring of organizational structure should allow supervisors to understand the limitations of management support, education and assessment. Supervisors are expected to manage resources both human and nonhuman resources, information and also manage themselves. The extent of management depends on the organization and scope of responsibilities allotted to the supervisors. However, the management of human resources should not interfere with the personal life of workers. Employees are not supposed to feel intimidated by the process of management employed by supervisors. Supervisors are required to have relevant qualifications biased on management; continuous professional development sessions to update supervisors with current supervisory concerns should be offered in order to enable effective conflict resolution. Supervisors should give workers relevant guidelines to enable them to address difficulties that they may come across during the usual running of organization activities. Supervisors are expected to uphold a code of ethics in solving supervisory concerns related to the personal life of the employees training on code of ethics should be offered alongside other professional training to ensure that supervisors are competent enough. Organizational supervision entails conducting general management skills which include scheduling, resolution-making, problem-solving, delegation and organizing meetings (Reynolds et al 2003, p.149).
Supervision is a fundamental discipline in running an organization, supervisors keep track of activities within the organization so that they are able to detect any concerns that need to be addressed. They also oversee the management of various disciplines such as human resources, information and the organization’s tangible equipment. Supervisors’ roles also include monitoring and evaluation of work performance, elaborating on organization priorities, sharing information on work in order to improve the quality of services delivered and initiating discussions on issues concerning possible and existing problems. Supervision also involves the protection of the vulnerable group of people in the organization to ensure that they are treated equally to normal individuals. Another group that requires supervision includes the volunteers, Volunteers offer their skills, energy and time to an organization for free. Supervisors are expected to conduct monitoring and evaluation of volunteers throughout their tenure as volunteers. They are able to decide whether a certain volunteer will be formally recruited into the organization framework or not supervisor’s judgment should be free and fair. Supervisors are expected to conduct monitoring and evaluation of volunteers throughout their tenure as volunteers. They are able to decide whether a certain volunteer will be formally recruited into the organization framework or not supervisor’s judgment should be free and fair. Supervision allows continuous learning of practitioners while running everyday activities of the organization both parties come across challenges that act as a learning opportunity.
Kane, S. et al., 2004, Practical Applications in Appraisal Valuation Modeling. Chicago: Appraisal Institute.
McNamara, C., n.d. Basic Overview of Supervision. Web.
Reynolds, J. et al., 2003.The managing care reader. Toronto, Canada: Routledge
Seden, J. & Reynolds, J., 2003, Managing care in practice. London: Routledge.