Supervisory Skills to Manage College Students

by Robinson, Marcia Monday, April 18, 2011
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The supervisory skills necessary to manage college students should include skills that engage and motivate this segment of the workforce. Financial pressures or the opportunity to get work experience, often force college students into the workplace before graduation. Knowing how to manage college students at work present unique challenges requiring the following supervisory skills.

Supervisors who manage college students need to encourage talent

Supervising college students can be extremely rewarding as college students, with guidance and training can become new professionals. As a supervisor who manages college students you want to encourage this transformation by inviting college students to bring new ideas into the business. Supervisors can reap real value from the ideas that college student workers bring to the workplace. I know one entrepreneur who consistently hires college students and encourages them to bring new technology, market research, report writing and social networking skills to their jobs.

Supervisors managing college students must master problem solving

If you supervise college students, you understand any series of scheduling conflicts could leave you with no staff. Good supervisors who manage college students will observe patterns of behavior in the workforce. When I managed college students in California, I knew if the forecast predicted snowboarding weather in the mountains or great waves for surfing, some of our college students would opt out of work. Supervisors must know your workforce, be flexible and develop contingency plans to meet work place goals.

Supervisors managing college students must be good listeners

College students juggle a lot of responsibilities and sometimes supervisors managing college students must know how to listen. A college students' performance at work may be impacted by issues at home, academics or social issues. Although supervisors who manage college students want to maintain formal employer-employee relationships, supervisors must be aware of other possible influences in the college students' life and how these influences impact workplace productivity. Good supervisors are more vigilant about student worker behavior at certain times during the academic year such as mid-terms, finals and holidays.

Knowing how to mentor and train college students on business etiquette is a critical supervisory skill

Supervisors who manage college students shouldn't assume that college students come to the workplace with full knowledge of basic business etiquette. Think beyond just managing college student workers and think more about mentoring your college students to become the professionals you want to have in your workplace. Supervisors must offer training on how to represent the workplace professionally, use of company technology, speak with colleagues and even what to do with angry customers.

Supervisors who manage college students must be able to keep employees motivated

Supervisors need to keep the college students they manage, motivated in the workplace. If you are supervising college students consider introducing competition to keep things exciting. My son is a Peer Mentor in college and many of the jobs they are assigned are routine and repetitive. Their supervisor makes work exciting by throwing in all kinds of friendly competition between the twenty students she manages.