Training & Supervising Student Employees

The best supervisors understand that student employees have other interests and responsibilities. They make the work of the student seem interesting, significant and worthwhile to both the supervisor and the student.
  • Let your own approach to daily work be an example from which students can learn
  • 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
  • Communicate the job standards and expectations to your student employee. One cannot assume that these are self-evident to the student, even though they may seem obvious to you
  • Provide consistent and appropriate feedback to your student employees
  • Be fair. Supervisors who are too lenient are not doing students any favors. Campus jobs are “real jobs.” Treat student employees as you, yourself, would like to be treated in any given situation
  • Take time to train your students in important skills, attitudes and habits
  • When you see a student “going the extra mile” or doing a good job, acknowledge this
  • Inform your student employees how their work fits into a larger purpose of the department and the institution
  • 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?

Orienting the New Employee

Take the time to introduce the new employee to the department, job functions, departmental policies, work schedule, specific position and expectations:
  • Introduce the new employee to everyone in the immediate office or work area
  • Instruct your employees regarding how to record hours on a time sheet, convey deadlines for submission of time sheets, and tell them when they will be paid. Provide them with a current copy of the payroll schedule (PDF).
  • Make sure the employee understands: Who is the student’s direct supervisor? To whom should s/he direct problems or questions? Who can sign/approve the student’s time sheet in the absence of the immediate supervisor?
  • Explain to the new employee what the department does and its role at the University. Share how the student’s role will contribute to the work that is done
  • Thoroughly review job duties and responsibilities. Include your expectations and those of the department (dress code, telephone etiquette, customer service, etc.). This would also be the time to discuss whether personal cells phones can be used, acceptable use of any office equipment (computers, copy machines, etc.), visits from friends, etc. Misunderstandings can be avoided by making these expectations very clear
  • Develop a work schedule based on the department’s needs and the student’s availability
  • Emphasize the importance of safety in the workplace
  • Stress the importance of confidentiality of records and files, system access, and security procedures
  • Share with the student what will happen if s/he is not performing as expected