Staff supervision is a new skill for many faculty, particularly in early career. Management skills for beginners require readiness and willingness to set clear expectations, give feedback for continuation (positive) and change (negative), provide a safe and productive workplace environment for others, communicate effectively, delegate appropriately, support opportunities for career satisfaction and growth, and in most cases conduct, directly, annual performance reviews and salary-related decisions.
A first step in discussing any questions or concerns related to your role as a supervisor would be to reach out to your mentor, human resources administrator or director of finance and administration in your department. Open communication with human resources is important to align your expectations with those of the university, as described in your subordinate’s job description, and with those of your employee.
For workshops and training available at Stanford on supervising staff, check AXESS for training courses under the STARS tab > Human Resources > Workplace Skills, and contact, Karen Vesey, Senior Director of Talent Management at the School of Medicine Human Resources Group.
Faculty who supervise trainees have the dual responsibility to supervise and also to educate and train. This creates a complex and multi-faceted dynamic between faculty and their trainees. While faculty generally develop their repertoire in this complex dynamics with experience over time, faculty preempt potential mishaps by pursuing formal courses and workshops offered through a variety of sources: Consult the professional development section on the Office of Academic Affairs website, the workshops offered through the School of Medicine Teaching and Mentoring Academy, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning training opportunities. Two new courses in 2019-2020 at the School of Medicine prepare faculty with skills in this area: Starting Up Your Research Group (SURGE) and its advanced version, SURGE II.