Supervisor Tips for Hiring Student Workers

Establish clear goals. Provide training, performance expectations, and set ground rules. Develop a student employee manual.

Delegate! Assume that the students you have hired are competent and responsible. Provide them with the potential for learning and growth.

Set a positive example of professional, polite, and ethical behavior. If students witness a supervisor that is punctual and professional, students will learn to do the same.

Remember that student employees are students first. If there is a conflict between a student's academics and job, academics must come first. The student can and should however learn how to manage time so that the impact on the position is minimal. Make it clear what is expected regarding the commitment and how to notify you if they must be absent.

Show appreciation for exceptional work. Positive feedback, especially when given in front of one's peers, costs nothing and provides a quick, effective reward.

Allow for student input. Ask your student employees what they think of a certain project. They have a lot to offer!

Be an accessible supervisor. Tell students they are free to ask you questions and discuss concerns. Periodically ask them if they have any questions.

Be a student. Learn how to improve your skills. Attend workshops, take classes, and read.

Be a teacher. You most likely possess a great deal of knowledge and skills, so share these with your employees.

Encourage risk-taking and decision-making. Letting students know that you trust as well as believe in them helps to foster a sense of cohesiveness, which can lead to increased self-esteem. Please remember that this is a learning experience for the students you hire.

Communicate openly and honestly. A student should always know how they are doing.

Help students understand the value of their position. Student jobs can and should be centered around learning, and preparing students for future jobs. Be sure to help students understand what is transferable from their student job into future jobs they may hold.

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