Professional supervision Within Organizational Behavior

Principles, scope and purpose of professional supervision

Support and supervisions are an essential process for both the supervisee and the supervisor. Support and supervisions allow supervisees to have a clear process and format, which they are able to follow with their supervisor on a monthly basis. Support and supervisions allow members of staff to raise any concerns or issues with their line manager, to discuss training needs, to gain feedback on their performance and delivery of support provision and to ensure staff members are working towards achieving there personal objectives as set out in their personal development plan.

“Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills” (care quality commission outcome 14 2009).

Support and supervisions allow line managers to support staff in their development, to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed, to ensure that required standards of practice are being maintained, Support and supervisions allow the supervisee and the supervisor to build relationships, to be a person centred two way process, to ensure that staff feel support and valued and that achievements are recognised and praise given for these.

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Theories and models of professional supervision

There are a number of theories and models that relate to professional supervision. A supervisor may choose not to follow just one theory or model when completing supervision of staff as different theories and models maybe more appropriate for them. Davys and Beddoes 2010 supervision model integrate management and development and uses a triangle with each point having a supervisor function.

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1)Managing service delivery, 2)organisation policies, procedures and protocols, 3)quality and quantity of work decisions and priorites. For this model, (Stoltenberg & Delworth, 1987) it is necessary to modify the relationship to meet the supervisee’s needs There are a nunber of theories and models within my own work settings we use not one in particular but parts of many to mold into a supervision which falls in our line of work.based on their current developmental level. Supervisors employing a development approach to supervision need to be able to accurately identify the supervisee’s current stage of development and provide feedback and support appropriate to that developmental stage, while at the same time assisting the supervisee’s advancement to the next stage.

Haynes, Corey, & Moulton, 2003 For example, supervisees at the beginning or novice stage would be expected to have limited skills and lack confidence, while middle stage supervisees might have more skill and confidence and have conflicting feelings about perceived independence/dependence on the supervisor. A supervisee in a later developmental stage is expected to employ good problem-solving skills and be reflective about the counseling and supervisory process (Haynes, Corey, & Moulton, 2003Davys and Beddoes 2010 supervision model integrate management and development and uses a triangle with each point having a supervisor function. 1)Managing service delivery, 2)organisation policies, procedures and protocols, 3)quality and quantity of work decisions and priorites.

For this model, (Stoltenberg & Delworth, 1987) it is necessary to modify the relationship to meet the supervisee’s needs based on their current developmental level. Supervisors employing a development approach to supervision need to be able to accurately identify the supervisee’s current stage of development and provide feedback and support appropriate to that developmental stage, while at the same time assisting the supervisee’s advancement to the next stage. Haynes, Corey, & Moulton, 2003 For example, supervisees at the beginning or novice stage would be expected to have limited skills and lack confidence, while middle stage supervisees might have more skill and confidence and have conflicting feelings about perceived independence/dependence on the supervisor. A supervisee in a later developmental stage is expected to employ good problem-solving skills and be reflective about the counseling and supervisory process (Haynes, Corey, & Moulton, 2003)

Influence of agreed ways of working

Agreed ways of practice have influenced our supervision by the requirements of CQC we can ensure that staff are supported within the company and codes of practice followed, supervisions are one of the ways we meet that requirement. It is also within the workers contract to have 4 supervisions with in an annual period, but for new recruits we like to give as much support as possible and see them weekly or fortnightly for the first 12 weeks of working, some of which can be within the office to have a discussion based supervision or onsite supervision, which is within a clients own home this allows us to monitor and observe performance, skills, communication and possible learning needs of the worker. This onsite supervision also helps when doing office based supervisions as any training needs or issues can be picked up and addressed. As a company we are inspected by councils which we hold contracts for and also by CQC. Then we can evidence Supervisions for workers and have addressed any potential needs which may have been identified.

Use of findings from research, article reviews and inquiries

Findings from research and reviews are used within professional supervision, as serious safeguarding and possible loss of life can and have happened, by putting into supervisions a more emphasis on learning lessons and improving practice. Giving support to workers and building up a relationship that they feel they can talk about any issues they may have or seen. Giving example of case reviews where there has been a failing and informing of the importance of reporting, for example the undercover footage by the BBC by staff to residents with learning disabilities at Winterbourne view hospital.By setting out a set and clear questions within the paperwork and within the discussions that policies and procedures need to be adhered to that all aspects are covered and are effective to ensure the safety of staff and clients.

Under protection of professional supervision


Supervision can protect the individual by the fact that it is recorded so anyone involved cant back tract on what has been said. Its an opportunity to discuss and issues and how they can be resolved in accordance to procedures, working practice, example poor moving and handling is not protecting the individual. covering this in supervisions to ensure training is up to date and they are confidant would be to protect the individual.


By covering all aspects within the supervision the supervisor can be confident that they are supporting and developing the staff to their best potential and able to address any issues that arise within the correct timeframe required ensuring that they are protected by putting into place the correct procedures, also able to have a record of this.


Supervisions can protect the supervisee by insuring confidentiality if serious issues are raised. By reflecting on best practice and developing their skills. Also that they are recorded and kept on file so that any issues raised is not followed up then they have a record to fall back on.

Performance management cycle

There are 5 points to the management cycle.

  1. Planning – the supervisor should establish measurable goals in line with company operational plans and consult with staff when creating these goals. Supervisor should meet with staff to create their performance plans. It is within this stage that the supervisor has opportunity to explain to staff how their performance has a direct impact on how the work unit will achieve their goals.
  2. Monitoring – supervisor should monitor staff progress not only when review is due but on a continuous basis. By monitoring this allows the supervisor to make any corrections or adjustments if needed to achieve a successful outcome. Monitoring also identifies their progress whether favourable or unacceptable if unacceptable monitoring enables the supervisor to identify problems early and gives an opportunity period in place before rating record is due.
  3. Developing – by continuous monitoring the supervisor should be able to determine if staff need additional development to achieve responsibilities assigned to them, for example, formal training, informal training and additional responsibilities. Development also includes enhancing good performances.
  4. Rating – the knowledge gained from the monitoring of staffs performance will be used by the supervisor to compare their performance against standards, a rating will be assigned to them. Through the process many discussions will be held during the rating period and staff will be made aware of this.
  5. Rewarding – the supervisor should make aware the difference in above performance and meeting the standards set out, by looking back on targets and goals set out and reached and ensuring that rewards are given and their work is recognised. Setting to new goals and how they can be reached.

How professional supervision supports performance

Professional supervision helps staff to achieve their goals, by helping them recognise good practise and performance giving support in areas that they may struggle to achieve. Identifying training needs. Given a better and clear understanding of responsibilities. By rewarding good performance within the supervision gives a higher standard of service.

How performance indicators can be used

Performance indicators help define and measure progress towards goals set out by company this can included such things as quality of staff. Having performance indicators in place can give relevant measures within the area of their work. For example, Within the company we have annual questionnaire sent to clients where we can monitor quality and continuity in line with company compliance we then can use the data to improve our service. Also staff are sent questionnaires to be filled in to ensure their are happy in work and if they feel any changes as to how they are managed are needed, also within the supervisions and appraisals for staff targets can be measured. We as a company also request a questionnaire be filled in on any staff leaving which can help with staff retention by allowing us to ask the correct question upon interview stage to ensure retention of any new staff.

Factors which result in a power imbalance

As the Manager you are already in a position of power. There are two main types of power personal and organisational. Personal refers to the knowledge, skills and competence associated with an individual which makes them an expert. As an expert the individual can exert a certain amount of power in various situations, as in the teacher- learner relationship. Organisational power can be one of four types: Reward power as in pay,promotion or praise. Coercive power is a negative form of the above-punishment,disciplinary procedures.

Legitimate power when the incumbent has authority. Information power-has special knowledge which is valued by the other staff or supervisees. To address- Build a rapport with all supervisee’s to establish good working relationships and set boundaries.Have a clear set of expectations and clarify with each supervisee. P&P’s available for everyone. All resources available and check regularly to see how they are doing. Give regular feedback to all. Set goals and objectives for all supervisee’s and agreed targets and offer support. Tasks set to match their skills.

Addressing power imbalance in own supervision practice

When I personally give a supervision on a member of my staff I make sure that they realise it is a session for support and not for anyone to say how badly they are doing. I feel that a supervision should be supportive and encouraging. It is a chance for the member of staff to air their views and any concerns that they have. I would build a rapport with all staff in order to establish boundaries and good working relationships. Clarify a clear set of expectations which each member of staff. I make sure that policies and procedures are available for everyone.

Supervisee confidentiality, boundaries, roles and accountability

All staff sign the confidentiality agreement which works both ways. Anything said to a member of staff in a supervision is not repeated to any other member of staff. Unless it is something that can be used as an example for other staff, this would then be used but without mentioning them.The supervisor performing the supervision must clarify the boundaries of their responsibility and their accountability to their supervisee . This should include any formal assessment required. The supervisor is responsible for setting and maintaining the boundaries between the supervision relationship and other professional relationships, eg training and management.

Supervisee the frequency and location

The supervisor has a responsibility to ensure that s/he is working within an appropriate environment. Supervisees should be seen in appropriate surroundings providing privacy, security and comfort. The supervisor must satisfy him/herself that s/he is covered by indemnity arrangements against claims for damages from alleged negligence or accidental injury whether in his/her private practice or in the work which s/he undertakes for an employer.

A supervision agreement will be negotiated between the supervisor and supervisee, using the Supervision agreement form. The agreement will state the frequency, length, location, content and process of supervision and a time when the agreement will be reviewed. It is recommended that six monthly reviews occur to update the agreement. Ensuring that supervision is beneficial is the shared responsibility of the supervisor and supervisee. Agree with supervisee sources of evidence that can be used to inform professional supervision

Supervisee sources of evidence

As a manager we have an policy in place on how we inform the staff regarding supervision.This is done through the written letter addressed to individuals and we make sure that the individual receive the letter by signing a form left with a senior in charge.

Supervisee actions in preparation for professional supervision

As a manager l will inform or agree or speak to the supervisee about things or issues I need from them is: to be prepared for the supervision meeting by noting down issues they wish to discuss, to reflect on their work practice and be open and honest about any difficulties they are facing, to acknowledge their successes at work and steps they have made in reaching their goals. l will also inform them what I am willing to contribute is: to listen to their views and be non judgemental, to provide feedback and guidance and help them explore possible solutions, to encourage them in their progress and to acknowledge their successes.

Also things that I have responsibility for are: to do the things that I have agreed to do, i.e. brought along information on a particular approach or theory, to provide my full attention and support in supervision, and to maintain confidentiality of supervision proceedings, as per our organisation supervision policy.

Supervisees reflect on their practice

Supervisors can also support staff’s professional development by using supervisory meetings as an opportunity to scaffold, or support the acquisition of, new knowledge. One way of doing this is to encourage supervisees to analyse their own work and its implications. Reflection is important because it empowers staff to assess their own performance. Awareness of one’s strengths, as well as one’s limits and vulnerabilities, allows individuals to make mid-course corrections in work performance that feel natural, unforced, and generated from within.

Positive feedback about supervisee’s achievements

Positive feedback has long been recognised as a critical element in high performing workplaces. A major cause of an increasing attrition rate in many organisations, is generally ineffective or inappropriate feedback and lack of effective employee management. Employees are the most important assets of any organisation, playing a major role in its success or failure. However, ineffective feedback can affect the productivity of the employees and ruin the entire work environment. To avoid this, it is essential to employ a mechanism that helps employees understand their strengths and weaknesses in a constructive manner. A good feedback for their performance can increase the productivity, enthusiasm, and satisfaction levels among the employees. This, in turn, helps in improving the performance of the employees, eventually leading towards the growth of the company.

A genuine feedback helps employees to analyse themselves in a better way, which paves way for self-improvement. It also gives them a chance to recognise their mistakes and take corrective measures. Hence, it is important to maintain a constant dialog with the employees through a good communication pattern in the company. During the performance appraisal process, it is essential to convey the message precisely and aptly. Avoid being dominating and aggressive while talking to the employees. An egalitarian approach is the key to a successful feedback process.

Constructive feedback

The supervisor must then provide constructive support to the supervisee to diminish their weakness and encourage them to develop their professional and personal strengths keeping their professional and ethical standards.

Supervisees identify their own development needs

Supervision is a crucial cornerstone of the learning and professional development needed for good practice in health social care. The supervision sessions are there for:

  • Identifying initial and ongoing learning needs
  • Supporting effective application of new knowledge and skills
  • Supporting the implementation of change and developing new team practice

The supervisee’s professional progress should first be mapped using the Personal Development Plan (Supervision Tools) with learning needs and plans to meet these needs identified. Ongoing reviews will then take place in supervision to ensure that the supervisee continues to learn and develop their skills and knowledge in practice.

Supervision is also the most appropriate place to set learning objectives prior to training courses, reflect on learning gained and plan to apply new learning (using the Supervision Tools).

Review and revise professional supervision targets to meet the identified objectives of the work setting

Effective supervision is one of the most important measures that organisations can put in place to ensure positive outcomes and quality services for the people who use social care and children’s services. This is achieved in a number of direct and indirect ways, as follows:

  • Effective workload management.
  • Monitoring of individual performance and quality of service provided.
  • Reflection and guidance on focus of work and methods used.
  • Ensuring commitment to positive outcomes and effective working with others (within setting, within service and across services as appropriate).
  • Maintaining motivation and job satisfaction through clarity on work objectives, positive feedback, critical reflection, personal support and continuing personal and professional development.
  • Consequent positive impact on staff retention and continuity of service.
  • Integral part of performance management arrangements.

As outlined above, a clear organisational commitment to quality supervision has to be the starting point. This needs to be reflected in a positive supervision culture throughout the organisation, where supervision is seen as a right and a benefit, a win-win situation for the individual, the organisation and, indirectly, for those who use services. There are plenty of examples of organisations and teams where a strong supervision culture exists, where effective and regular supervision is valued, seen as a priority and protected at all cost.

Different methods of addressing challenging situations

It is important that both parties take prompt action to overcome difficulties within supervision. Supervisor and supervisee need to be aware of potential blocks to effective supervision such as interruptions and lack of space. They should consider how to tackle these. Where difficulties do arise it is the responsibility of supervisor and supervisee to address these in an open and positive manner. It is also importance that both parties listen to each other and do not personalise problems. If the supervisor and supervisee encounter difficulties then it is in everyone’s interest to involve a third party (usually the supervisor line manager) to help resolve any issues.

Where difficulties arise these should be managed within the supervisory relationship, if possible. If this becomes impossible, it is appropriate for both the supervisor and supervisee to seek advice and support from either:

  • The supervisor’s line manager
  • The supervisee’s line manager
  • Professional or trade union representative
  • Human Resources

Consultation with a senior manager should take place if the supervisee and supervisor cannot reach agreement. If the supervisee or supervisor has significant concerns about practice within the organisation they should first notify their supervisor. Any such concerns should be followed up as detailed in the organisation Whistleblowing Policy.

Agreed supervision decisions

Supervision should be recorded with written evidence of discussions that take place and decisions/plans agreed. To standardise and assist with recording of supervisions it is suggested that a pro-forma be used. A copy of the supervision record should be given to the supervisee.

It is important that all supervision discussions are promptly recorded to support completion of agreed actions within agreed timescales and to avoid any confusion or disputes.

As part of the supervision agreement discussion, the supervisee and supervisor should agree who will be responsible for keeping a record of the session and how this should be done (handwritten, electronic etc.) The supervisor should provide the supervisee with a copy of the record for signature within 5 working days of the meeting and the records should be signed and dated by both parties, with the opportunity to note any areas of disagreement on the record.

Recording during the supervision session whether on paper or on computer can be time consuming. It may be better to pause to record at natural points during the session or to make notes during and write them up afterwards. An example of a supervision recording format that encourages critical reflection is included in the Supervision Tools.

Examples from own practices of managing conflicts

a member of staff was not happy or did not understand what the supervision was saying while conducting the supervision she thought that she was being accused of not doing their job properly. the supervisor had to explain and try and make the member of staff understand that she was making a comment on what has been passed on to her from other staff. the supervisor felt that the member of staff was being rude and disrespectful towards him, the line manager had to be involved to easy the situation and make both parties come to an agreement.

Own practice in managing conflicts

Although conflict in the supervisory system is inevitable, the amount of conflict that supervisors and staff experience can be reduced and managed. An attitude of humility on the part of supervisors can promote less conflictual relationships with staffs. When supervisors show fallibility and are willing to admit their own mistakes, while at the same time maintaining a sense of leadership and confidence, it serves to create a noncompetitive atmosphere and prevents an increasing cycle of blame and demoralisation. Another way to create less conflicted supervisory relationships involves knowing when to confront and when to refrain from confrontation. The inevitability of conflict in the supervisory relationship means that potential battles abound, but not every battle needs to be fought.

Feedbacks from supervisees on own approach

Feedback is information about past performance/behaviour and its outcomes; it is delivered in the present and may influence future behaviour. The key word here is information. Effective feedback is information provided to the person about what he or she did (past performance/behaviour) and what happened as a result (outcomes).

l will create questionnaire and give them out to staff asking them to fill them in, how they rate the supervision process, concerns etc. Also l will make them fill them anonymous so the staff will feel comfortable to do so without thinking that they might be treated different for saying how they see things

Adoptation of approaches to own professional supervision in light of feedback

Feedbacks l will get back will help me in my work as a manager to change approaches on the care provided and issues raised from the feedback will help me better myself as a manager and perform my job well. It will help to better the care settings and organisation as a whole.

Cite this page

Professional supervision Within Organizational Behavior. (2016, Sep 21). Retrieved from

Professional supervision Within Organizational Behavior

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