Principles of Supervision Workshop and Toolkit

Being an excellent supervisor can have a profound effect on Cal Poly. Your actions, behavior, and treatment impacts employees, but also indirectly affects others. The people you supervise and manage frequently move on to lead others, often in a way that emulates how they were supervised.

Principles of Supervision is the flagship supervisor development program of The California State University. The program covers foundational supervision skills such as performance management, developing direct reports, guiding and organizing work, managing relationships and managing yourself. The workshop and toolkit provides valuable learning resources to support supervisors in improving employee performance, engagement and retention.

Workshops are offered throughout the year. To receive updates when new workshops become available, please select the link below

Express Interest

This toolkit provides access to web-based information, tools and resources to help supervisors be more successful.

View the Principles of Supervision Toolkit

Principles of Supervision Includes

Managing Performance & Developing Direct Reports

A hallmark of your success as a supervisor is your ability to get results from employees and at the same time have a high level of morale. Keeping employees happy and productive requires that you pay attention to employee engagement and take steps to foster teamwork.

One critical ingredient to supervising effectively is understanding the culture of the organization in which you work. Knowing the culture can help you build off its strengths as well as avoid actions that aren't in alignment. The characteristics of higher education that make it such an interesting place to work can be very challenging if you come from the outside. First time supervisors and managers who have not worked in higher education can benefit from learning about its unique culture.

Guiding and Organizing the Work

A large number of supervisors and managers in higher education have been promoted into their positions because they are good at getting things done. Managing, however, involves getting work done with and through others. Getting things done and getting things done through others are two very different skillsets. The later requires the use of a wide array of management skills including setting expectations, giving feedback, coaching, motivating and delegating.

Managing Relationships

One of the biggest challenges you will face as a supervisor is communication. Communication is also one of the most important aspects of successful supervision as well as the lifeblood of your university. Effective communication hinges on people understanding your meaning and knowing that you have heard them clearly. Being aware of personality preferences can positively impact your interactions at work.

Managing Yourself

To do the best job of supervising others, you must first manage yourself well. This means setting high standards for your own behavior and performance. It also means being disciplined in how you develop your supervisory skills and manage your time.

Conversation AI Simulator (CAISY)

This tool allows for scenario-based practice of challenging real-life situations in a safe practice environment where learners can move at their own pace. You’ll be challenged with a scenario, then prompted to provide the actions you’ll take to progress through the scenario while receiving feedback and guidance along the way. It’s a great resource for managers to practice conversation skills in a safe environment.