Ways of supervising your senior staff member

There are several ways to supervise your organisation's senior staff member. Supervision can be done by:

1. The committee as a whole.

This is not usually effective, but can sometimes work in small, informal organisations. It may be quite inappropriate if the committee contains people to whom it would be unwise, or unprofessional for the senior staff member to confide problems.

The committee is ultimately accountable for the performance of the senior staff member and should always carry out an overall monitoring role.

2. The Chair

This is the most common arrangement. The Chair must have the necessary skills, knowledge and time to do it.

3. An employment or staff sub-committee.

This can sometimes work, but supervision by a group brings its own problems as with supervision by the whole managing committee.

4. A suitably skilled committee member

The keys here are the terms of the supervision arrangement and the level of confidentiality. How much will be reported back to the committee as a whole? What authority does the supervisor have?

5. An external consultant with appropriate skills

This costs money. Your organisation would need to establish very clearly the terms of the supervision. What, if anything, would be reported back to the managing committee?

6. A peer, in another organisation

This again raises questions of confidentiality. A peer in a similar organisation may be the only person who has a real professional understanding of the work the Chief Executive is doing.

Alternatively, you may combine some of the above methods.


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