Staff are our most valuable asset in student affairs, but what is the best way to retain them? In higher education, new professionals are often thrown into supervisory responsibilities without any training or framework to help them be successful. Often, they just model the behaviors of previous supervisors, which can often have a negative impact on the people they supervise.
In the corporate world, however, businesses are able to invest time and resources into proper training and consulting resources. At Eastern Washington University, we decided we should tap into the same resources that have helped them succeed.
EWU wanted to create a working environment that allowed staff to be vulnerable, ask for what they need, and have their needs met. Three years ago, we implemented Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model as a framework for setting goals and completing tasks. This framework has improved staff relationships, created efficiency, and reduced micro-management and under-supervision of staff.
By using the same model for all staff, we could increase the quality and quantity of conversations in our department. We wanted staff to have consistent experiences regardless of who their supervisor was and to create a common language that would allow staff to ask for what they need.
By participating in this session, attendees will:
- know the basic concepts of Situational Leadership;
- learn strategies to create positive and sustainable change when utilizing consultants and business models in higher education; and
- see how using a single model can assist supervisors and staff.