About Supervision

What is supervision?

Supervision is a reflection about issues related to work and professional activity. The main outcome of supervision is improvement of professional effectiveness. Supervision may include dealing with different issues:  awareness of professional borders, finding alternatives for behaviour in specific situations at work, building relationship with colleagues, subordinates, clients, cooperation in a team, working strategies, reducing the stress factors and burnout, as well as other issues occurring in everyday situations at work.

How is supervision carried out?

Supervision is a process that starts with needs clarification: for which employees and for which goals it is needed. The process concludes with evaluation of supervision process and its results.  

A contract in written form or a verbal agreement is concluded before the beginning of supervision. This agreement covers main questions: will it be individual, group or team supervision; what are the expected outcomes of the supervision; what will be the duration of one session; what will be the total number of supervision hours; what will be the cost of supervision, etc. Individual supervision most frequently lasts for 60 – 90 min. and takes place once in a fortnight; 6 – 10 sessions in total. Group or team supervisions mostly last for 120 – 180 min. and take place once in every 2 – 4 weeks; 6 – 10 meetings in total.

When is supervision needed?

In helping professions (e.g., social work, art therapy, psychology, psychotherapy, career consultations) demanding an intensive and close contact with other people, supervision is necessary already during the study process.  It has to be available during the studying practice and further professional activity.  Very often professionals are of the opinion that supervision is necessary in the crisis situations and when  burnout symptoms appear.  However, supervision should be carried out before such situations occur. One of the main tasks of supervision is to identify and prevent crisis situations before they occur.  Experience and research show that employees, who visit a supervisor in good time and on a regular basis, are less endangered by burnout and they are more emphatic when working with a client.    

For each organization in business it is very important to achieve its financial and business development goals and objectives as well as excellence in the customer service.  People – employees of an organization - are the ones who succeed (or do not succeed); thereby the future success of the enterprise is directly dependent upon the readiness of the management to focus on employee development and support.   Supervision is a method-process that can help to achieve positive changes in performance, attitude and behaviour of a person.