Creating Positive Supervisor Relationships

puzzleUpon delivering a pilot Diploma of Management Program to a large disability care provider it became apparent that participants with engaged Supervisors were achieving a higher completion rate and quality outcomes from assessments. For the organisation to achieve the greatest ROI we needed to find a way to grow supervisors into engaged mentors, without increasing the program budget.


We conducted a review of the pilot participants and supervisors which provided an insight into the exact actions that had consistently made a difference to performance and why. We then developed a supervisor support package and series of webinars that provided guidance on how supervisors can practically support their staff and a structure they can work within to provide constructive feedback.
The supervisor program commenced with orientation, and was followed up with statewide webinars developed to help supervisors identify suitable workplace projects and encourage their full support throughout the program.
As part of the workplace based assessment, supervisors were given a form for each topic with key performance standards identified and a template which encourages an effective performance discussion to take place. The supervisor’s role was to report learning application via this form and outline continuous improvement suggestions after holding the accompanying structured performance discussion with their staff member.


The supervisor engagement model has provided:

  • Consistency of workplace support for all participants in the qualification
  • Improved performance in assessments and increased completion rates for the qualification
  • Improved workplace relationships between participants and their supervisors
  • Improved mentoring skills for supervisors

Supervisors have continued to enroll staff in subsequent programs and enthusiastically continued their mentoring role.