Effective Supervision

Solomon Makuza, the Program Manager for Gardens for Health International, joined us from Rwanda and led a discussion on the importance of effective supervision. He started his talk by asking the audience how they would keep 92 people motivated, passionate and accountable for the work they do. He explained it is important to build trust and relations. Solomon said he also believes it helps to make employees feel that “We are all in this together” within a company. He emphasized that in his team of 92 people in Rwanda he constantly stresses that motto and thinks making employees feel like a piece of the puzzle instead of someone’s superior or inferior, is the basis of effective supervision.

Solomon went on the explain that there are two types of supervision: Control Supervision and Supportive Supervision

In Control Supervision the supervisor may do any and all of the following:

-Focus on finding faults with individuals.

-Supervisor acts like a policeman.

-Episodic problem-solving.

-Little to no follow-up.

-Punitive actions intended

In Supportive Supervision the supervisor most likely will:

-Focus on improving performance and building relationships.

-Act more like a teacher, mentor or coach.

-Use local data (tangible facts) to monitor performance and solve problems.

-Follow up regularly.

-Provide support!

Solomon shared Garden’s for Health’s philosophy on supervision as well. They believe supervision should help make things work, rather than checking if things are wrong. GHI advocates for stronger peers to work with weaker peers through on the job training and mentoring. The nonprofit also has a strong system of problem solving and assessing work.

To learn more about Garden for Health’s model of supervision you can view Solomon’s presentation here: Effective Supervision