What is supervision? essay example
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What is supervision?

Supervisions are a process which has been introduced to support and develop skills of the employee which in turn will improve practice. The reason for professional supervisions is so the practitioner and the manager or senior member of the team can have a chance to meet together for a discussion. Supervisions are a two-way process which promotes accountability, staff support and development. Supervision should be a positive experience for all and take place regularly. It is one of the ways in which to monitor and review practitioners work and also ensures that practitioners are properly supported. Supervisions give the practitioner the time and opportunity to be able to reflex on their practice and look at their own Personal Development needs, establishing aims and objectives of what they want to achieve or where they want to go, in their career, it also helps to improve the service that is provided to children and parents. When supervisions are effective they can help to support the practitioner and let them be listened to without feeling rushed and to enable discussions that might not take place day to day. It is essential that the practitioner is involved and make the most of the opportunities that supervision offers.
Supervision should provide opportunities for staff to:
• discuss any issues that they might have
• Any concerns about key children’s development or wellbeing, including child protection concerns
• identify solutions to address issues as they arise
• receive support to improve their personal effectiveness
• discuss any training needs
Supervisions should be planned and held regularly. It is good practice for supervisions to be structured and notes should be clearly written and stored in the staff members file with the staff member receiving a copy to enable them to put in place any actions or recommendations.

1.2 Outline theories and models of professional supervision.
Developmental models of supervision have led supervision thinking and research since the 1980s. Different supervisions models could be one to one supervisions, group supervisions and peer group supervisions the best approach used will depend on a number of factors, like experience, qualifications and availability of supervisory groups (Tilmouth, Quallington 2016). There are different models and theories on supervision that have become popular.

Douglas McGregor proposed theory X and Y and more recently there is another theory which is theory Z. You can also look at Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, as this is used to describe the personal and professional needs all humans innately strive toward. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has suggestions for understanding supervision models and theories. The hierarchy helps understand that employee’s progress through many levels of need fulfilment in the carrying out of their job roles and that the needs can be different for each employee. Theory X assumes that the primary source of motivation for employees is monetary, with security as the second motivation. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory si similar and that motivation occurs at the physiological and security levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Drawing on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs McGregor argues that a need, once satisfied, no longer motivates. As a supervision model, theory X believes that managers should closely observe their employees, and managers should always be encouraging their employees to do more. The theory is that employees will do as little as possible whenever possible; therefore, managers have to keep employees as motivated and productive as possible. Theory X can take a hard or soft approach to getting things done. The hard approach to motivation is by micromanagement and tight controls. Though the soft approach is to seek harmony, so in return, employees will cooperate when asked. In contrast to Theory X, Theory Y assumes that the higher-level needs of esteem and fulfilment of potential are what are a constant need for most people, which are never fully fulfilled. As such, these are the higher-level needs through which employees can best be motivated. With theory Y McGregor believes that managers should spend less time looking after their employees and more time providing a comfortable and friendly work environment (Bradley 2018). Management professor William Ouchi argued that Western organisations could learn from their Japanese counterparts. He developed theory Z a development beyond Theory X and Theory Y that blended the best of Eastern and Western management practices. Ouchi claims the idea behind theory Z is that by providing a career to employees, instead of just a job, it could reduce employee turnover, increase commitment, improve job satisfaction and moral which would increase productivity. Theory Z involves employee in the supervision process. It supports that manager’s and employees share the responsibility and that the company show a concern for all of the needs identified by Maslow, not just some of them as theories X and Y are inclined to do (Bradley 2018). Different theories take different approaches to supervision; a skilled and experienced manager can combine elements of each.

1.3 Explain how the requirements of legislation, codes of practice and agreed ways of working influence professional supervision.
Appraisals and supervisions are an important part in ensuring positive outcomes for children and young people in a variety of quality settings. It is crucial for Early Years settings to have a supervision and appraisal policy and process. The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requires that early years practitioners are engaged in a cycle of supervision. “Providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff that has contact with children and families’ (HM Government 2017). The manager needs to ensure that there is a framework of supervision and appraisal so that staff are kept up to date with relevant information and given the opportunity to evaluate and reflect. “Supervision is essential to help practitioners to cope with the emotional demands of work with children and their families which has an impact at all levels of intervention” (DCSF:2008). A regular one to one staff supervision structure needs to be put in place as they help with the development, retention and motivation of the staff. There needs to be clear questions to highlight knowledge and understanding; giving the practitioner, the time to be able to reflect on practice and give them the opportunity to share any concerns or training needs they might have. Supervisions are held regularly have a positive impact on practice and lead to improved performance and outcomes.

1.4 Explain how findings from research, critical reviews and inquiries can be used within professional supervision.
Professional supervision can make a major contribution to the way organisations ensure the achievement of high quality provision. Supervision meetings are part of the constant monitoring process that happens in settings on a daily basis in a variety of forms. The requirement for individual supervision meetings has been informed by serious case reviews, such as the Plymouth Serious Case Review and research into the impact of staff qualifications and knowledge on children’s development and progress. Following a recommendation from the Serious Case Review and the review into the EYFS 2008 by Dame Clare Tickell, staff supervision is now mandatory in all early years settings (EYFS 2012). They are supported by the will to promote good practice in supporting staff to identify professional development needs and the desire for development feedback. Supervisions are an important element in ensuring positive outcomes for children and young people in a quality setting. Research suggests that good supervisions have a vital role to play in the development of staff, are associated with job satisfaction, commitment, motivation and retention of the staff. It is essential for Early Years settings to have a supervision and appraisal policy/process which:
• Provides a clear definition of supervision linked to settings vision.
• Sets clear expectations and boundaries.
• Specifies, frequency, duration, location and recording.
• Clarifies confidentiality and access to supervision/appraisal notes.
• Outlines the importance of supervision/appraisal.
• Makes clear the roles, tasks, rights of the supervisor and supervisee.
• Demonstrates how quality supervision and appraisal links to management of staff performance

1.5 Explain how professional supervision can protect the:
• Individual
Supervisions can protect the children and young people as the supervisions can improve practice which will improve the outcomes for the children. It gives opportunity to raise any safeguarding issues for both children and staff.
• Supervisor
Supervisions can protect the supervisor as supervisions are recorded and can show that they are supporting and developing the staff to their best potential. Supervisions are able to address any issues and give the supervisor time to put into place the correct procedures. Supervisions give the supervisor the opportunity to ensure training is up to date and address concerns and putting targets in place for the supervisee with time frames.
• Supervisee
Supervisions can protect the supervisee by protecting confidentiality if serious issues are raised. Supervisions allow the supervisee time to reflect on their practice and gives them opportunity to discuss training needs to develop their skills. Also that they are recorded and kept on file so that any issues raised is not followed up then they have a record to fall back on

2.1 Explain the performance management cycle
Managing performance an important part of the managers role. It is important to aim for a system where there are clear performance management systems in place to support all staff. This is not just about ensuring that staff are on target, but also that they feel supported by the manager in the setting. Performance management is a way in which managers and practitioners work together to set work targets and to monitor and review how they work in the setting. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD, 2006) describes the performance management cycle as a systematic approach. There are four stages to the performance management cycle:
The first stage of the performance management cycle is planning. The planning phase includes the evaluation of a personal development plan looking at what the practitioner’s skills and knowledge are and what skills they need to develop to achieve their goals and a review of the practitioner’s job needs. The plan should challenge the practitioner but also be achievable.
The second stage of the performance management cycle is developing. This is the development of the practitioner’s expertise and potential. The development phase should focus on both improving current expertise and agreement on training to gain new skills or knowledge.
The third stage of the performance management cycle is performing. At this stage the practitioner can practice the new skills that they have learnt. Job satisfaction and staff morale comes with doing a job well. A good manager will see that practitioners are working to their strengths to achieve this.
The fourth stage is the evaluation; this is done by both parties to see what they have done. This is to allow both parties to consider how achievements have met the goals set during the planning stage.

2.2 Analyse how professional supervision supports performance.
By using a performance management cycle it imposes structure and process to the management of staff and their development and training needs. The manager needs to make sure that the performance management systems in place get the best out of people in the work place and deliver the best for people who use the setting. Supervisions help practitioners achieve their goals, by encouraging them to recognise good practise and performance which will improve their quality of work and then provide a high quality service. By rewarding good performance within the supervision, gives practitioners motivation to continue to develop.

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2.3 Analyse how performance indicators can be used to measure practice
The three main reasons for measuring performance are, to learn and improve, to report externally and demonstrate compliance and to control and monitor people. In the setting the objective is to offer high quality care and learning with experienced and knowledgeable practitioners. Practitioners need to know what is necessary for them to do their job and what they need to do to contribute to the continued success of the setting. So the first step in performance management is to define what the practitioners have to do and the reason they need to do. In the supervision practitioners are given a framework of specific, measurable that are achievable, realistic and time bound targets (SMART). It is important that there are not too many performance indicators; is more important to focus on essential areas of development. Practitioners are encouraged to be made responsible for maintaining their own standards of practice by managing their own performance, which is then monitored by the senior staff and the manager by supervisions, professional development and effective line management.

3.1 Explain factors which result in a power imbalance in professional supervision
There are people who have more power than others due to the higher position in a hierarchy. This power can be used in a positive way, but often is seen as a negative connotation of abuse and harassment which can lead people to distrust others in power. The concept of hierarchy of power can affect the supervisory relationship. The manager is in a position of power due to their status and has to supervise the team and monitor their work to ensure that performance targets are met and this in itself may cause a power imbalance. This can affect supervision, so it is important to look at how to address the imbalance.
3.2 Explain how to address power imbalance in own supervision practice
If the power imbalance is recognised then you can start to address it. The manager can deal with this imbalance when they are aware of their own power and how it affects their relationship with others. There is no need to take an authoritarian approach in leading, but while it is good to be one of them it is a fine line between the two and as manager you need to be able to take control of decisions. It is always best to act with honesty, respect and being fair to others. This will help make sure there is a positive relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee.

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