Chairpersons depend heavily on the staff. It is imperative to help them to develop to their potential. This is best done through a healthy relationship in which expectations are clear and honest feedback is provided.
The Senior Director of Finance and Administration holds monthly operations meetings for all departmental staff, where University and College policy issues, upcoming events, changes in systems, etc. are discussed. Your staff should attend these meetings to ensure awareness of current policies, procedures, and forms. Invited guest speakers from across campus are also frequently included to provide short training opportunities during such meetings.
Department chairpersons provide leadership and direct supervision of departmental staff. This leadership/supervision includes maintaining a positive, appreciative and engaging atmosphere. The primary vehicle for establishing this atmosphere is communicating expectations for the department and staff on an ongoing basis. Staff are often the link that provide continuity in an office. We depend on staff not only to accomplish their respective tasks, but also to acquaint faculty with administrative and managerial functions and processes inherent in office life and to cultivate a welcoming atmosphere for all. The level of professionalism of the office will be obvious to all who enter, whether faculty, students, or guests.
Staff should always be treated professionally and courteously. Staff should be recognized when specific instances of their work exceed expectations. It is important to find creative ways to reward staff for their accomplishments. A recommendation for a raise is only one way that a department chairperson can express appreciation for exceptional work.