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Managing A Youth Worker

Posted on: January 15, 2016

In my last blog I gave some tips on looking after and managing youth workers that focused mainly around the side of actually looking after them as a person. This is a slightly shorter blog with some suggestions on the more structured side of management. As per my last blog I’m not expert but these are things I’ve found helpful.

1 – Timesheets
I mentioned timesheets in my past post but you can find a fancy excel one you might like to use here

2 – Frequency Of Meetings
Over time this will change…often with new staff a management meeting might be more frequent as they settle in but it’s worth chatting with your staff about how often to meet. I’ve found that generally fortnightly is helpful for supervision meetings although alongside that you may also have team meetings where you review and plan specific groups and projects.

The structure of a supervision meeting may vary but here are some things I tend to include (some of this is borrowed from CYM)
– How are things going? (Scope to talk personally and work related things)
– What’s happened in the last week(s)? (Time to reflect)
– What’s coming up in the next week(s)? (Thinking forward)
– Specific issues? (Things that need addressing…could be anything from lack of volunteers to safeguarding issues)
– Priorities (What’s the main focus for the next period of time?)
– Training (Are there any courses/events your staff member would like to attend? As supervisor you may have suggestions too)
Spiritual Support (A chance to check how your worker is supported spiritually, are they meeting a mentor, managing to attend house group, do they need anything additional?)
– Anything else not covered? (I use this as a chance to check our last meeting’s notes to see if there’s anything we need to come back to)
Action Points (This gets added to throughout and gives a list of things that both staff member and manager need to be doing)
Next Meeting Date? (When are you meeting next?)

You could also include things like having a chapter of a youth ministry book or youth work magazine article that you discuss together.

Whilst the above seems very structured in reality it flows as a conversation and often I jump around between things as the conversation goes on. It’s always worth making notes so there’s some basic record of the meeting…if nothing else so you remember what you said you should be doing between meetings.

3 – Appraisals
To be honest, until I started my current role I didn’t know what one of these was but it was suggested by our trustees that myself and my line manager did one on a yearly basis.

An appraisal is a yearly review…there’s loads of sample forms online you can find and I’d suggest you find one that looks like it’ll work for you.

Essentially an appraisal includes both you and your manager filling in things beforehand and then meeting to discuss them. This allows you to
– Identify areas of personal growth
– Reflect on the last year
– Highlight targets and aims for the next year
– Explore which areas of the work are less enjoyable or fulfilling
– Identify training needs

On top of this it’s also a chance to potentially implement things like a rise in salary and affirm your worker in how well things are going (or explore how to turn things aren’t when they’re not going so well).

Hopefully this blog has given you some very practical tips on things like supervision meetings and appraisals. If you have any of your own tips or comments make sure you comment with them below.