Empowering Student Employees

Donelle Hintermeister of Signature Training Solutions facilitated this event, which was held on November 16, 2006 in the CSB Alumnae Hall.  32 people attended this event.

Donelle used a variety of interactive demonstrations and handouts to address issues surrounding the empowerment of student employees.  One central message was the difference between simple task assignment and thoughtful delegating.  In order to delegate responsibilities in the healthiest, most empowering way, Donelle suggested following a six step plan, as follows:

  1. Think and Plan
  2. Clarify Responsibilities and Results
  3. Select the Right Person
  4. Decide Authority Level
  5. Decide on the Controls and Checkpoints
  6. Make Sure the Person is Held Accountable

Within this framework, Donelle also explained the different planning strategies often used depending on the urgency and importance of certain tasks.  We will act and respond differently to an assignment that is urgent and important, such as a last minute preparation measure, Donelle argued, than we will to an equally important but not urgent task, such as financial record-keeping (and so on).  These behaviors will come from our student employees as well, we realized, and therefore we ought to keep them in mind.

Donelle also distributed a helpful handout concerning the seven levels of authority under which employees will most commonly fall, from the “sit and complainers” all the way to the “independent actors.”  By soliciting frequent audience response, Donelle both kept those in attendance engaged and allowed them to visualize situations/employees from their own experiences that aligned with her messages.

The attendees also enjoyed a delicious lunch, door prizes, and sweets on behalf of Donelle.