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Supervisor Toolkit

UW-Green Bay recognizes the impact that all supervisors have on the quality of work, level of productivity, and work attitude of the employees they lead. Supervisors contribute greatly towards the growth, loyalty, motivation, retention, team spirit, and development of employees within our institutional community. The below toolkit has been designed to support supervisors through all aspects of the employee career cycle and provide leadership development resources to further their own career growth.

The information on this page is intended for use by the supervisors of professional faculty and staff. The information can be used as a reference point while a toolkit is being assembled for student employee supervisors. Please visit the student employment website for more information.

Leadership Development

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Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program

The Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement is pleased to offer the Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program to any UW-Green Bay supervisor who is seeking professional development.
Build your leadership skills, fulfill your potential and enhance the capabilities of your department with a program designed to advance careers. Supervisors can begin this program with $299 in expenses for materials and other items charged to their departmental funds. For more information about this great program including Fall, 2023 course dates, please watch for a blog post coming soon. 

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Advanced Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program

The Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement is pleased to offer the Advanced Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program to any UW-Green Bay supervisor who is seeking professional development. Become a more purposeful leader with our new Advanced Supervisory Leadership certificate program, which delivers the training necessary to help expand your awareness of yourself and others and connect teams with purpose to achieve business goals. Candidates for this certificate will need to have completed our Supervisory Leadership Certificate as a prerequisite. Supervisors can begin this program with $475 in expenses for materials and other items charged to their departmental funds. For more information about this great program including Fall, 2023 course dates, please visit this blog post

Recorded Training Sessions for Supervisors - KEPRO

LinkedIn Learning

All employees (including supervisors) have access to over 16,000 courses with LinkedIn Learning available on your schedule, anytime, anywhere. In addition to encouraging self-guided exploration of LinkedIn Learning, the following modules have been recommended by UW-Green Bay leadership to align with the University's strategic initiatives and build effective supervisory skills:

Management Consultation Services through EAP

Through the UW Employee Assistance Program (Acentra), managers and supervisors have access to unlimited telephonic management consultative services. By calling the toll-free number (1-833-539-7285), you can connect directly with a member of the Management Services Team, composed of seasoned clinicians, highly knowledgeable regarding personnel issues.

Managers and supervisors can receive advice and guidance regarding issues such as:

  • Enhancing team dynamics
  • Fostering employee morale and engagement
  • Maintaining a positive, productive work environment
  • Addressing challenging personalities
  • Recovering after a critical event
  • Documentation of employee work performance issues
  • Addressing problematic behavior
  • How to talk with an employee about work performance
  • And many other topics

Management Consultation Services is not a replacement for UW-Green Bay support structures (i.e. HR staff, ombuds, etc.), UW-Green Bay or UW System policy/process, or formalized reporting processes. It is intended to provide an additional external resource to help with individual leadership coaching during difficult personnel situations. 

Recruitment & Hiring

UW-Green Bay recognizes that employees are its most valuable asset, and that the people we hire will have a direct impact on students, faculty, staff, alumni, external customers, and neighboring communities. The University’s ability to achieve its mission rests, in part, on the recruitment and retention of qualified, skilled faculty and staff. 

For help with recruiting and hiring talented, qualified people while ensuring fairness and equity, review the resources provided within the below links, and contact Human Resources with any questions:

  • Recruitment and Hiring Policy
  • Recruitment Procedures: step-by-step guides and needed forms for recruitment preparation, job advertising, candidate selection, interviewing, and hiring.
  • Recruitment Resources: Talent Acquisition Manager (TAM) guides, letter templates. and best practice documents for hiring managers.
  • Inclusivity and Equity Interview Questions: All interviews are expected to include at least one question related to the candidate's committment and/or experience with inclusivity and equity. While hiring managers can design their own applicable question, this list of sample questions can also provide options for use when creating interview questions for UW-Green Bay recruitments.

Upon approval to hire for a position, a representative from Human Resources will be assigned to provide consultation and HR support for the recruitment chair/hiring authority, and will offer to hold a recruitment meeting with the recruitment chair and administrative support shortly after the position is posted.

Reference Checks

There are two types of reference checks that are conducted on our campus, professional and conduct:

  • A professional reference check is when we reach out to gather more information about a potential candidate for one of our recruitments and/or when a potential employer reaches out regarding a current or former employee. This check is used to verify key employment and educational information and to learn more about a candidate’s background, experiences, and skills. This type of reference check is generally performed outside of HR.
  • A conduct reference check is required per Universities of Wisconsin policy and is used to gather any information regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment. The Office of Human Resources in collaboration with UW-Shared Services is responsible for conducting this check. 

Can I provide a reference check for a current or former employee that I  supervised or worked closely with?

Yes, you are welcome to answer their questions to the best of your ability and/or comfort level. However, in accordance with SYS 1275, Recruitment Policies, if a supervisor or agent of management is contacted by a potential employer for a reference check of a current or former employee, the supervisor or agent must notify the potential employer of the appropriate UWGB contact for any questions regarding that employee’s misconduct (including any violation of sexual violence or sexual harassment policies), even if the potential employer does not specifically ask.

To satisfy the new requirements, Universities of Wisconsin now requires the use of a disclaimer by the supervisor or agent responding to a reference check. The disclaimer can be disclosed either at the beginning or the end of the reference check, as long as the potential employer has been notified of the option to obtain information regarding any misconduct. We recommend using the following disclaimer:

“All questions related to employee misconduct including sexual misconduct are addressed only by our human resources department, which can be contacted by email at This isn’t meant to imply that this candidate has committed any misconduct but is something we are required by policy to tell all potential employers”

Please note that colleagues with no supervisory responsibilities are not required to use the disclaimer if contacted for a reference. In addition, this policy does not apply to student employees or graduate assistants.

If you have any questions about the required disclaimer or the new policy, please contact Human Resources at

Onboarding Employees

Departmental onboarding for each new employee is crucial to the success of the employee, your department and the university. Giving a structured introduction to your organization will help new employees understand and adjust to the culture and expectations in the department. A well-designed onboarding experience goes beyond the initial introductions and the first few days. Continued support throughout the transition signals to the employee their value and importance to the university, aids in retention and results in stronger performance and contributions.

Before the Employee Begins

  • Ensure enough time for the hiring process. We recommend at least 2 weeks between the accepted offer and the start date of this appointment. This will ensure that all pre-employment activities are completed prior to the new employee's first day.
  • Review the appropriate onboarding checklist and perform the activities included within the pre-arrival section:
  • Create an onboarding schedule for the first week of employment. Include time for any required trainings the new employee must complete as well as meetings for training on job responsibilities.
  • Email colleagues a brief introduction to the new team member and encourage them to welcome the new employee personally upon their arrival.
  • Reach out to the new employee via email or phone at least 2-3 days ahead of the start date. Share the onboarding schedule as well as information related to workspace, dining/lunch, attire, and parking. 

On/After the Employee's First Day

  • Continue to ensure that the onboarding activities within the applicable checklist are performed:
  • Schedule recurring weekly or bi-weekly workload meetings on your calendars. These regular meetings should continue throughout the employee's time at UW-Green Bay.
  • Discuss job duties and expectations, and gather signatures on the position description. Send a copy of the signed p.d. to
  • Introduce the new employee to coworkers and key contacts.
  • Provide frequent, ongoing, positive and constructive feedback.
  • Encourage the employee to get involved in the university community and ensure that the employee is aware of resources available to faculty and staff.

Time & Absence Approval

Supervisors can access information pertaining to the Manager Self Service dashboard, including instruction guides and videos in Time and Absence Help.

Other Related Resources:

Title & Compensation Review Processes

The job of an employee I supervise has changed and potentially warrants a revised title. What do I do to initiate a review of their title?

In accordance with the Title Review Policy, title changes may be made to the title of record (Universities of Wisconsin Title) due to position changes which involve a substantive modification in duties and/or scope of responsibilities. A position must have evolved over time and changes must be related to, or an extension of, the functions initially assigned to the position. A title change may not result in a vacancy. A change in job duties which results in the creation of a vacant position must be processed through the procedures outlined in the Recruitment and Hiring Policy.

To initiate a title review, employees must submit an online Title Review Request through the Position & Budget Control Process with supporting documentation including:

  • Justification/Rationale for the request (which should include details regarding changes in duties and/or scope of responsibilities)
  • The most recently approved position description on file (prior to the job duty changes)
  • Copy of the most recent performance evaluation
  • Recommendation from the supervisor and/or dean/division head outlining their support and justification for the title change. 

For more information about the title review process, including timelines, compensation information, and appeals processes, please consult the Title Review Policy.

What are the reasons that a supervisor may request a compensation increase for an employee they supervise?

The UW-Green Bay Compensation & Pay Plan Policy outlines specific reasons that may warrant a review of compensation. All compensation adjustments are subject to Vice Chancellor and Chancellor approval and HR/Budget review for equity and availability of funding:

  • Change in Duties: Adjustment used to reflect a substantive change in the duties and responsibilities of a filled position that does not result in a title change.
  • Outside Offer: Adjustment necessary to retain a person who has received an outside offer of employment (with comparable duties, responsibilities, and scope) at a rate higher than their existing rate.
  • Retention: Adjustment when the employing department is aware that the employee is actively seeking other employment and the resultant loss of the employee’s knowledge and experience would be a detriment to the department, division, or university.
  • Equity: Adjustment used to address pay disparities relative to protected statuses (e.g. gender, race, age, etc.)
  • Parity: Adjustment used for significant pay compression or to provide equal pay for equal duties when employee’s salary has been determined to be lower than other employees performing similar duties at the same level of proficiency with comparable years of experience and education.
  • Merit: Adjustments that allow for recognition of employees’ superior or meritorious performance.
  • Temporary Change in Duties: Adjustment made when an employee assumes an additional temporary assignment of significant, non-recurring short-term responsibilities which are reasonably related to their ongoing position.

While individual departments/divisions may advocate for compensation adjustments for the above unique circumstances in accordance with the Compensation & Pay Plan Policy, in general it is best practice to have an institutional strategy around progression in salary. Therefore, it is recommended that the supervisor have conversations with the Division Leader and/or Area Leader prior to submitting any paperwork for a base rate adjustment to ensure that there is support and funding available for the adjustment and that the adjustment fits into the broader compensation strategy for the institution.

How do I request a base rate adjustment for an employee I supervise?

To initiate a base rate adjustment, supervisors must submit an online Base Rate Adjustment Request through the Position & Budget Control Process with supporting documentation (as outlined in the online form).

Performance Management/Evaluation

Strong work relationships depend on regular performance feedback. Performance evaluations are an important responsibility of all supervisors within UW-Green Bay.

The university’s performance management program is essential for the continued growth and development of our workforce, and it enables employees and supervisors to focus on behaviors and actions that have a direct impact on departmental and institutional results. The performance evaluation process includes setting employee goals, providing continual feedback, documenting performance and evaluating results.


When an a University Staff member is hired, supervisors must conduct a performance review both three and six months after the employee starts working. It is recommended that a six month post-hire performance evaluation occur for non-instructional Academic staff and Limited employees as well. Performance evaluations must occur for all faculty and staff on an annual basis, thereafter, in accordance with the following schedule:

Employee TypeReview PeriodDue Date
University Staff/Non-Instructional Academic Staff/LimitedCalendar Year (January 1st - December 31st)4th Friday in March
Faculty/IAS (Annual Review)Previous Academic Year (August - May)January 31st


Training Resources

Other Performance Management Tips for Supervisors

  • Engage in frequent informal conversations around performance throughout the year, whether through your regular workload meetings or stand-alone sessions. These informal interactions pave the way for formal, documented performance reviews, and ensure that there are no surprises for the employee when it comes time for the annual performance evaluation.
  • Communicate expectations clearly and collaborate on goals. Aligning expectations and ensuring understanding is key to strengthening individual engagement and team success. Collaborating on the development of goals will assist employees in feeling ownership of their professional development.
  • Address performance challenges early and often. Ignoring the problem is not an effective solution. Consult with HR early and often when you have an employee who is struggling.

For more information about the performance management process, please see the general Performance Management website. Additional information about faculty reviews outside of the annual review process (i.e. tenure, merit, etc.) can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

Employee Relations

The Office of Human Resources offers employee relations services focused on promoting effective management practices, productive workplace behaviors, positive working environments and relationships, and compliance with applicable policies and procedures. We are availalable to partner with employees, supervisors, and institutional leaders on work-related issues and concerns by providing an environment where everyone feels safe and respected. 

Workplace Conduct

The Office of Human Resources leads investigations and grievance hearings regarding allegations of Workplace Conduct Policy (and other policy) violations. We advise employees, managers and leadership on policies and procedures, incuding Wisconsin State Statute, Universities of Wisconsin Administrative Policy, UW-Green Bay Policy, disciplinary procedures as outlined in the Workplace Conduct Policy, and the Employee Relations Handbook for Supervisors (provided directly to supervisors as needed).

We are able to assist by:

  • Referring supervisors and employees to applicable policies and internal procedures
  • Offering advice to supervisors and employees regarding employment-related matters and workplace issues
  • Facilitating collaborative dialogue on employee/employer issues and securing mediation services as needed
  • Facilitating training and development initiatives on HR policies
  • Coordinating and/or leading formal procedures (including investigations and disciplinary processes) for complaints and grievances

Performance Concerns

Performance concerns are generally addressed during the annual and probationary performance evaluation process and through verbal and written notices of performance expectations. However, if there is need for more intensive formal action around employee performance above and beyond the regular evaluation process, a Performance Improvemant Plan (PIP) may be initiated. A PIP is a structured evaluation process used to address sustained, documented issues with quantity, quality or dependability of work, or interpersonal relations.

The goal of the PIP is to improve unsatisfactory job performance through meaningful, coordinated efforts. The process includes clear and frequent goal‐setting, identification of applicable tools and resources, and regular feedback about job results. Throughout the PIP, the employee must display consistent, sustained, and continuous improvement, achieving a minimally acceptable level of performance in order to be considered to have met the PIP’s goals. While the PIP is a process led by the supervisor, Human Resources facilitiates all PIPs. If a supervisor feels that performance concerns may warrant further action, they are encouraged to contact HR for consultation.


UW-Green Bay HR provides leadership, guidance, and/or facilitation for the study of departmental climate issues. UW-Green Bay is committed to promoting a working environment free of discrimination and harassment in which all students, staff and faculty may contribute and thrive. Therefore, the HR Office is available to provide climate studies and/or surveys for individual departments.

For support regarding an employee relations issue, please contact Melissa Nash at

Managing Telecommuting Employees

UW-Green Bay recognizes the value and benefit of telecommuting in appropriate work environments. The key to successfully supervising remote employees starts with the same fundamentals of good supervision, but the way in which you do it looks different. 

Telecommuting agreements are approved at the discretion of the supervisor in accordance with the UW-Green Bay Telecommuting Policy. A telecommuting employee is responsible for maintaining availability, levels of production, and quality of work at the expected standard while telecommuting. In addition, supervisors must ensure that operational areas are functioning in accordance with the Office Hours and Institutional Closures Policy (HR 14-17-3) and the Remote Work Guidelines for Applying HR 14-17-3. Inadequate availability or reduced work production and/or work quality may be cause for modifications or termination of an employee’s participation in telecommuting.

TIPS FOR MANAGING REMOTE WORKERS (summarized from the United States Office of Personnel Management):

  1. Plan the work – Clearly define the work being accomplished by the employee from the home location. The work performed should align with organizational goals and the employee’s position description.
  2. Set expectations – Ensure that both you and the employee understand what work they will be performing from home, anticipated hours of work, expectations for communication and accountability, and acceptable performance standards.
  3. Communicate clearly and often – Ensure that lines of communication are open between you and the employee throughout the temporary telecommunicating period. Check in with the employee at least daily, more often for positions which require close or general supervision. Before commencing the telecommuting arrangement, employees and supervisors should discuss expectations for keeping the supervisor apprised of work progress.
  4. Monitor performance – Continue to measure performance and provide feedback in the manner in which you would in the on-campus setting. In a telecommuting arrangement, supervisors will likely measure employee results rather than assessing day-to-day activities. Setting expectations with employees related to performance targets and measures ahead of time will help with monitoring performance.
  5. Recognize positive performance – Ensure that the telecommuting employee continues to feel connected to the office by ensuring that they are able to participate virtually in meetings. Supervisors should continue to recognize good performance and publicly notice achievements

Special considerations for FLSA non-exempt (hourly) workers

FLSA non-exempt employees who are approved for telecommuting arrangements must continue to report hours worked. It is expected that employees will not work outside of the standard business hours for their position without prior approval from their supervisor. All hours must be reported in the HRS system, exactly as they are worked, in fifteen minute intervals.

It is suggested that supervisors take the following steps to successfully oversee non-exempt employees working under a telecommuting arrangement (Smith, 2015):

  1. Keep track of when the employee is working remotely and what duties are being performed to ensure accurate time-keeping. While the intent is not to micromanage employees, verification of time reporting is critically essential for FLSA compliance.
  2. Address overtime expectations explicitly, preferably in written form, instructing that the employee must obtain approval for any overtime hours (prior to working those hours).
  3. Ensure that both you and the employee understand what constitutes hours worked. For more information about hours worked, please see the DOL Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Links to External Resources: 

For more information about telecommuting, including details on how to submit and approve a telecommuting request, please see the UW-Green Bay Telecommuting Website.

Offboarding Employees

At UW-Green Bay, we want to provide the best experience from start to finish during an employee's time at the institution. Offboarding is the formal process of separation between an employee and an organization.  As a supervisor, taking the time for an effective offboarding process is essential to maintain value, optimize current employees' working experiences, retain organizational knowledge, and reduce future training time.  Please see below for steps that are recommended for supervisors during the offboarding process to make saying goodbye to employees positive, informative, and consistent:

  • Ensure that a signed Separation Notice or Resignation/Retirement Letter is received from the employee and delivered to the HR office.
  • In collaboration with the exiting employee, complete activities within the Separation Checklist.
  • Provide transition and closure by giving an opportunity for feedback through an exit meeting with the departing employee. This should be in addition to the standard exit survey/interview conducted by Human Resources. We have developed a list of exit meeting questions that can be used by supervisors when preparing for the exit meeting. 
  • Ensure effective knowledge transfer during the offboarding process by utilizing the Knowledge Transfer Document.
  • When applicable, provide departing employees with an opportunity to positively represent UW-Green Bay and keep in touch. Invite them to stop by campus to catch up in the future, and invite them to departmental off-hours activities. Encourage them to be champions for the institution in social media and professional forums (share job announcements, campus events, etc.)

Employee Motivation & Engagement

Engaged employees forge strong connections to their roles, bring passion to their work, and become advocates for the university. An engaged employee is someone who is completely invested in their work and cares about their job, their coworkers, and their company as a whole. This section of the Supervisors’ Toolbox focuses on resources for boosting employee engagement and, in turn, retaining faculty and staff.

Stay Interviews

A stay interview is an informal conversation between a supervisor and employee intended to help retain employees. While exit interviews can gather valuable feedback upon an employee's departure, stay interviews provide the ability to proactively make changes and adjustments to retain an employee and build a culture of engagement. Therefore, it is recommended that supervisors conduct regular stay interviews with each of their employees at least annually. While stay interviews can be conducted any time, we would recommend conducting a stay interview six months after hire and then the opposite time of the year from the performance evaluation process.

Topics for conversation during the stay interview:

  • What the employee likes most and least about their current role
  • What the employee would change about their job
  • What keeps the employee motivated and engaged 
  • What new things they would like to learn and/or be involved in
  • What would make their job more satisfying and rewarding
  • If they feel recognized and appreciated, and what kind of recognition is meaningful for them

The intent of a stay interview is to have a healthy, collaborative conversation. Supervisors should ensure that they come to the meeting with an open mind and offer flexibility when they can. Expect that there may be conversations that may be difficult in areas such as compensation, work arrangements, etc. We would encourage supervisors to be forthcoming and transparent that they may not be able to provide employees everything they want, but will listen to them, hear their concerns, validate their feelings, review their feedback, express support, and assure them that they will do what they can to explore options and/or advocate as able.

Additional resources and best practices for conducting stay interviews:


Recognizing and Rewarding Employees

Recognition is the acknowledgment or expression of gratitude or appreciation for what has been done for an individual employee, team, department, or organization. Upon using recognition, organizations can build engagement. Recognition comes in various forms, such as informal (e.g. a written note from a supervisor), social (e.g. public recognition, lunch/treats, gatherings outside of work), or a reward (e.g. traveling trophy, professional development opportunities). 

If you are considering recognition or rewards with value, please review SYS 330, Prizes, Awards, and Gifts, and consult with the Controller's Office or Human Resources prior to implementing.

Are we able to accept discounts from the community?

As state employees, faculty and staff may accept discounts offered by organizations in our area if/when the discount is also available to individuals whom are non-state employees. Said another way, the discount may only be accepted if/when it is provided to other members of the community and not being provided solely to individuals who work for the Universities of Wisconsin or State of Wisconsin. State employees may not solicit for a discount.

See Universities of Wisconsin Prizes, Awards, and Gifts for details.

Work/Life Balance and Wellness

UW-Green Bay is committed to promoting and supporting programs that foster the wellness and work/life balance of the campus community. As a supervisor, you model the expectations around work/life balance for those in your area. Please see below for supports and resources that you and/or the employees you oversee may take advantage of: