skip to content

7.0 General Employment Policies

Print this page

7.3 Responsibilities of Supervisors

Many persons at MIT have, as supervisors, responsibility for organizing and directing the work of others. These responsibilities fall also upon those not clearly designated as supervisors. While the daily responsibilities of academic staff members are primarily their professional and scholarly activities of research and teaching, many among them, especially the faculty, are also supervisors guiding the work of others, including campus research staff members, postdoctoral associates, administrative assistants, and graduate students.

The responsibilities of supervision include understanding and administering Institute policies governing relations with its employees, giving recognition for work well done and identifying less than satisfactory performance, being concerned with the development and realization of the capabilities of those under supervision, and in other ways seeking to increase the satisfactions of the work and the working environment.

Supervisors should seek to be sensitive to the feelings and attitudes of those they supervise and reach for a mutual understanding of the tasks, terms, and conditions of work. At the same time, they have the obligation to set high standards of performance, to require matching achievement, to reward those who perform well, and to terminate those who are unable or unwilling to meet the expected standards.

Supervisors may not require employees to work on their personal or nonprofessional affairs, nor may employees be required to perform personal services, except where inherent in the nature of the position and defined in the position description.

Supervisors are encouraged to use the Institute’s resources available to them for their own and their employees’ professional growth and development, such as the employee development and training programs organized by the human resources office.

7.3.1 Addressing Complaints by or Against Employees

Supervisors are encouraged to address work-related concerns and complaints informally with those involved at the local level, as early as possible. Supervisors have a particular responsibility to provide an inclusive and supportive environment that fosters open communication regarding work-related issues. When supervisors learn of employee concerns or complaints, they should attempt to address them in a respectful, responsive and timely manner.

The Institute’s procedures for addressing concerns that an Institute employment policy was violated or misapplied (that is, applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner) are found at Section 9.6, and include both informal and formal procedures.

If the concern or complaint alleges harassment or discrimination, the supervisor should contact the department Administrative Officer or human resources professional, or contact their human resources officer or professional in the central human resources office. Those individuals also can provide advice for other employee conflicts, as can the Ombuds. In some circumstances, professionals in MIT Medical’s Personal Assistance Program may also be helpful resources. Supervisors should also refer to MIT’s policy against harassment at Section 9.5 as well as the Guidelines for Raising Complaints about Harassment.

Resolving concerns for unionized employees may be covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Questions regarding unionized employees should be directed to the human resources officer on campus or to a human resources professional at Lincoln Laboratory, or to the human resources office’s manager of labor relations.

Retaliation against anyone for participating in good faith as a witness or otherwise in the Institute’s complaint resolution procedure is unacceptable. (See Section



Print this page