New for CSU employees: Supervisor Development Program

What does it take to be successful as a supervisor? Experience teaches us that focusing on self-discovery, interpersonal skills (relationship building), systems thinking, and coaching helps us to be successful leaders and create successful teams.

According to the “State of the American Manager” report, published in 2013 by Gallup  a management consulting company, when a supervisor is focused on an employee’s strengths, the percentage of employees who are engaged at work increases 30 percent.

Because of the impact that a supervisor can have on his/her team, the office of Training & Organizational Development has created a Supervisor Development Program for supervisors at CSU.

“We’re excited to provide a more robust program that will enhance the toolkit of all CSU supervisors,” says Marsha Benedetti, associate director of the office.

The program, which launches in January 2017, was created in response to requests from the AP Council, CP Council, and Faculty Council to help enhance the campus climate.

“Quality supervision is a real skill; it takes understanding, practice, and effort,” explains Stacey Baumgarn, chair of the Classified Personnel Council. “A supervisor has such a complex and important role to play – for the employees they supervise, and for Colorado State University – having well-trained, dedicated, empathetic, and fair supervisors makes all of us better, together.”

Why participate

The Supervisor Development Program will help both new and experienced supervisors:
● build employee engagement,
● create a trusting environment where people solve problems with you,
● understand personal strengths and abilities, and
● improve communication or feedback skills.

Whether you’ve been a supervisor for two years or 20 years, the Supervisor Development Program will teach a variety of skills essential to enhancing your own effectiveness as a leader, as well as enhancing the efforts of your team.

“By training supervisors who then support their employees, CSU can better grow and retain talent across the board,” says Toni-Lee Viney, chair of the Administrative Professional Council. “It also means that the values of the institution are communicated clearly to the individuals who are tasked with enforcing the University’s policies and procedures.”

How it works

The program is made up of foundation, core, and elective classes all designed to help you with your professional development as an individual and as a supervisor. But the program is not a one-size-fits-all approach to supervision. The program is self-directed, so you decide what you want to take and when, based on your individualized supervisor professional development plan. But first, you start with the foundation classes.

Foundation Classes

Mindset for Supervisors (the first class in the series)

This course provides an introduction to the four key themes of the Supervisor Development Program: self-discovery, interpersonal skills, team effectiveness, and systems thinking. In this class you will develop an understanding of who you are as a supervisor by exploring the strengths you bring to the role. In addition, you will build your knowledge of team dynamics, looking at how the team functions and how to enhance performance. And finally, you will explore how your team contributes to the mission of the institution.

Rules of the Road
This class covers employment law and policies critical for a supervisor to know.

Inclusive Excellence
Supervisors play a key role in creating an inclusive work environment. This class provides an understanding of diversity and inclusion, and examines the impact that unconscious bias may play in the workplace.

How to register

To begin the Supervisor Development Program, please register for Mindset for Supervisors at the Training and Organizational Development website. The first class will be offered Tuesday, Jan. 24. The class will be offered four times each month.

Once you complete the Mindset course, which includes the development of an individualized supervisor development plan, you can register for Rules of the Road and Inclusive Excellence. At any time, you can choose from a variety of core and elective classes that support you in personal or team development.

For more information about the Supervisor Development Program, and to see the full scope of classes, please visit the Training and Organizational Development website.

“Ultimately, this program is an investment in the people at CSU, the campus climate, and our entire CSU community,”
Viney adds.