Course Objective: To develop effective managers and supervisors within a leadership-centered culture.
The USGS offers a 40-hour course in basic supervision, USGS Supervisory Challenge, which meets the first phase of the DOI mandatory training requirement for new supervisors.
The target audience is new supervisors within their first year. Once assigned to a supervisory position, new supervisors and their manager receives a probationary memo from their Human Resources Officer stating that the new supervisor must successfully complete a one-year probationary period and/or complete 40 hours of supervisory training. The new supervisor is advised of the Supervisory Challenge class and provided with logistical information regarding the class. Supervisory Challenge is delivered three times per year - once in Reston, Denver, and Sacramento.
Supervisory Challenge participants will be able to:
- Acquire supervisory and leadership competencies to better manage their human resources;
- Demonstrate a basic level of proficiency to build and maintain a competent, committed and productive workgroup;
- Describe their rights and responsibilities as a supervisor;
- Effectively guide supervisory functions, i.e., ethics, position management, staffing, employee development, employee engagement, conflict resolution, and equal employment opportunity;
- Identify the rules, regulations and policies specific to the USGS and DOI that guide supervisory action and decision-making in regard to personnel management.
In addition, the course offers self awareness assessments:
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-report questionnaire which describes valuable differences between people that can be the source of much misunderstanding and miscommunication. You can use the information to better understand yourself, your motivations, your strengths, and potential areas for growth. It will also help you to better understand and appreciate those who differ from you. The current MBTI is the most widely used instrument for understanding normal personality differences.
- The Supervisory Skills Questionnaire (SSQ) is a comprehensive learning tool that organizes the vast array of research and writing on effective supervision. The research identifies numerous skills that a supervisor should possess. The tool organizes the skills into five categories and is structured as a series of situations, providing the supervisor with an opportunity to gain quick exposure to the situations they would face in their supervisory roles and assess themselves in those scenarios.
- Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument assesses behavior in conflict situations and provides helpful analysis to determine when a person may need to shift in order to effectively resolve issues.
Graduates of Supervisory Challenge have the opportunity to participate in mentoring—either with a partner or in a mentoring circle. Seasoned mentors, who have a good track record in supervising and managing others, are selected to serve as mentors to first-time supervisors. Participants are matched with a mentor who can help meet their personal and professional management goals and meet the challenges that face them as they manage others.
Acquiring the skills to be a good supervisor is not solely accomplished in a 40-hour course. With the help of a management review team, we have developed a model for further development options. The Office of Organizational and Employee Development can assist new and experienced supervisors as they seek further development of skills by offering counsel and options for additional internal and external training and development.
Please see a sample of the course agenda.