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Supervisor Course Weekly Summary
Overview of Supervisor Leadership Academy – Week One…
1) Basic introductions to the class and other class members
34 students from all 5 departments
Ranging from 9 months of county employment up to 23 years employment.
2) Power Point presentation by Guest Speaker about the GMS 2.0 system.
Speaker discussed the improvement of the way the county is managed verses how it was done 10 years ago and the fact that the GMS 2.0 is designed to be flexible and changeable depending on resources and needs. A Power Point handout was distributed. Budget and funds allocations were the driving force behind developing the GMS.
A brief discussion of the 4 growth topic for fiscal year 2010
Quarter One: Getting Toned for the Future
Quarter Two: The Knowledgeable Worker
Quarter Three: The Power of Mobil Technology
Quarter Four: A Workforce without Walls
Presenter talked a little bit about how the county is trying to bring technology into the departments to ease work and information flow. They talked about blackberries, tablets, lap tops and other devices that can improve county business. Encouraged class to visit and become familiar with the GMS web page.
3) Discussion of Strategic Planning –
Table introductions and team name selection to encourage class participation.
Quiz of some basic information regarding CEO (what degree does he have… JD… and what year did he become CAO? ... 1999)
Discussion of County Vision (A county that is Safe, Healthy and Thriving) and the County Mission Statement (To efficiently provide public service that builds strong and sustainable communities.) (page 6 of Section 2 of the manual)
Each table was then assigned to select a county agency and present a chart as to how additional funding for that agency could help the county meet the needs of the mission statement and county vision.
Moved on to discuss the SWOT method of strategic planning (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) as it relates to the CountyMission. (page 9 of Section 2 of the manual).
A second quiz question was asked: How many incorporated cites are included in the county? Answer: 18.
Discussion: What are the characteristics of an outstanding leader?
Short exercise was assigned to identify Behaviors verses Personal Qualities (page 5, section 2 of the manual) and how they can be used and identified when leading staff members.
Each table was asked to define the traits of a good supervisor as it relates to Behavior vs. Personal Qualities. A Behavior was defined as something that can be observed as an action (listening, respectful, flexible, open door policy) and a Personal Quality was defined as something that is unique to the leader (impartial, trustworthy, fair minded, ethical).
4) Coaching for Improved Performance: Coaching verses Supervising
Discussion: what is the difference between coaching someone and supervising someone? Coaches motivate, teach, inspire, encourage and challenge their staff. Supervisors are often seen as someone with authority over you, interfering and remote. “Coaching” is preferred over “Supervising”.
We watched a video: “The Practical Coach”. This video went over topics such as how to tell someone they smell, how and where to correct an employee who is rude to a customer, how to discuss tardiness and how to show appreciation for a job well done. A coach should consider the reasons behind the poor performance or behavior before approaching the employee. The recommended process for coaching is to…
1. State the problem to the employee (state it as an observation, not as an inquisition)
2. Wait for a response from the employee (listen without interrupting)
3. Remind the employee of the organizational goals (beware of the “but….)
4. Ask the employee to provide a solution specific to the problem being discussed
5. Agree on a solution with the employee.
This is what they call the “2 Minute Conversation”. The key points made are to stay on track, don’t discuss any other problem except the one you are prepared to talk about and listen while allowing the employee to think of a solution. Don’t forget to follow up with the employee in a day or two to see how they are doing.
Homework for week one:
Read Section 5: Effective Performance Management and prepare for a “2 minute conversation”.
Overview of Supervisor Leadership Academy – Week Two
1) Review Coaching vs. Supervising (Section 3)
The goal of coaching is to create a willing employee, not just a compliant worker.
Review of the 2 Minute Conversation:
- Observe or state the problem to the worker
- Wait for a Response from the worker
- Remind the worker of the expectations
- Ask the worker for a solution to the problem
- Agree on the changed behavior
When you are counseling a worker, try to determine the trigger to the behavior.
- Does the worker feel appreciated?
- Does the worker feel valuable?
- How does the not completed work fit into the team goals?
- Are the worker’s accomplishments tied into the team goals?
2) Performance Management (Section 5)
Performance management begins on day one of the employee’s assignment into your department. Use performance management to inspire, evaluate and encourage workers. There are 3 types of Performance Appraisals: Probation, Cyclical and Supplemental.
At the Time of Hire
Supervisor should discuss and explain performance expectations and standards for the position.
During the Performance Appraisal Cycle
Supervisor observes, documents, and provides feedback on the performance of the worker.
Supervisor creates a 6 month evaluation opportunity to keep worker apprised of their progress.
At the End of the Performance Appraisal Cycle
Supervisor conducts performance appraisal following guideline and procedure describe in the work assigned tasks.
3) Video: Effective Performance Appraisals
Performance Appraisals are not used as report cards but as status checks between the worker and the supervisor.
Ask the worker to complete a Performance Appraisal Input form and set a time to discuss the worker’s input before you begin working on the review. Review the worker’s training transcripts, collect any DIBBS or Customer Service comments the worker has earned and review you documentation on what the worker has accomplished over the rating period. You should use this time to review job responsibilities, create new goals, and measure performance against understood standards and job requirements. Set a time for the worker to meet with you to discuss the appraisal.
Evaluations should always be done face to face in a private area away from others. Respecting the privacy of the worker is essential. Conduct the discussion in a private place. Allow the employee to talk; supervisor should be descriptive rather than judgmental…be supportive, not authoritarian…project equality, not superiority and be accepting, not dogmatic. Ask open, reflective and direct questions. Set a schedule to provide information for improvement regularly, not just annually. Agree on expectations and review goals if necessary. Focus on future goals, not past failures.
Note: E-mailing completed and filled in Performance Appraisals is not recommended. Use county mail envelopes and place marked form on the worker’s desk instead of e-mailing the completed form. If a draft is created and sent to the worker for review by e-mail, make sure the worker knows it is a draft, that DRAFT is included in the Subject Bar of the e-mail and make sure the word DRAFT is on the form itself. All e-mails are open to public viewing unless the e-mail clearly states it is a draft on the form and in the e-mail itself.
After the performance appraisal, review written records, new goals or work plans and keep tuned into the worker’s progress.
Note: if you have a worker who is very vocal about being over worked and often reluctant to perform new tasks, the supervisor can request a “Desk Audit” from the DHR to collect data on a particular employees duties and work load. The county will send an impartial, third-party observer to sit with the employee all day and record what the employee does and how long it takes the employee to complete their assigned work.
4) Developing Department Standards
Discussion was held how to develop clear, concise departmental standards/goals. The acronym for creating goals is SMART.
S: Specific goal
M: Measurable goal
A: Attainable goal
R: Relevant goal
T: Time Bound goal
An example of a SMART goal would be:
Type and return for approval 100% of Attorney Letter Request Forms within 48 hours of submission by the attorney.
5) Up Managing – or “Managing Your Boss” (Section 7)
Power Point Presentation: Up Managing
Discussion of Article: Managing Your Boss (intro)
Class Exercise: “Basic Ingredient” and “Activity’ presentations. (page 35)
A poor relationship with a manager is cited as the main cause of stress, low morale and absenteeism.
Managing information with your manager effectively – knowing when to present information, the correct medium to use to transmit information and knowing when to ask questions is necessary to manage information effectively.
Class Exercise: “Basic Ingredient” and “Activity’ presentations. (page 35)
Each table drew a “Basic Ingredient” category from a box as listed on page 11. Then each table drew a way to present that activity, such as through a poem, cartoon, cheer, e-mail, or memo format. Our table ended up with “Energy” as a Basic Ingredient and with a Poem at the Presentation Type. Our poem was:
“I’ve had a Red Bull and a Monster to Drink
Moving quickly, no time, no chance to think
Go faster, go faster is the motto I say,
Antsy and swiftly, I speed thru the day.”
Overview of Supervisor Leadership Academy – Week Three
1) Interviewing and Selection (Section 6 with PPT Handout in Notebook)
Civil Service Commission oversees county policy and employee actions.
First Impressions should not be used as a deciding factor in the hiring process.
Three Types of Interview Techniques
- Structured: interview follows a specific list of questions, seeking specific answers. This is the most impersonal of all techniques and very inflexible.
- Semi-Structured: interview follows a specific list of questions, seeking specific answers but allows for follow-up questions and gives flexibility for the interviewer to seek information not on the list. Preparation for the interview can be very time consuming as you need to determine what questions and what answers you will be seeking during the interview.
- Unstructured: Most informal technique allows interviewer to build a rapport with the candidate but can also lead to invalid, non-job related questions. Process may be inconsistent between candidates therefore this is generally a “second” or follow-up interview.
Request Candidate bring a copy of their most recent Performance Evaluation to the interview as this will provide answers to questions you may not have thought to ask and may also provide information as to excessive sick time, problems with lateness, personality issues…all things you may not be able to ask or ascertain during the interview process.
2) Reliability and Validity of Interview Panels
Take careful consideration as to how many people really need to be on the Interview panel. If the candidate will be working for two supervisors, you may want to bring in both supervisors to view or ask questions during the interview. However, a large panel, more than 5 members, can be very intimating to the candidate and may result in faulty impressions due to the intimidation factor. Use only the number of panel member you truly need to interview the candidate.
Selecting Panel Members:
- Members must have knowledge of the position being filled
- Knowledge of Civil Service Rules
- Have interview experience
- Have a vested interest in selecting the best candidate
- Panel should be a diverse representation of the working environment
Briefing Panel Members to…
- Expect cultural differences within the panel
- Review and limit follow-up questions before the interview
- Discuss probing techniques
- Discuss resume and job qualifications with panel members before the actual interview
- Review unlawful questions (marital status, parent status, age, disabilities, race, nationality, religion)
Be very careful of illegal questions and topics.
Even if the candidate brings up the subject, do not follow that line of questioning. If the candidate tells you something such as what their sexual orientation is or what a handicap is, and they ask you if that will present a problem for you, simply state the county has a policy to hire without regard to race, sex, …. And then go on to the next question.
Do not discuss non-job related organizations or non-job related questions, especially during the initial interview.
Do not view FaceBook or MySpace pages, do Google searches or any search for any other on-line sources of information when making your hiring decision. The electronic searches are to be considered as “First Impression” information and as such, should not be a basis for hiring or declining to hire a person.
Civil Service rules state you must consider all candidates submitted to you from Human Resources, but it does not say you must set an interview with all candidates. However, for internal candidates, it is highly recommended you interview all candidates as submitted by HR.
3) Writing Interview Questions (section 6, handouts E, f and G)
When filling an existing position,
- Look at your best performers work skills and try to write your questions/answers according to what you would expect from your best worker.
- Write probing questions, not Yes or No answer questions. Be very thorough in your responses.
- Keep the candidate on the track, beware of wandering answers.
- Use a well understood rating criteria for all candidates and panel members
- Be aware of rating errors and discrepancies.
Types of Selection Interview Styles
- Behavioral: past behavior indicators (How did you…)
- Situational: future behavior indicators (How would you…)
- Role Play: present a situation to the candidate and have one member on the panel act in a role-play scenario to illustrate how the candidate would perform in those particular tasks.
“Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.”
4) Violence in the Work Place (section 11 in notebook)
Watched a video on workplace violence and prevention tactics.
Form to have on hand: Threat Assessment Form
Examples of Workplace Violence
- Threatening behavior
- Extreme bullying
- Verbal Abuse
- Phone calls or Digital Threats (e-mail or fax)
Threats can be Direct, Veiled, Conditional or Implausible.
· All incidents of violence should be noted and if found credible, counseling should take place.
· Complete a Confidential Threat Assessment form when limits have been exceeded.
· Documentation is necessary whenever anyone feels threatened by another, even if you would not feel threatened in the same circumstance.
· Shouting, door slamming, angry body language, throwing things, breaking stuff, must be noted and one-on-one counseling should be considered, regardless of intent to harm or “just blowing off steam”.
Contact Risk Management at 619-578-5725 with questions or concerns
Supervisors Role in Preventing Workplace Violence
- Encourage incident reporting by employees
- Manage conflict
- Set limits with employees and review limits regularly
- Intervene in conflicts
- Give unwelcome news safely
- Recognize when you need help dealing with the situation
5) Incident Investigation and Reporting Procedures (section 11B)
Form to have on hand: Supervisor Accident Investigation Report - RM3
WSSH Hazard Identification and Correction Form
Viewed Power Point Presentation: “Incident Investigation and Reporting Procedure”
An Incident is:
a) a situation where someone is injured (gather witnesses and interview them immediately)
b) An unplanned, undesired event which may or may not result in injury or property damage
c) Caused by human error (investigate not to place blame but to get the facts)
d) A mistake caused by poor planning and lack of attention to detail.
A Near-miss is:
a) A form of an incident that does not result in injury or property damage
b) Not an incident but a situation that occurs by human error
c) An unsafe condition that could lead directly to an incident occurring.
Use the Incident Reporting form to create a written record for claim and insurance purposes, to comply with the law (and OSHA requirements) and to prevent the same or similar incident from occurring again.
Report all incidents that:
- Require medical treatment, including first aid assistance.
- Resulting time away from work
- Results in work restrictions
Non-injury incidents are to be reported where:
- Damage to county property incurs
- Exposure to chemicals, blood or viruses such as hepatitis or TB
- Damage to employee personal property while doing county work (laptops, vehicles)
- Damage to the property of others (fences, car accidents)
Overview of Supervisor Leadership Academy – Week Four
1) Labor Relations (Section 4)
Labor Relations oversees county policy and employee actions such as negotiating contracts, enforcing contracts, monitoring compliance of contracts, representing county department during disputes, advising management and training managers.
Received handouts, Power Point presentation and had a discussion regarding employee right to Union Representation regarding county business.
- Union Representation is not entitled during Performance Reviews
- Union Representation is not entitled during a meeting where the supervisor is explaining job duties, job expectations, training, and correction of work techniques or holding a non-disciplinary counseling session.
- Union Representation can be requested during a meeting where disciplinary actions or investigation of violations are to be discussed.
- If an employee requests a Union Rep be present during a disciplinary session, the session should be placed on hold until a Union Rep (any Union Rep) is available.
- Union Reps are called in as observers only and as such, they are not a spokesperson for the employee; the employee must still respond to questions and answer accordingly.
- Time spent on Union business must be done during lunch or after work hours or vacation time may be taken to cover time used for union business. If an employee is working on a response to a bad performance review or any other union/labor relations related issue, the time cannot be county time nor is use of county internet (e-mail), machines, and printers authorized.
- It is not an appropriate use of county internet to send e-mails to Union Reps at any time. All Union Rep contact should be made during breaks, on personal time and with personal equipment.
- Only authorized union stewards can use county time to counsel someone regarding union rules and regulations.
- Personal lawsuits and hearings of a personal nature are not entitled to Court Leave; vacation time must be used if an employee has to take time off for personal court related business.
- Private attorneys are not authorized during disciplinary hearings, only Union Reps and Union Counsel may attend.
- Shift changes made by supervisors require a 14 day notice; however, if the change is merely a location change but the work hours remain the same, no 14 day notice is required.
- Suspending someone who has made threats of violence can be immediate and without warning.
Whenever a grievance is filed, contact your DHRO immediately. They can provide you with valuable information regarding procedures and appropriate responses to make regarding the grievance. There are time limits on responding to a grievance. All time limits must be met by all levels of management.
- An informal discussion must take place before a grievance is filed. If a grievance is filed without any discussion, the grievance will be disregarded.
- Employee filing the grievance must deliver the grievance in writing to their immediate supervisor.
- The immediate supervisor must review and write a response to the grievance and inform Middle Management immediately that a grievance has been filed.
- Middle Management must review and write a response to the grievance after speaking with the immediate supervisor.
- A meeting with management and employee shall be held at the employee’s option
- After Middle Management writes their response, the Department Head must review and write a response. Unless waived by mutual agreement, a grievance meeting is required.
Drafting a Grievance Response
- Investigate: discover and understand all the facts
- Cite the relevant MOA or policy violated
- Prepare a concise response to the Grievance
- Make sure your response supports your position and the position of the county.
If the grievance is not settled before Arbitration, there will be three parts to the Grievance Response:
· Contentions of the County
· Contentions of the Union
· Arbitrator’s Opinion and Discussion.
2) D.i.b.b.s. Program (Section 15)
Cost improvement program was implemented in 1958 and has saved the county over 30 million dollars. Ideas can be submitted by individuals or teams.
3 types of Ideas are eligible for Dibbs
- Intangible (customer service ideas or ideas with little or no monetary value) $50 Award
- Productivity (ideas that improve job productivity, i.e. Process Improvement) $1000 Award Limit
- Tangible (ideas with monetary value that can be calculated to show a savings) $20,000 Award Limit
Supervisors should encourage staff to submit ideas on how to do things better and evaluate the ideas with a positive idea. The person with the idea may complete the form and submit it regardless of supervisor’s approval. Supervisors should not ignore or degrade the idea as presented by the employee.
3) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Section 8) Speaker – Jennifer Bailey
Took a personality test and went over the results and the explanation of the results. It was a very interesting session with lots of class activity and discussion. I was determined as:
- Idealistic, loyal to my values and to people who are important to me.
- I want an external life that is congruent with my values.
- I am curious, quick to see possibilities and can be a catalyst for implementing ideas
- I seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential
- I am adaptable, flexible and accepting unless a value is threatened.
Overview of Supervisor Leadership Academy – Week Five
1) Conflict Resolution (Section 10)
Discussion of what are the most common sources of conflict
- Perceived unequal work load among employees
- Shift competition
- Lack of communication
- Generational differences
- Cultural differences
- Worries over job security
- Worries over the economy
- Different training from different trainers
Conflict – Identify what the five methods are of dealing with conflict
1. Avoiding (least effective but used the most often as it does not address the conflict)
2. Accommodating (can be effective in the short term but leads to long term dissatisfaction)
3. Compromising (someone will win, someone will lose)
4. Competing (loudest or best will come out on top)
5. Collaborating (recommended but most difficult-requires openness and honesty from all parties)
Some issues are not necessary to find a solution for as they can be one of kind conflicts and tend to resolve over time. Be careful not to avoid all conflicts. If you allow all conflicts time to mellow, they may turn combustible without you realizing it. Accommodating can be a way of just giving in to the conflict and will not result in any real decisions or solutions. Compromising can lead to hurt feelings or feelings of injustice – be very careful what you ask each side to give up. Competing is similar to ‘best choice wins” but as in elections, there will always be someone who is left out or unhappy. Collaborating is the most difficult and can include elements of all the other methods- yet the resulting solution may still cause additional conflict.
2) Workman’s Compensation Program (Section 11)
We watched a PowerPoint presentation including an overview of forms to be filled out after an injury. Regardless of whether an injured person wants to file a workman’s comp claim, always fill out an Accident Investigation report and let the manager know of the injury. The forms are available on line.
The common Red Flags to watch for when taking a workman’s comp claim is…
- Type of injury
- Delay in reporting the injury (if the injury was more than a year ago, the claim will be denied)
- History of personal or personnel issues
- High absenteeism
- Pending disciplinary actions
In the event of a work place injury, the county has just 90 days to make a decision on a claim. Turn in the form immediately so the Investigators have as much time as necessary to investigate and deny/accept the claim.
Took a short quiz on workplace injuries and decided what a valid comp claim was and what was not a valid claim. Learned that in a fight, the aggressor is not entitled to file a claim if he injuries himself in a fight where he threw the first punch.
Illegal acts that result in injuries are not valid claims. Injuries during horseplay, goofing off, etc. are not valid claims, even if during working hours on work property.
3) Personality in the Workplace (Section 9) Guest Speaker
Additional time was spent discussing the results of the MBI test, returned to us last week. We discussed how our personalities can help or hinder us in our problem solving techniques. Class activity was
4) Supervisors and Customer Service (Section 13)
When it comes to Customer Service, supervisors are to set the tone or the attitude of the level of service. The tone of the supervisor/manager at 8am in the morning can affect the tone of the entire office for the whole day. To get their day off to a good start, always greet your staff with a smile.
If an employee is having a rough morning and comes in spreading doom and gloom, take charge of the situation and ease tension in the office so the bad attitude of one employee does not spread to the whole staff.
We watched a video on Good Vs Bad Customer Service. Key points were…
- Help your staff find their own solutions
- Give specific praise when praising an employee.
- Remember to focus on the individuals, not the numbers
- Remember to tell employees what they are doing right, not just what they are doing wrong.
- Encourage employees with sincerity.
- Ask their opinions first before you give yours.
- Use humor to ease tension
Give rewards to show appreciations (food, certificates, coupons, small tokens of appreciation)
Overview of Supervisor Leadership Academy – Week Six
1) Family Medical Leave (Section 12)
PowerPoint presentation and open discussion of various forms of County benefits and leave programs. Unless a new hire or experiencing a qualifying event, enrollment changes will be made annually in December. Qualifying events are marriage, divorce, death, birth, adoption, and in some cases, a loss of coverage by spouse’s employer.
Family Medical Leave is a 12 week program that ensures coverage of your benefits and maintains your position with the county while you are off work. Regardless of employee wanting to take FML, paperwork must be sent to the employee and completed when an employee is off work more than 3 days.
FML is a federal program and mandates the employee must use any earned sick leave or vacation leave as part of the FML leave program. To qualify, the employee must have been employed by the county for 1 year and worked 1250 hours in the last 12 months.
- A doctor’s note must be submitted showing the date of expected return to work. It does not have to give the specific reason for the leave but it must be for an illness.
- Selective surgery (such as cosmetic surgeries) is not eligible for FML. However, complications and infections from a selective surgery may be eligible for FML.
- Medical Excuse Notes can be from a registered doctor treating the employee in the US, Mexico, Philippines, etc.
- If the employee is taking care of a sick relative, the note must be from the doctor treating the relative.
When an employee uses FML, make sure your payroll department and DHRO are informed to ensure Kronos and PeopleSoft are used correctly and the right pay codes are entered. If the information is not correct in Kronos, Cobra may kick in and the employee will then be responsible for the cost of the Benefits, at the Cobra price. Cobra benefits are generally billed at 102% of the county benefit rate.
2) Other Types of Leave (Section 11)
Pregnancy Leave can begin after all other accruals are exhausted and the mother is healthy enough to return to work.
- If both parents are county employees, each person is entitled to 6 weeks bonding leave.
- If only one parent is a county employee, the parent is entitled to 12 weeks bonding leave.
- Sick leave cannot be used as bonding time.
- When the doctor says the mother is healthy enough to return to work, she must use Vacation pay or Pregnancy Leave is she wishes to continue time away from work.
Military Leave is available for Reservist and the spouse of a reservist. Reservists are entitled to 30 days of paid military leave per annual year. This is to cover any time taken off work to complete military training such as the summer training or extended weekend training.
While on active duty status, county employed reservists will receive a pay differential to ensure that any difference between active duty pay and county pay is accounted for. While on active duty, the military member can decide to use military health care programs or county programs.
If Employee is a Spouse to an Active Duty Reservists
- If a county employee is the spouse of an active duty reservist, they are entitled to take leave (up to 10 days) at the same time as the active duty reservists so that the family can take time off together. This can be more than once a year but must coincide with the same leave dates as the active duty service member.
- To use the leave time, the spouse must submit to the county a marriage certificate or proof of a domestic partner registration showing a connection to the military member.
- Employee must also be an hourly employee and normally scheduled to work more than 20 hours a week.
State Disability is currently a 16 week benefit but is extended or shortened by the needs of the federal government. To prevent double payment of benefits, when an employee enrolls for State Disability, the checks should be sent to the county payroll address on Beech Street, not the employee’s home address. Not all county employees pay SDI. Groups such as attorneys or higher managerial staff may not be enrolled in SDI and therefore may not collect SDI benefits.
For any type of medical leave, the employee can only return to work after the date the doctor clears the patient to return to work. An employee cannot return to work early without doctor approval.
3) Ethics in the Workplace (Section 14) Internal Affairs
Always investigate any complaint made by an employee of any misconduct, including complaints of ID theft, sexual harassment, personal theft, company theft, or other violations of county procedures or law.
Document your conversations with the initializing party and with any witnesses you interview. Keep your manager and DHRO informed of your discovery and progress.
If you are in doubt as to what the actual infraction is, set guidelines and then proceed with the appropriate discipline procedures. Don’t let a complaint go unnoticed, react and document all complaints, regardless of how small or insignificant. Talk to your people. Explain what is allowed and what is not. Prevent the little things from getting out of hand by having open communication and guidelines.