The move to a supervisory position is an important milestone in an employee’s career. The opportunity to lead others is a sign of trust and a recognition for years of dedicated service.
But the path of learning doesn’t stop there.
On Sep. 24, the Sacramento District graduated its first class of the Supervisor Excellence Program, an 8-month program designed to inculcate supervisors in their community of practice at a pace that still allows them to focus on their considerable responsibilities.
Michael Jewell, the Corporate Board Champion for the Sacramento District Supervisory Community of Practice Initiative, as well as the district’s Regulatory Division chief, explained the significance of the program.
“The SEP is part of the district’s operational plan initiative focused on growing a Supervisory Community of Practice and is just one of several actions being executed every year to equip supervisors with the knowledge, skills and abilities to be the best they can be,” said Jewell. “The community of practice is intended to make it easy to stay on top of your profession and make sure you are growing as a leader.”
The SEP is offered in one-day monthly sessions over the course of eight months. The curriculum includes courses in leadership, managing conflict, recruitment, retention, performance management, employee conduct, and supporting the mission.
Jacob Severns, a park manager at the Sacramento District, appreciated the SEP’s focus on how to work with different personalities.
“I’ve got a staff of 25, so understanding different personalities is a huge part of how I manage and mitigate different situations,” said Severns.
Even before completing the SEP, supervisors can attend several other workshops and events designed to hone their skills as managers and leaders. The Supervisor Essential Skills Workshop is a two-day session designed for new supervisors that provides basic skills on leadership, team effectiveness and counseling techniques.
Meeting every other month, the Supervisors Forum is an opportunity for supervisors to share concerns, brainstorm solutions, and catch up on key issues affecting the district as a whole.
For example, the October Supervisors Forum discussed the workload/workforce initiative, district headquarters building lease update, and district cleanup.
Another event in the planning stages is a strengths assessment workshop for new supervisors. Jewell promises to share details of this event with the district’s supervisors as soon as they are available.
The SEP and other events are direct reflections of USACE’s commitment to its employees.
“Excellent supervisors mentor excellent employees,” said Jewell. “By investing in our supervisors, we create conditions for all employees to thrive.”
For more information about the Supervisor Community of Practice and upcoming events, please contact Michael Jewell at (916) 557-6743 or at Michael.S.Jewell@usace.army.mil.