Feature Story: Time to Saddle Up

Jill Lynch-Silva, Talent Development Specialist

Starting as a new supervisor can be an overwhelming experience. Through feedback and conversations with current supervisors, Human Resources has identified a desire for a robust training specifically over supervising at UCO. Over the last nine months, the Talent Development team has created a customizable program for new supervisors to support them in their onboarding and prepare them for the different challenges being a supervisor brings. We took into consideration common pain points, supervisor’s perspectives and feedback from exit interviews to proactively address common mistakes. Our collaborative effort produced modules that provide up-to-date information regarding important legislation, requirements, university policies, procedures and resources as it relates to supervisory positions. There are also electives to assist our new supervisors in understanding and practicing the correct protocol while feeling prepared and supported to take on their new leadership role.

Customize How You Saddle Up:

We present to you “Saddle Up: Supervising Bronchos.” This new program is complete with online courses and in-person sessions, with a total of 21 courses available. We know each position has its own needs and responsibilities, which is why the program was created to be customizable. The courses of this program are divided into two categories – fundamentals and electives. Fundamental courses are modules or sessions that were identified as foundational to all supervisors’ success. Elective courses are modules or sessions specific to the responsibilities of a position. At the beginning of the program, the new leader will meet with their supervisor to decide which electives are crucial to their success. Some of those electives might include advanced FERPA training, Pcard training and Working with Minors, amongst many more.

This program was designed to complement the New Employee Orientation program. We recognize that beginning a new position can be stressful by itself, which is why it is only required to complete three of the fundamental courses during the first 90 days. The expected deadlines for each course ranges from the first 90 days as a new supervisor to the six-month anniversary.

Supervisors Are Central:

Our overreaching goal is to support new supervisors in their professional development in hopes to retain our talented leaders. We value each leader’s input, creativity and drive to be the best at what they do. We are always open to feedback, which is why we will be sending out a three questions follow-up survey upon completion of the program. This will give supervisors the opportunity to rate our courses and voice their opinions about the program. Should you have any questions or initial feedback about the program, please reach out to Talent Development at TalentDevelopment@uco.edu