Jacksonville, Florida - Navy Region Southeast (NRSE) is using participant feedback to assess a leadership development pilot program for military and civilian supervisors which was directed by leaders in Congress. Leadership development is just one of the “Five Lines of Effort” Commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC) initiated when it announced its Human Capital Strategy Program focused on better education and training for supervisors.
“A supervisor interacts with employees every single day,” said John Kelly, the Navy Region Southeast (N1) Director of Total Force Management. “We know that retention, commitment and quality of work are all enhanced by good supervision. Those are facts that are recognized both by the federal government and the civilian sector. The well-executed role of a supervisor is vital to success.”
Kelly, who is leading the Southeast Region in its assessment, also oversaw the introduction and implementation phases of the pilot program. Within the leadership training curriculum were courses in Human Resources for Supervisors, Building Leadership and Hiring Managers. Each was tailored to educate supervisors and arm them with the tools needed to improve their communication and leadership skills.
“I used the techniques taught in class on my first day back to work,” said Jason Zayakosky, Command Navy Region Southeast supervisory human resources specialist. “One of the techniques I learned and have applied is to avoid using directive language to your subordinates. It is better to offer open-ended questions and adapt their ideas. I have noticed they are more self-motivated to get work done, and I don’t have to micromanage.”
According to Kelly, after the assessment phase is complete, the program will be revised with lessons learned and then implemented across the entire CNIC enterprise in conjunction with the Defense Performance Management Assessment program in the spring. New supervisors would likely be required to complete their training courses within the first year of being hired, while seasoned supervisors will be allotted slightly more time to finish.
“Surveys have shown that supervisors really enjoyed and valued what they learned in the courses,” Kelly said. “Participants have appreciated learning, recognizing and improving their leadership skills.”
NRSE Regional Program Director, Labor/Employee Relations, Cruz Belardo, was a recent participant in the Building Leadership class. “The training is very beneficial to supervisors if you take the time to listen, be open-minded, and look at it as a tool to add to your tool box,” he said. “Good supervising is a matter of engaging with your employees and seeing the other side of things.”
For Kelly, the courses are about more than just increasing skills in the Navy’s workforce. “The premise is that the organization will be better if we make our supervisors better,” said Kelly.
Supervisors interested in leadership training may go to their regional admin department (N1) or speak with their installation program integrators to gather more information and register for required training.