Carnegie Mellon University

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July 02, 2020

Launching Staff Supervisory Awareness Training Program

The Office of Human Resources’ (OHR) Learning and Organizational Development Team has been hard at work developing an exclusive training for CMU's supervisors. This training, known as the Staff Supervisory Awareness Program, has been designed to address the outcomes of the Task Force on Campus Climate and to provide all supervisors at CMU with a solid foundation of core human resources knowledge critical to their success. 

In August of 2018, President Farnam Jahanian created the Task Force on Campus Climate that sought to identify ways to support a climate that is diverse, inclusive, fair and respectful. The Staff Supervisory Awareness Program is one way, among many, that OHR is supporting this initiative while also responding to the feedback from supervisors requesting more HR and legal insight. In President Jahanian's most recent communication in July, he outlines the strategic actions for confronting racism and promoting equity and inclusion [pdf]. The Staff Supervisory Awareness training fulfills the president's specific strategic action to "build and sustain an inclusive culture that promotes equity for all and is intolerant of racism, discrimination and bias."

Supervisors at CMU are a critical component to ensuring we have a work environment in which employees are treated with dignity and respect; therefore, they are expected, among other things, to understand and champion the university’s core values of empathy, compassion, inclusion, dedication, impact and collaboration. These core values form the bedrock of this program in conjunction with addressing the myriad legal and HR best practices that should inform and guide our supervisors in their day-to-day operations. 

The overall purpose is to provide supervisors at CMU with the fundamental tools and resources to enable them to effectively and successfully lead others within our diverse and dynamic environment. The training features the following schedule of topics:

  • Day 1: Expectations of Supervisors: Employment Laws 
  • Day 2: Building a Productive and Inclusive Workplace
    • Session 1: Emotional Intelligence: Using the DiSC Assessment
    • Session 2: Building a Productive Working Environment
  • Day 3: Navigating Common HR Processes and Activities for Leaders
    • Session 1: Recruiting and Workforce Planning
    • Session 2: Performance Management: Managing, Addressing and Recognizing Performance
    • Session 3: Managing an Effective and Engaged Workforce
  • Day 4: Employee Relations for Leaders
    • Session 1: Establishing Rapport and Setting Expectations
    • Session 2: Performance Management: Addressing Challenging Employee Issues

Adam Marks, Training Manager for OHR’s Learning and Organizational Development Team, and Jamell Mihalik, Director, Human Resources, are spearheading the development and preparation for this training. Mihalik explains that this training will be an opportunity to empower supervisors: “Our hope is that supervisors who go through the program feel empowered and better equipped to manage their day-to-day HR related functions but, more importantly, to promote and support the university’s commitment to fostering a diverse, welcoming, equitable and inclusive workplace where all our employees can thrive.”

This training will be useful to all supervisors — whether they are new to the role or have years of experience — because it will help to reinforce CMU’s core values and address the most up to date best practices for supervisors.

Mihalik and Marks expect the training to be available to campus by late summer. Announcements will be sent out to department/division leadership when the training has been finalized and the schedule is announced. Based on these announcements, supervisors will be able to work with senior leadership to sign up for a session.