DEI Training Helps Supervisors Manage More Effectively
By Bruce Gerson
To help foster a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, Carnegie Mellon’s Office of Human Resources is offering a full slate of professional development and training opportunities for faculty and staff, covering topics from unconscious bias to coaching skills to managing a diverse team.
One of the most popular components of the offerings is the Staff Supervisory Awareness Training Program, which aims to help managers lead effectively by treating others with dignity, respect, empathy and compassion.
Led by HR Learning and Development and subject matter experts, HR business partners and generalists, the eight sessions for staff supervisors include: employment laws; recruiting and workforce planning; two sessions on performance management; civil treatment; establishing rapport and setting expectations; managing an effective and engaged workforce; and the popular DiSC self-assessment exercise, which helps you identify your personality traits and work style.
Rebecca Doerge, the Glen de Vries Dean of the Mellon College of Science, completed seven of the eight sessions. She said it’s important for her to stay up-to-date on the information and skills she needs to do her job.
“Everyone wishes to be heard, valued and respected, and a diverse workforce broadens everyone’s work and life experiences,” said Doerge, a professor of biology and statistics and data science. “We all have our own styles and our own strengths and weaknesses. We need to recognize this and treat the people we work with as individuals to get the best outcomes.”
“Everyone wishes to be heard, valued and respected, and a diverse workforce broadens everyone’s work and life experiences.” — Rebecca Doerge
Doerge’s favorite session was the DiSC assessment.
“It gave us the opportunity to explore our own personality traits and work styles and gave us tools to help us work with team members who have different traits and styles,” she said.
Christa Cardone, communications manager for Finance and a member of her division’s DEI Strategic Plan Implementation Team, enrolled in the full supervisory awareness series.
“I have one person reporting to me in my day-to-day role, but I also oversee individuals as they work on their DEI projects for the division,” Cardone said. “The self-reflection these courses walk you through is so valuable and definitely helps me as a supervisor. Leading people is not just following a script or guidebook, but more about adapting, evolving and growing to find ways to support your team,” she said.
Ellen Romagni, senior director of operations and real estate for Campus Design and Facility Development, said she enjoyed the diverse range of topics and the guidance that was offered.
“They encouraged conversations about real-life situations and helped supervisors work through ways to manage these situations with employees,” she said. “Communication is key to a strong supervisor/staff relationship, and it is important as a supervisor to remain educated on HR policies and employment laws that may impact how you manage your staff. HR is a really strong resource when you have questions surrounding difficult topics.”
In addition to the Supervisory Awareness series, HR has staff development and diversity training opportunities and videos available in the areas of Supervisor Development, Recruitment and Search, and Team Development.
“Leading people is not just following a script or guidebook, but more about adapting, evolving and growing to find ways to support your team.” — Christa Cardone
Additional offerings that are also available to faculty are set to begin this semester. They include EVERFI courses on Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace and Managing Bias.
An added benefit to the training sessions is the chance to see and visit with colleagues, albeit on Zoom.
“We were able to virtually meet people’s children, pets and other family members during the course of the program, which was fun,” Doerge said. “I have a real appreciation for those in our community who are balancing family, remote work and all the exhaustion caused by the pandemic.”
“It’s so great to see people we haven’t interacted with in months,” Cardone said.