Friday, August 13, 2010

"Federal Supervisors: Are They Ready, Willing and Able to Manage the Workplace?"

I recently came upon "Federal Supervisors: Are They Ready, Willing and Able to Manage the Workplace?" by Steve Oppermann at Steve addresses recurring themes found in discussion forums about "the perception that supervisors are unwilling, unable, or both, to deal with problem employees and workplace issues of various kinds."

Within the article, Steve refers to findings of a 2003 report by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) titled "First-Line Supervisors in the Federal Service: Their Selection, Development, and Management." I found the principal findings that Steve mentions from the NAPA report directly support the mission of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program. You should read the report and article yourself, but I'll include a few here.
  • "First-line supervisors are the federal government's largest corporate leadership asset in sheer numbers and direct impact. Yet they must be more adequately prepared and supported to perform at the level that current and future needs require. Supervisors function at the point where public policy becomes action, and they directly represent management's voice to non-supervisory federal employees. As such, their behavior and job performance are a major determinant of organizational performance, workplace morale, and job satisfaction. They also influence employees' decisions to remain in or leave an organization."
  • "Supervisory jobs are becoming increasingly difficult to perform as the number of supervisors and managers declines. Expanding spans of control, exploding technological change, complex ‘people issues,' and evolving workplace models challenge both novice and seasoned supervisors alike."
  • "With some exceptions, federal agencies do a poor job of managing this corporate asset, beginning with the selection process. Some agencies have excellent leadership development programs for identifying supervisory candidates, but most do not offer extensive preparation. Also, most supervisory jobs require technical competence, but technical abilities far outweigh leadership competencies as a selection factor. Too often, leadership potential is not even considered in this equation."
  • "Federal agencies need to do a better job of developing and training supervisors. While some have successful training programs, it is uncommon for first-line supervisory training to be part of an agency's comprehensive leader development program."

No comments: