Pre-Supervisory Leadership Development
Whether preparing to lead small groups, large teams, or simply preparing next steps, the path to becoming a top-notch leader requires constant attention and fine-tuning. To ensure these individuals are well prepared to fill supervisory and managerial positions, agencies should provide training for those interested in becoming supervisors or managers. By sharing knowledge, ideas, and best practices, agencies can not only reach, but exceed their training goals. Useful tools such as the Individual Development Plan (IDP), crafted by the employee and his or her supervisor, are critical to the supervisory development process. Through the IDP, the employee can clarify professional aspirations, and the supervisor can provide insights on career tracks essential to both employee and the organization.
According to 5 U.S.C. 4121 and 5 CFR 412.201, the head of each agency is responsible for establishing a succession management program which includes training to develop employees to become managers. Employee development programs are a fundamental tool for a robust leadership succession management plan. As a result of effective succession planning, an agency’s employee development program can ensure an adequate number of educated/qualified individuals to fill supervisory and managerial positions for critical functions within the organization.
Agencies should consider the competencies listed in the OPM Supervisory Guide when developing their pre-supervisory developmental programs. In addition, pre-supervisory developmental programs should be based on the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Agencies may identify specific competencies from the ECQs and OPM Supervisory Guide and apply them to all leadership development programs starting with pre-supervisory training extending through executive development. Agencies should develop their pre-supervisory training programs to meet the needs of the organization and the aspirations of individual employees.
Federal Government Tools and Resources
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
- In Spring 2010, OPM hosted a webcast on Pre-Supervisory training featuring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
(Having trouble with the embedded video above? Try viewing the webcast at this link: OPM Pre-Supervisory Webcast on YouTube.)
To view the slides from the webcast, click on EPA and ATF below:
Other OPM resources:
- OPM’s Center for Leadership Development offers a course for pre-supervisors titled, Leadership Skills for Non-Supervisors: Lead and Influence Effectively without a Title of Authority, at their Western Management Development Center (WMDC) location. Click here to view the class schedule. For more information, please contact the Director, Joseph Schumacher at Joseph.Schumacher@opm.gov.
- The Federal Competency Assessment Tool – Management (FCAT-M) administers Pre-Supervisory training for employees. For information about how to apply FCAT-M to your agency, take a look at the Guide to Implementing the FCAT-M. Please direct all inquiries to: Angela.Graham-Humes@opm.gov.
- Federal Leadership Development Program (FedLDP) Listings: The OPM website hosts a searchable inventory of catalogued leadership development programs found throughout the Federal Government. Please contact FedLDP@opm.gov to add or update your agency’s FedLDP listings.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA)
- PFPA offers a self-paced pre-supervisory leadership program that you can tailor to fit your agency. Take a look at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency - Stepping Up to Leadership A Self-Paced Program page to find out more.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- NIH is currently in the process of creating a supervisory resource center geared towards new and experienced supervisors. Take a look at the NIH-wide Mandatory Supervisory Training page to see what NIH has done so far. The recommended training for new supervisors found on the NIH Supervisory Essentials Training page is also a great launching pad for those who want to be in the leadership pipeline.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
- USPTO sponsors the Leadership Development Program, a valuable resource for all agencies to use. The program features three main components, the LDP website, a 180-degree assessment and an online supervisory resource center. Other resources from USPTO's leadership and development group include articles, graphs and other useful tools to assist in developing a program for aspiring leaders as well as those in current leadership roles. For additional information, contact Jennifer Tokar at Jennifer.Tokar@USPTO.gov.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
- Building off of OPM-established leadership competencies, USDA created a Leadership Roadmap and Toolkit specifically for APHIS employees. This resource provides valuable information regarding leadership competency development, supervisory, managerial, and executive development, learning transfer, mentoring and coaching.