Mason Supervisors Enhance Their Skills in Training Series

Posted: June 18, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Probst

“You can’t be too busy to learn. This is a university – it’s all about learning and growing,” says Marcia Bearor, public relations and marketing practitioner in the College of Health and Human Services.

Bearor is just one of the many Mason employees who have taken advantage of the SUPERvisor Series, a training program offered by the Office of Human Resources and Payroll. Developed to educate Mason supervisors on their responsibilities and duties, the series is specifically aimed to train individuals who supervise one or more employees and have less than five years or no supervisory experience.

Bearor, who began the series in the fall of 2006, enjoys the program because of the flexibility of the classes. Supervisors who begin the program do not have to start all over if they miss a class.

“The SUPERvisor series is a great opportunity for supervisors to gain practical experience by using case studies, mentors and networking with other supervisors,” says Lori Ann Roth, training and development director in HR.

Each individual participating in the SUPERvisor Series must complete a contract choosing six required classes and three optional classes. One of the required classes is “Hiring Process at Mason,” which discusses such topics as pay practices, search committee best practices and the eWork system. Another class is “Employee Relations,” which covers the performance appraisal process, standards of conduct and the discipline process.

Optional classes are open to all supervisors. Topics include creativity, delegation, motivation and stress management.

In addition to attending classes, supervisors select a mentor with whom they meet twice a month in half-hour sessions for 10 months. Supervisors complete an electronic mentor journal and a project with either their supervisor or employees. Over the course of their participation in the series, the supervisor must work at least 10 hours on the project. Supervisors will then present their projects at the required retreat class.

At the end of the series, supervisors are asked to complete a self-evaluation. In addition, they ask their co-workers, employees and supervisors to complete an evaluation.

Pat Donini, deputy director and employee relations director in HR who conducted a class on performance appraisals and standards of conduct, says she feels that the classes offered in the series are essential for Mason supervisors to understand what is expected on the job.

Supervisors who complete the program are honored with a graduation ceremony in conjunction with the employee recognition awards. Supervisors are presented with a plaque by President Alan Merten and receive 5.1 continuing education units.

For upcoming class information, contact Roth at 703-993-2621 or   

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