Our Thinking

Competency-based Supervisor Training

Over the past decade, Mosaic consistently encountered clients with a similar need: the creation of training for Field Operations Supervisors. In our analysis, we discovered three buckets of responsibilities that all supervisor duties fall into:

  • Oversees crews of technicians for Services and Construction work.
  • Validates or approves work orders, maps/drawings, and other critical documentation.
  • Ensures the quality of customer service.

After reviewing years of supervisor training engagements, Mosaic observed the following consistently cited challenges:

  • Only generic competencies and job descriptions exist for the supervisor role.
  • Training is not targeted to Field Operations work.
  • Training for operations systems and software is minimal and inconsistent.
  • Supervisors are not clear on the scope of their duties.
  • Training is not measured or analyzed for success.

The models detailed below enable organizations to create impactful training that targets the supervisors’ true job duties, tasks, responsibilities, and daily activities and allows for a consistent training experience for all supervisors. The intended result of the two-model approach is an increase in productivity, output, safety awareness, employee morale, and cost savings for the organization.

Model #1: Supervisor Training Program Development

The Supervisor Training Program Development model focuses on the responsibility of key stakeholders to ensure the program targets training for both compliance and competency.

The purpose of this model is to reverse the organizational tendency to review the supervisor role in isolation instead of in the larger context of business operations. Mosaic identified that each organization established several critical reasons their supervisor training needed development or updating. Yet, these reasons were often limited to only the field operations duties of the supervisor. During the analysis phase of program development, Mosaic found much training did not account for the departmental interconnectivity of the supervisor role and business operations. A review of the supervisor’s outputs revealed that supervisors complete some tasks outside the scope of their duties and, in some instances, are removed from business process tasks where they should be involved.

The Supervisor Training Program Development model helps organizations audit processes to ensure alignment between the organization’s goals and the outputs of the supervisor. Validating these critical elements allows for the creation of targeted training content to bring the supervisor to competency and meet goals set by departments, regions, and the organization.

Model #2: Supervisor Competency

The Supervisor Competency model focuses on common elements of training that are not included in most supervisor training programs, creating barriers to competency.

This model’s purpose is to include targeted areas of content related to the supervisor’s complete duties and responsibilities in training. Mosaic’s analysis found that training does not cover multiple supervisor responsibilities, such as software and systems training, day-to-day monitoring of employees, and time management skills. Additionally, a common theme arose that organizations provided catchall training to all supervisor categories. Many important skills are only covered at a high level to apply to all departments.

The Supervisor Competency model provides a checklist of the major elements to include in competency-based supervisor training programs that align with actual job duties and produce a more well-trained and highly skilled group of individuals who more effectively meet business goals. A clear understanding of the organization’s goals and the supervisor’s role in meeting those goals allows the training program to include meaningful training elements, such as on-the-job training, skill assessments, structured advancement programs, and a designed hierarchy of skills.