Investing in new and front line supervisors increases productivity and organizational efficiency, and it results in engaged, high-performing teams. Yet many new supervisors—the very people responsible for planning and organizing work—are often under trained in the skills required to be a successful front-line leader. 

In addition to building skills, this curriculum incorporates introspection, perspective shifting, and awareness building. While it makes sense to prepare someone for a job they are about to perform, it has been found supervisors are most receptive to learning after they’ve had some time in the role and experience upon which to reflect.

Suggested Requirements 

  1. Given that many activities require reflection on a current or past challenge, it is required that the attendee is supervising people, and it is ideal if they have been in the role for a brief period (45-90 days). 

  2. This 18-hour program is broken down into three 6 hour sessions and it is required attendees register in advance and be able to attend and complete in order all three sessions  (each session builds upon the learning's of the previous class).

You can register by visiting  MSU Registration and searching for the course, "Front Line Supervisor Course". Please plan on registering and attending all 3 sessions in the series. 

Upcoming course dates are as follows. 

Register for all 3 days before October 28th (space will be limitted).

Course Title Date Time
Front Line Supervisor - Part I Tuesday, October 11 Complete
Front Line Supervisor - Part II Tuesday, October 18 Complete
Front Line Supervisor - Part III  Tuesday, October 25 Complete

Great supervisors have the following skills:

  1. They motivate every employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision
  2. They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance 
  3. They create a culture of clear accountability
  4. They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency
  5. They make decisions based on productivity, not politics                                                                                           
  6. They communication with clarity and on a regular basis                                                                                           
  7. They are predictable in behavior and communication

The key elements discussed throughout this program are as follows: 

Leadership vs Management

The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably. While there is some overlap between the work that leaders and managers do, there are also significant differences. Effective leadership is centered on a vision to guide change, whereas managers set out to achieve organizational goals through implementing processes.

Relationship Building

Relationship building skills are a combination of soft skills that a person applies to connect with others and form positive relationships. In the workplace, relationship building skills are essential for getting along with coworkers, contributing to a team, and building an understanding between yourself and others.


The ability to communicate effectively with employees at every level in the organization is a core competency for supervisors who want to improve department operations and the performance and productivity of the employees under their supervision. Employee feedback is any information exchanged by employees regarding their performance, skills, or ability to work within a team. Both supervisors and peers may deliver feedback, and when done tactfully, the process can create a stronger, more harmonious workplace.

Goals and Time Management

One of the most effective skills a supervisor can have is effective time management. Setting goals and practicing time management techniques are two necessary elements for success. By managing time effectively, supervisors and teams are able to reach their goals both personally and professionally.

Change Management

Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes, or technologies. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change, and helping people to adapt to change.

Responsibility and Accountability

It is the responsibility of supervisors to communicate on an ongoing basis with their employees. These conversations should be grounded in honest communication and provide staff with clear role expectations, feedback, identify performance improvement, development opportunities, and career possibilities. The ability of a supervisor to hold their employees accountable is one of the most important management skill a supervisor must have.