New Management Training Initiative

New Management Training Initiative

November 15, 2021

In the Boy Scouts, they say that every Scout deserves a trained leader. The same can be said about GUC employees – every employee deserves a trained leader. With many retirements and changes over time, that’s become more of a challenge.  

“GUC is fortunate to have many knowledgeable employees who may become successors to those retiring,” said Human Resources Director Richie Shreves, “however, being a good leader requires more than technical knowledge and ability. The best leaders also possess a strong set of leadership qualities and skills, such as communication, influence, empathy, and delegation, to help positively interact with their employees.”    

To prepare our future leaders, Human Resources (HR) put together a committee with Department Directors (or their appointees) to create an integrated management and leadership development program.  

“Integrated management and leadership development are well-coordinated efforts to identify and address the rapidly changing needs of our workforce,” said E-Learning Instructional Designer/Trainer Carrie Peed. “It is a strategic plan to align the leaders within the organization and to prepare future leaders to potentially step into vacant positions as they arise.”  

The first task was to identify critical skills as well as principles and values all leaders should have. Then, the group set out to find solutions to address those needs and create a plan to implement the training. 

Such a plan needs to include an integrated management and leadership development curriculum that addresses the overall development of all supervisors. This includes classes for all leaders, with specialty “tracks” of classes based on what level each leader is within GUC. Employees who are not in leadership positions will also have a class on how to lead from where they are to help integrate the leadership philosophy throughout the organization.  

It’s also important for the plan to integrate with our Corporate Safety Initiative (CSI) so that leaders can apply the skills learned in training to carry out the safety program. 

The planning committee met several times in August and September, discussing the needs of both new and experienced leaders across GUC. Training solutions with Carrie Peed and Carol Bazemore from the Training Office were reviewed and evaluated. Finally, the committee’s recommendations were presented to the General Manager/CEO for approval and implementation. 

General Manager/CEO Tony Cannon approved the plan and directed that it be implemented as soon as possible. “We often talk about how our employees are our most valuable asset,” said Tony, “and this training program will be a significant financial investment that GUC makes to help our employees be the best they can be.” 

One part of the plan that HR will be able to fulfill beginning in early 2022 is the revival and expansion of topics previously included in the “Supervisor’s Toolkit” training. This program is for new leaders to learn about the essentials of a variety of regulations (such as FMLA), GUC personnel policies, and basic how-tos (annual evaluations, purchase orders, etc.). In addition, there will be annual refresher courses for all supervisors to update them on changes. 

After the initial round of leadership training takes place, the group will meet on an on-going basis to determine what other modules need to be offered.   

Members of the Committee include Scott Mullis (Customer Relations), Andy Anderson (IT), Richie Shreves (HR), Durk Tyson (Gas), David Springer (Water Resources), Ken Wade (Electric), Steve Hawley (Public Information), Kelly Smith (Finance), Brian Weigand (Finance), Lena Previll (HR), Carol Bazemore (HR), and Carrie Peed (HR). 

Be on the lookout for more details and invitations for all employees to participate in this training in the coming months.