Your hard work has paid off and you are in a management-level position. Suddenly, your duties extend beyond being an individual contributor. You have to provide direction and leadership to drive an entire team’s success.
Whether you are new to your role or a seasoned veteran, you may find yourself in a common predicament: You want to embrace opportunities and make impactful changes, but wonder, do you have the tools to make it happen?
This was precisely the message that Ericka Smith, vice president of human resources, heard when she embarked on a listening tour upon her arrival at UNLV in March. She asked colleagues across campus what resources they needed to support their success, and she consistently heard one thing — “more development opportunities.”
So, Smith enlisted the expertise of Erin Collier, director of organizational development, to create the Management Training Academy (MTA). The eight-week training series promotes effective management and behaviors that foster a positive work environment.
“Highly skilled management directly impacts work quality, productivity, morale, and engagement,” Collier noted, “so investing in their development ultimately contributes to the university’s ability to achieve its Top Tier vision and goals.”
Collier added, “Business Affairs and Human Resources embrace the tenants of Collaborate, Acknowledge, Respect, and Empower (C.A.R.E.) in MTA. When management is well-trained and feels supported, they are empowered to make decisions on their own and feel respected by being given the authority to do so.”
In each MTA session, UNLV or community professionals with relevant expertise teach skills that focus on four competencies:
- Active communication and listening
- Holding yourself and others accountable
- Resolving conflict
- Conducting performance management
All material is presented through a blended learning approach to appeal to diverse learning styles. This includes live seminars, panel discussions, interactive exercises, educational videos, and online coursework. After completing the program, managers and supervisors will gain a solid foundation on which they can build success with their teams.
The program will officially launch in spring semester. Registration will take place in phases to manage class size. Employees who supervise nonstudent employees will receive an email notifying them of which cohort they are invited to attend and providing details about how to register.
“I strongly encourage all eligible employees to take advantage of this development opportunity,” said Smith. “As management, we have a responsibility to provide our teams with a solid foundation for success. After participating in MTA, you will have the tools needed to do so.”
Members of the UNLV Learning and Development Alliance, an advisory body that provides advice and support during the development and implementation phases of MTA, completed a trial of the program last month. Collier is working to incorporate the alliance’s feedback on the program to ensure it delivers a valuable experience.
“During one MTA session, the trainer led us through an exercise that made us feel the negative effects that a lack of sharing information up, down, and across an organization can have on our work and relationships. The engaging and active way in which this lesson was presented had a profound impact on me. I immediately shared it with my colleagues and incorporated new communication practices into my daily routine,” said Kyle Kaalberg, executive director of strategy and strategic initiatives for the president’s office.