The “gray tsunami”—the tidal wave of aging baby boomers—could mean big changes in the workplace. Organizations need to be thinking about grooming their younger employees to become effective supervisors and fill the shoes of retiring boomers.
The Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) partnered with Hennepin Technical College (HTC) this fall to help local transportation agencies meet this critical workforce development need. They offered a one-day workshop—“From Line to Leadership: Transitioning from Operations to Supervision”—in October in St. Cloud and Rochester.
The workshop is tailored for new supervisors and those thinking of taking their career to the next level, as well as for current supervisors who want to enhance their leadership skills, communication, and effectiveness. It focuses on avoiding common pitfalls and identifying ways to make the most of a leadership role.
“Our industry partners said they wanted this training because they are anticipating a skills gap and a leadership gap, and they didn’t have a way to effectively move people from operations to team leader,” says Mike Colestock, HTC’s associate dean.
HTC developed the initial version of the workshop in collaboration with industry partners, and it has expanded the program in response to overwhelmingly positive feedback. The trigger to offer a version through Minnesota LTAP came in part from the Minnesota LTAP Steering Committee.
“When many highway/street/public works departments need a new supervisor, they look to promote their existing employees since those employees know the facilities, the equipment, the mission of the organization—they know the ropes,” says Greg Isakson, county engineer of Goodhue County and a member of the committee. “Unfortunately, the skills to operate a machine do not relate to supervising others. The operator with the best potential to become a supervisor may not possess the set of new skills required to become a successful supervisor,” he says. “This class was designed to fill that gap and provide those basic supervisory skills.”
Read the full article in the December issue of Catalyst.