By Margery Weinstein
Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Field Leader Training program was designed to develop leadership behaviors among Field foremen, who were not used to coaching staff. The driver for this customized program was the need to increase accountability, communication, feedback, and safety throughout the Field workforce. The initial effort consisted of three modules, each building on the last. Participants were expected to attend all three modules of training.
The objectives for this program were:
The objectives were met through a blend of learning applications:
The program introduced validated leadership behaviors and practices. Designed to be highly interactive, the course encouraged skills practice, modeling, quizzes, and action planning. The second module focused on specific leadership behaviors to be demonstrated and how to apply them in teams. Participants worked from real-life scenarios, problem-solving around increasing effectiveness across the division. This program originally targeted Field employees at Foreman and Lead levels; however, as the program gained traction, the Field leadership team determined that to truly achieve success, they needed to get all employees on the same page. With the rollout of the third module, the program has been expanded to include all Field employees and is now mandatory. To date, more than 150 participants have attended the program with additional offerings planned.
The training “stuck” and participants even created laminated cards (on their own) to help them remember key points and key language to use when encountering situations in the field. Although still in progress, the course already has led to improved behaviors and an increased optimism in the Field that the effort is making a difference.
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