HR Management & Compliance

Train Your Supervisors in Supervisory Skills

The material in today’s issue is brought to you courtesy of our sister publication, Compensation Daily Advisor.

Your supervisors aren’t technical experts on HR matters, and they’re not going to be, but you can train them to act in a way that preserves HR’s options, says Attorney Mark Schickman, a partner with Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP in San Francisco. He offered his tips during a recent webinar sponsored by BLR® and HR Hero®.

Employees’ Personal Problems Training

For example, when an employee comes to the supervisor with a personal issue, says Schickman, keep the conversation businesslike. The employee needs time and space to deal with the problem, but you must focus on the work situation. Perhaps the employee says he or she has no place to stay. Say, “I’ll talk to HR, but I need you to do work.”

  • You’d like to resolve problems at the lowest practical level, BUT
  • Supervisors need to know when to bring in HR, AND
  • How to contact HR. (Surprisingly, that’s a major problem, says Schickman.)

Yes, you do have the budget and time to train managers and supervisors with BLR’s 10-Minute HR Trainer. Try it at no cost or risk. Get details.


Reasonable Accommodation Training

As another example, with requests for accommodation, no matter what the questions are (I need a new chair; I can’t work more than 4 hours; I can’t lift more than 20 pounds), the supervisor should gather information from the employee (but not ask about the diagnosis), find out what accommodation the employee is asking for, and then go to HR.

The company is obligated to consider the request. If right off the bat the supervisor says, “We can’t do that,” that’s not considering the request. Even if you “know” there’s no feasible accommodation, you must engage in the interactive dialogue.

Request for Medical Leave Training

This is a very tricky area, says Schickman. It is not the supervisor’s job to figure out whether this is legitimate. Take it to HR.

Encountering Harassment Training

If the supervisor is hearing anything about possible harassment, contact HR. If there is a harassment claim, the supervisor should listen without making any judgment. If the supervisor responds, “Oh, I can’t believe that Ralph would do that,” already he or she is not a neutral observer.

NLRA Training

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), “concerted activity” means more than one person making a comment about work conditions. “I hate this company; they treat us terribly” is the beginning of protected activity, Schickman says. Remind supervisors that they aren’t allowed to prohibit an employee from sharing such thoughts.

Wage and Hour Training

The biggest misconception in HR is that “salaried” means exempt, says Schickman. In addition, he says, tell supervisors:

  • Do not ask employees to skip lunch or breaks.
  • Do not ask employees to work off the clock.
  • Never permit or encourage false recordkeeping.
  • Take wage and hour records and rules seriously.

Train your line managers with BLR’s 10-Minute HR Trainer. There won’t be time for classroom boredom. Get details.


Out-of-the-Box Supervisor Training

As Schickman explains, supervisors need effective training on how to manage multiple situations in the workplace—and on when to pass certain situations on to HR. The good news is that BLR® has seen the need for quick and easy-to-use updated training materials—and has produced 10-Minute HR Trainer to help fill that need.

Every 10-Minute HR Trainer session includes a trainer’s outline, a takeaway handout, and a follow-up quiz. And you get all these for 50 key HR topics right off the bat in the initial book—plus quarterly updates with more essential training.

With this training resource, we’ve provided an easy-to-manage program that lets you train in discrete, 10-minute chunks. It’s a program that’s easy for you to deliver and that requires little time from busy schedules. And it’s remarkably affordable.

As its name implies, this product trains managers and supervisors in critical HR skills in as little as 10 minutes for each topic. 10-Minute HR Trainer offers these features:

Trains in 50 key HR topics, including manager and supervisor responsibilities, under all major employment laws and how to legally carry out managerial actions from hiring to termination. (See a complete list of topics below.)

Uses the same teaching sequence master teachers use. Every training unit includes an overview, bullet points on key lessons, a quiz, and a handout to reinforce the lesson later.

Completely prewritten and self-contained. Each unit comes as a set of reproducible documents. Just make copies or turn them into overheads and you’re done. (Take a look at a sample lesson below.)

Updated continually. As laws change, your training must as well. 10-Minute HR Trainer provides new lessons and updated information every 90 days, along with a monthly Training Forum newsletter, for as long as you are in the program.

Works fast. Each session is so focused that there’s not a second’s waste of time. Your managers are in and out almost before they can look at the clock, yet they remember small details even months later.

Evaluate It at No Cost for 30 Days

We’ve arranged to make 10-Minute HR Trainer available to our readers for a 30-day, in-office, no-cost trial. Review it at your own pace and try some lessons with your colleagues. If it’s not for you, return it at our expense. Click here and we’ll set you up with our 10-Minute HR Trainer.

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