Manager and Supervisor Guidelines

Review guidelines to help you manage teleworking staff.

Manager and Supervisor Guidelines

When you oversee staff who routinely telework, either part-time or full-time, it is best to set the stage and engage your employees in a way that supports their continued success while working from an alternate work location. Below are some guidelines to help you manage your staff, sustain expected results, and encourage a high level of cohesion and participation from all your staff.

Lead by example

Managers and supervisors must be committed to using telework to the fullest extent possible in order for it to be successful. Teleworking managers and supervisors are familiar with working at an alternate work site and experiencing a teleworker’s typical day, which enables them to work through any technology, equipment, communication, workflow and associated issues with their employees. This experience will help managers and supervisors to spot workflow gaps and fill them so that telework becomes more seamless and transparent.

Take telework training and stay informed

In addition to the list of telework training on this website, your department may also have training available.

Address your concerns

You may have concerns about allowing employees to telework.

Will I hear from my employees once they are teleworking?

Create an environment where your employees feel comfortable contacting you. Let your employees know your expectations for their availability while they are teleworking.

Worker productivity will drop if I’m not able to see my employees.

Many organizations find that teleworking increases productivity and most experience no decline in productivity due to telework. At a minimum, you should expect telework to have no negative impact on productivity in terms of the amount or quality of work completed.

Telework stands in the way of effective teamwork. 

Successful teamwork does not require all team members to be together in the same physical place. It does require planning and adopting communication strategies to support collaboration.

Treat employees equitably

Treat teleworking employees the same as an employee working in the office with respect to performance management, conduct, training and promotional opportunities.

Performance standards for teleworking employees should be the same as performance standards for non-teleworking employees.

Often, shifting your focus from how much work the employee looks like they are accomplishing to how much they are actually accomplishing will help you monitor work better. By focusing on the work product instead of the work activity, you may find you are better able to communicate clear expectations to your employees. When supervisors and teleworkers agree on job expectations, it often increases employee productivity and job satisfaction.

Beyond the Pandemic

To prepare and support managers and supervisors, GovOps and CalHR developed three half-hour panel discussions featuring state managers sharing their experiences and best practices for navigating the new hybrid workforce. You can watch and learn more about the panel discussions below.

Panel 1: Managing the Hybrid Workforce

Panelist Biographies

Bud Olafsson
Caltrans

Bud Olafsson has been in the Caltrans Office of Discipline Services for the past 6 years and is currently the Deputy Division Chief over the Caltrans Offices of Discipline Services, Labor Relations, and Drug Certification and Substance Testing. During this time, Bud has set the performance management/progressive discipline process for the entire department (appx. 21,000 employees) and most recently has implemented several virtual trainings regarding progressive discipline in the past year, including statewide training for Managing Employee Performance – Teleworking and Managing Teleworking Probationary Employees. By the end of FY 20/21, these trainings will have been presented to over 1500 supervisors and managers within Caltrans.

 

Angelica “Angie” Quirarte
Product owner for Covid19.ca.gov; Office of Digital Innovation

Angelica Quirarte, also known as Angie, is Deputy Director at the Office of Digital Innovation. In her role she works on strategic engagements that use design, data, and empathy to solve hard problems and empower public servants. She was product owner of the Alpha of CA.gov and led the team that created Californian’s response website to COVID19- covid19.ca.gov. Angie has developed and implemented state-level governance structures and policies for digital innovation including web standards, web accessibility, open data, and open source. She was a member of the California GovOps DMV Strike Team that Governor Newsom announced in January 2019 where she led the coordination of the strike teams’ deliverables to help transform DMV service delivery; and champions initiatives such as Code California and the state’s open data program. To support the platform of change, she founded NxtGov, a network of government change-agents looking to bring pride back into public service and bridge the silos to help us collaborate, serve, and inspire the next generations of public servants.

 

Udaya Patnaik
Director, Office of Digital Innovation

Udaya Patnaik is the Director of the California Office of Digital Innovation. ODI is focused on transforming state government services using the power of technology, research, and design. ODI is pioneering new ways to improve the performance, accessibility and relevance of digital resources and programs to help increase equity for all Californians. Prior to joining the State of California, Udaya co-founded Jump Associates, a strategy and innovation consulting firm focused on driving large-scale growth and impact for corporations, nonprofits and government agencies. He also worked in rural infrastructure development. Udaya sits on the board of Just Human Productions, a non-profit that creates media to raise awareness and build collaboration around issues of health disparity, and the International Advisory Board of Fundación Chile, an organization dedicated to economic development and innovation in Santiago.

Resources

Links to tips on managing a hyrbid workforce

Manage the tech. Use cameras, headsets and monitors. Pay attention to the chat. Train each other.
https://telework.govops.ca.gov/working-remotely/get-technical-help/

 

Talk slower, vary your voice and pause more. Assume everyone’s attention is at 50%. Use “phatic” communication (uh, huh… right… yes…).
https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/4-vocal-tips-to-sound-like-a-pro-in-virtual-meetings.html

 

Take notes on screen. Write down what people say. Validate their contributions. Doesn’t have to be a fancy digital tool – a Word document or a simple PowerPoint slide with zones on it is a good start. Send out decisions and actions afterwards.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/05/whats-the-most-effective-way-to-take-notes/

 

Ask questions. Prepare them ahead of time if you can. Listen actively and learn.
https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/the-best-leaders-always-ask-these-questions/

 

Share your work. Do more show-and-tell of what you are working on. Tell each other about projects you do, things you learned and wins you had.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2021/03/16/12-smart-strategies-for-celebrating-your-teams-wins-together/?sh=2c617e1116e7

 

Make personal connections. Chitchat as people come into the room. Share personal stories and accomplishments. Express compassion.
https://hbr.org/2021/02/make-time-for-small-talk-in-your-virtual-meetings

 

Give people breaks. Take a few deep breaths at the beginning. Let people transition from one meeting/activity to another.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2021/04/20/research-shows-your-brain-needs-breaks-outlook-and-microsoft-teams-can-help/

 

Open and close with gratitude. Be thankful that people are flexible and trying to make it work. Use the chats in meetings for everyone to express thanks.
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_can_transform_your_workplace

 

There is still a role for phone calls rather than using video exclusively. Give your eyes a break. Remove the cognitive load on those in the discussion.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247655

Panel 2: Results-Oriented Management

Panelist Biographies

Ann Baaten
Department of General Services, Chief, Customer Delivery

Ann Baaten has served as the Chief of Customer Delivery for Enterprise Technology Solutions, which provides IT services to the Department of General Services, for the last 8 years. She is passionate about delivering excellent customer service and fostering a healthy workplace. Prior to joining the DGS, Ann worked for Hewlett-Packard in various roles, many of which were global and geographically distributed. Ann holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and is certified Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Expert.

 

Kristel Turko
California State Teachers Retirement System

Kristel Turko is the Assistant Director of Human Resources for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world, and the second largest pension fund in the U.S. Prior to joining CalSTRS in 2011, Kristel was a 15 year employee of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, where she served in various staff and management capacities. Kristel holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation from the HR Certification Institute and is a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Senior Certified Professional (SCP).

 

Anna Wright
Department of Managed Health Care, Manager, Training & Organizational Effectiveness

Anna Wright has over 25 years’ managerial experience, with 15 of those years managing training professionals. In 2014, Anna joined the State of California and currently manages Training and Organizational Effectiveness (Training, EEO, Safety, and Health & Wellness) at the Department of Managed Health Care. Anna enjoys her job because of her passion for helping people reach their full potential and career goals. Anna is the co-founder of TOP (Top of the Podium) a non-profit that provides services to underrepresented minors. Anna is a breast cancer survivor and serves as an executive team member for Carrie’s TOUCH, a breast cancer survivor’s non-profit support organization. Anna is married and mom to two adult children and a dog (Cockapooshitzu). Anna is a native Sacramentan and a loyal Sacramento Kings fan!

Resources

Planning and Results Conversation Tool

This tool makes planning easy by identifying key components for you to be successful in your position. Use this tool to:

  • Identify existing or new priorities
  • Manage your assignments and deadlines
  • Keep your leader informed of progress and difficulties
  • Identify development opportunities
  • Seek feedback

PDF Attachments: Planning and Results Conversation Tool

 

Individual Development Plan

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is used to identify learning opportunities that support an employee’s development goals and objectives. This tool assists with formalizing and keeping track of the mutually agreed upon plan.

PDF Attachments: Individual Development Plan

 

Staff Competency Check-in & Leadership Competency Check-in

Each competency tool provides an opportunity to check-in and obtain feedback on competency development. It also offers an opportunity for leaders and employees to set professional development goals.

PDF Attachments:
Staff Competency Check-in
Leadership Competency Check-in

Panel 3: Change Leadership is Intentional, Consistent and Persistent

Panelist Biographies

Kathleen Webb
DMV, Chief Deputy Director

Kathleen Webb is Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Prior to this, she served as the Director of Performance Improvement at the Government Operations Agency from 2017 to 2019, where she also served as Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Accountability from 2015 to 2017. Prior to joining the Government Operations Agency, Ms. Webb’s public service experience included Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for the California Public Employee Retirement System from 2012 to 2015, Director of Policy and Risk Management from 2010 to 2012 and Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy from 2009 to 2012 for California Correctional Health Care Services, Deputy Director of the Interagency Support Division at the Department of General Services from 2008 to 2009, and Director of the Governor’s Office of the Insurance Advisor from 2006 to 2008. Ms. Webb also held multiple positions with State Farm Insurance from 1986 to 2006, including agency, claims management and legislative affairs.

 

Drew Bohan
Executive Director, California Energy Commission

Drew Bohan is the executive director of the California Energy Commission. The Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. He has served Californians for more than 15 years. His public service includes leadership roles with the Energy Commission, California Environmental Protection Agency, the Ocean Protection Council, and the California Department of Conservation. He served as the executive director of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, chief counsel to the House of Delegates in the Republic of Palau, and a litigation attorney at Heller Ehrman in San Francisco. He lives in Carmichael with his wife, Angela, and their two children, Linnea and Landon. He is an avid bike rider.

 

Aaron Ochoco
Deputy Director, Caltrans

Aaron Ochoco has over 25 years of service with the State of California and currently serves as the Deputy Director of Administration for Caltrans. In this position, he is responsible for the administrative functions of Caltrans, which include human resources; labor relations; learning and development; procurement and contracts; office of facility operations and planning; statewide security operations; statewide resource management for Administration; and business services. The Administration Program provides services and consultation to staff both in Headquarters and throughout Caltrans’ twelve (12) districts. His vision of the Administration Program’s role in strategic talent management is one where all employees feel valued, are fully engaged, and take pride in their work, in supporting Caltrans’ Mission, Vision, Goals, and Values.

Resources

Navigating the Future of Work

California state agencies anticipate lasting changes for state employment – creating new opportunities and challenges.
PDF Attachments: Navigating the Future of Work

 

Navigating the Workforce

Lead your operations through today’s labor challenges.
PDF Attachments: Navigating the Workforce

 

Why Transformation Feels So Hard

Four Psychological Hot Spots in Transformation.
PDF Attachments: Why Transformation Feels So Hard

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