"Hoffmann said COA wants to bring the training back again at least once – it was a total success. The participants have become resources for one another, which has created communication between their departments and enabled them to solve problems more efficiently."
For information on customized training for your organization, email
Susanne Vella or give her a call at 414-344-3933 x133.
By Molly Willms, NPC Guest Blogger
A self-assured, effective team of new supervisors has emerged at COA Youth & Family Centers, thanks in no small part to training by the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee.
“What I’ve seen is, people feel more confident handling some of their supervisor issues on their own,” said Julie Hoffmann, COA’s Human Resources Director and a board member at the Nonprofit Center.
Hoffmann reached out to NPC staff to boost the know-how of nine supervisors, many of whom were new to management roles.
She is a member of NPC’s HR Professionals Leaders’ Circle and had such a high opinion of that group’s facilitator, Mary Voelker, Ph.D., that she was thrilled to have Mary lead an on-site supervisor circle at COA.
The group began with a 3-hour introductory session, followed by seven subsequent 2-hour sessions on-site – a detail that enabled greater participation, Hoffmann said.
One of the key elements of the supervisors’ circle was that no one from human resources, not even Hoffmann herself, was allowed to participate or listen in. The nine participants and Voelker had a confidentiality agreement that created a safe space to talk through specific challenges.
“We also wanted to allow them to network with other staff in the agency so that they would feel that they had other allies in other departments that they could talk to,” Hoffmann said.
The participants read and presented on the Supervisor’s Survival Kit by Cliff Goodwin and Daniel B. Griffith, a business textbook they were given to keep for reference after all the sessions were completed.
Even without knowing details of what the supervisors worked on in sessions, Hoffmann said COA wants to bring the training back again at least once – it was a total success. The participants have become resources for one another, which has created communication between their departments and enabled them to solve problems more efficiently.
“It was a win for the supervisors, because they got singled out by us saying, ‘We see your potential, we’d like to support you,’” she said. “And they gained skills that will help them and make the agency a better place, so that benefits the agency.”
What’s more, the pricing structure is accessible even for smaller nonprofits, who can offer training as an additional benefit in a competitive employment market.
Hoffmann said it was more than learning skills from a book and answering questions for her nine capable staffers: it was a key that unlocked their potential.
“They really had a lot of the answers already,” she said “They just didn’t have the confidence.”
If you have a suggestion for a workshop topic or a request for customized training for your organization, email Training Coordinator Susanne Vella or give her a call at 414-344-3933, x133. Training can be tailored to meet your particular needs and presented at your office or other venues.