Important Notes

  1. Please contact EOD for information about the next available program.
  2. A new supervisor is considered one who was promoted or hired into a supervisory role in the past three years, where the primary duty of the job is to supervise the work of two or more UT employees (not students) on a regular basis.

Intended Audience

This program is open to those who have been newly promoted or hired into a supervisory role.


  • Five modules offered over the course of ten two-hour ZOOM sessions.
  • Coaching provided over consecutive months to create an immersive experience
  • A cohort format that enables participants to build a network of peers at UT
  • Collaborative learning designed for new supervisors
  • Coaching aligned with distinct learning objectives and competencies


“Through the [Supervisory Foundations] program, we were able to further develop our supervisory knowledge and skills to be more effective supervisors and leaders in our respective units. This program is a great way to professionally develop and grow as a supervisor and connect and engage with other supervisors and leaders on campus.”
Dr. Danny Glassmann, Associate Dean of Students, UTK

“As a new supervisor to UT I was excited for an opportunity to be a part of the Supervisory Foundations program and this did not disappoint. Each module had something different to offer and some even combined my outside interests with valuable skills I could use immediately. I think my favorite part was meeting people from all over campus, that I never would have had the opportunity to get to know otherwise. We could all work together and realize that an issue I am experiencing is incredibly similar to issues others are feeling. The Supervisory Foundations program is definitely worth the time investment.”
Sarah Holt, Library Public Services, UTK

Curriculum – Required Courses

Click course names to view descriptions.

Module I – Welcome

This session will offer an overview of the Supervisory Foundations program and provide an introduction to the 360 Degree Feedback Survey that will be utilized.

Module II – Personal Leadership

Discover your style as a supervisor – including your greatest strengths and weaknesses – and learn about individual approaches to supervision. Participants will discuss supervisory styles and explore how styles relate to communication, relationship-building and decision-making.

Explore the difficulties of moving from staff to supervisor, as well as the challenges of becoming a new supervisor to an intact team. Discussion will include ways to effectively transition relationships with former peers and build staff commitment.

Module III – Team Management

This course outlines the role of the team leader on a high-performance team and highlights the importance of taking steps to develop the team culture. Remote work can be fraught with challenges. This course will also offer strategies to enhance leader’s ability to lead virtual teams.

Explore supervisors’ impact on teams, departmental culture and work climate. Learn to recognize and respond to workplace disrespect and incivility. Discuss when it may be best to step in or let staff deal with their own interpersonal issues.

In this course, supervisors will come to understand what it means to be inclusive and the positive impact inclusivity can have. They will examine different biases and recognize the impact these biases can unintentionally have on the team. The course also offers strategies on how to apply leadership behaviors designed to create an inclusive environment.

Module IV – People Management

Coursework explores the reasons why feedback often induces fear and avoidance responses and how we can conquer those emotions. Practice specific techniques for handling feedback conversations and discuss the power of feedback to demonstrate belief and commitment in staff. This course will review best practices for completing performance reviews and the electronic tool best used for reviews.

Making high-impact decisions are foundational skills in supervision. This course will explore types of decisions, decision-making styles, how supervision styles impact decision-making, and methods to enhance decision-making ability. Participants will gain an understanding of what is expected of supervisors in terms of decision-making and ways to develop confidence in decision-making.

Delegation is an essential component of successful supervision. Participants will discuss when to delegate, what to delegate, and how to delegate effectively. Discussion and activities will focus on effective delegation techniques. Coursework will also cover a brief introduction to project management, how to approach time management concerns with staff, and ideas to build skills in creating and encouraging productivity in teams.

Module IV – Leadership Support

360-degree feedback, also known as multi-rater feedback, is a system in which anonymous feedback is gathered about a member of staff from various people they have working relationships with. This is usually their managers, peers, and direct reports. Participants will also complete the survey and conduct a self-evaluation. It is designed so that a range of people can share their opinion to provide a well-rounded view on the individual.

It will be used as a development tool because it provides information about the participant’s work competencies, behavior and working relationships.

Participants will create a detailed blueprint of the professional development and learning activities they will engage in to improve leadership abilities. Supervisors will identify growth objectives, who can help, and indicators of success and timeline. This session will also offer strategies for continuous growth after the conclusion of the training.