DMA conducts its first-ever Supervisor Course

Supervisors in the Virginia Department of Military Affairs take part in the first-ever DMA Supervisor Course June 7, 2018, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. (Contributed photo)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — The Virginia Department of Military Affairs conducted its first-ever Supervisor Course June 4-7, 2018, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The class was held at Fort Pickett, but may be conducted at other locations in the future.

“Talking to the state staff and looking at the trends and data from the climate survey we conducted last year showed a clear need to provide training to our state supervisory staff and to anyone else who supervises and manages state employees,” said Walter L. Mercer, DMA chief operations officer.

This class came about as a result of the efforts of the DMA Strategic Planning Working Group, Mercer explained. He formed the group in 2016 to gain input from DMA state staff, collect data and build a plan for process improvements and new initiatives to improve DMA’s state operations.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Tim White was hired this year as a training specialist as part of this initiative, and he has been tasked to to better manage and develop training opportunities for the DMA team, Mercer said.

This course will be held quarterly and all staff members who supervise state employees will complete this course eventually, even if they are already in a supervisory position.

“Mr. Mercer made it clear that this course was my priority this year, and we worked as a team to develop the program and what we would teach,” White said. “The class covers a mix of topics focused on state employees, from human resources policies and requirements, pay, safety, and benefits administration, leadership and communication techniques, and more. It gives a supervisor the tools and information needed to be successful”

From feedback from the supervisory staff who attended this first class, it appears to have been a success, Mercer said.

“I made it very clear that I wanted this course to be relevant and helpful to the supervisors who attended it, so that they would walk away from it with some new knowledge that would help them in their job,” Mercer said.

White said the the next class will be held in September at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach.

Walter L. Mercer, DMA Chief Operations Officer, leads one of the blocks of instruction the first-ever DMA Supervisor Course June 7, 2018, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. (Contributed photo)