HR launches new Management Foundations program

Sara Frost
November 10, 2016

Think about the best manager you've had over the course of your career. What made them stand out? How did their approach to management affect your experience at work? These are some of the driving questions behind the new Management Foundations program launching in 2017. This program focuses on the unique skill set required to be a great manager, and the challenging transition from individual contributor to effective manager.

Before developing the new program, the Office of Human Resources did some investigation into what areas should be a main focus of Management Foundations. Research tells us that an employee's relationship with a manager is a critical component in overall engagement and retention. Great managers foster an environment where employees feel personally connected to the mission of the organization, have opportunities to utilize their strengths every day in their work, participate in ongoing two-way communication with their manager, as well as receiving support and encouragement to pursue professional development opportunities. In fact, Gallup, a market research company, estimates that managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement. According to a recent Gallup story, "Great managers consistently engage their teams to achieve outstanding performance."

We also wanted to hear from you. During our HR open house, we asked employees to jot down their thoughts on what makes a great manager. They told us communication is critical, both in terms of offering feedback and taking the time to listen. Respondents mentioned setting clear expectations several times, as well as supporting goals and professional development. We also heard transparency and accountability help to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect.

The Management Foundations training offers managers a learning experience that starts with them, their strengths, their growth opportunities and how they want to lead their team. Participants then focus on critical management skills - employee relations, interviewing and hiring, compensation and performance management - to ensure these practices are implemented fairly and consistently across the university. These topics are covered through a combination of convenient online eLearning sessions that managers can revisit as needed and interactive skill labs. This approach allows learners to view the content at their own pace and put that knowledge into practice using real world scenarios. Learners also add their own considerable expertise to the classroom and learn from the experiences of their peers. The program emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning for every manager. Ongoing opportunities for professional development will be offered to all DePaul employees and managers, as well as opportunities to network with and learn from each other as managers.

The core courses of this training can be completed in under 12 months. Employees who participate in the entire program will receive a Management Foundations certificate from the office of Human Resources. More information, as well as instructions for getting started, can be found at or by calling the Organizational Development and Workplace Learning team at [email protected] or 312-362-8342.

Taking on a management role is an extraordinary responsibility and opportunity to affect the experience and engagement of your team. As St. Vincent de Paul said, "It is not enough to do good, it must be done well." Join us today for Management Foundations and continue your own journey to becoming a great manager.