Developing Future Managers from Today's Workforce

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In order to address current employee turnover issues due to the exodus of the Baby Boomer generation, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) in Oakland, California implemented its supervisory and manager employee development programs. With the success of the Leadership Academy and Superintendent Pathways programs (both programs are described in the August 2006 issue of WE&T), EBMUD implemented the next phase of the overall program to address development of future managers.

In January 2006, EBMUD inaugurated the Management Leadership Academy (MLA) to develop the skills of potential future division managers and other upper-level management candidates. As with the first two programs, the MLA was developed in-house with the input and cooperation of departments across the District. Unlike the previous programs which targeted Operations and Maintenance (O&M) staff, the MLA was designed to address knowledge and skill development for key management positions District-wide.

The program consisted of the following components:

• Competitive selection

• 360° and personal assessments

• Individual development plans

• Group leadership sessions including structured classroom training and facilitated group discussions

• Coaching by members of the Senior Management Team

• Special 6-month "Action Learning" project assignments

Over 60 District employees competed for 15 full participant training positions. Comprehensive assessments included an analysis of each participant's skills and areas for improvement. After analyzing the participants' profile, individual training plans were developed, supplementing program components. An additional 11 participants were also accepted into the program as partial participants since they already occupied manager-level positions. These participants participated in the seminars and group discussions.

The first group of graduates completed the program in December 2006.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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