It's the Manager!

Our HR team is committed to supporting our supervisors and managers in their personal and professional development.  We know the value a great leader brings to the institution and those they lead. Each month we will share themes, tips and resources to use on your path to being the best manager, supervisor, influencer and employee coach you can be.

70 %

Managers influence at least 70% of employee engagement.

"On the whole, employees say that the quality of their manager is more important than their compensation." - Gallup

Give a High Five!

Email us or fill out this short form to "High Five" a peer, colleague, supervisor, direct report, leader or other UI staff, for the positive impact they make in your life or department. Big or small, we'll share your note of thanks and recognition monthly and keep a running list so we can look back at the end of this year.

All recipients receive a special certificate with the submission info and note of thanks.

High Fives monthly and are an option for all org 02 & 35 supervisors and staff! 

Check out some highlights from the High Five's received thus far on our Rewards and Recognition page.

JANUARY - Welcome 2022! - Making Change Last

   It's the start of another new year!  I'm sure you've all considered or set resolutions and goals for the coming calendar year, to break bad habits or create new positive ones.  The calendar page turn always feels like a refresh to me, even when I subconsciously now it's just another day and a few number changes.  Time keeps moving, no matter what we do, and I personally like to take (or make) any opportunity to reset, recharge, re-focus and re-commit.  So if you've already got your plans set for the year, or you are still working them out, here's some info on work-life boundaries from Dr. Beth Livingston and 10 tips for stacking good habits from our LiveWELL experts.

  • Consider taking a Work-life Indicator assessment.

    • This can be helpful to determine what you and your employees want out of work and home life. 

    • Knowing what you/they want allows supervisors/employers to align their benefits to employee needs.

  • Now you know what you and your employees want, ADVOCATE for it!

    • Recognize there's no one-size fits all approach. Some staff want to integrate their home and work life while others prefer to keep them completely separate, and still others are a little of both.

    • Don't let your own stress turn management in monitoring.

  • Work towards your and their ideal work configuration. 

    • Needs may not align perfectly. Push one way or the other depending on the situation and allow flexibility to do what's right for both the job and the employee.

  • Help employees manage their own expectations.

    • Encourage them to be honest about the situation and not get doubly disappointed by things not going their way.

  • Set both long and short-term goals.

    • Get to know yourself and your staff, communicate clearly, grant yourself grace and remember to extend it to others.

work life balance image

Now check out the ten science based tips for making good habits last by stacking them. 

The key takeaway is to breakdown bigger goals into smaller actions and celebrate small wins.

My favorites are:

  1. Prime your environment.
  2. Create accountability. A lot of people prefer not to tell others about a plan they have, so they don't have to say it out loud if they fail, but the act of sharing your plan or goal will make you more likely to achieve it.
  3. Stack your habits. Add 5-15minutes of workout time to your morning routine or when you run to grab food for lunch.
  4. Avoid the All or Nothing mentality.


Read more about work-life balance here or download the article.
Read more about 10 science-based tips for stacking good habits here or download the article

7 Ways to Reduce Friction Between Remote and Onsite Employees

  1. Identify the Cause of the Friction
  2. Be Transparent
  3. Define What Flexibility Means
  4. Rethink What Roles Can Be Performed Remotely
  5. Address Distance Bias
  6. Build Trust
Read more about friction here, or download the article.

(Recently archived Supervisor/Manager HR pages: Dec '21Nov '21Oct '21Sept '21Aug '21, July '21June, '21, May '21April '21, March '21, Feb '21, Jan '21. Email for older page archives.)

How to Be a Better Human series

Working, Learning and Leading Remotely

Resources for employees, supervisors and leaders to effectively and efficiently work with hybrid and remote teams.


As we move to more hybrid work schedules (partially remote) below are some tips and help for supervisors and depts. These considerations are to guide you as you determine the people and positions that are suited for remote work and how to refresh and update your supervision and group work structures.  There is content for professional and student staff as well as the link to the flexible work agreement form, for those who are requesting ongoing remote schedule, work or location agreements. 

The ICON course: Leading Remote/Hybrid Teams (#WCVD02) training required for current supervisors has some excellent tips, resources, advice and requirements.

*CHECK OUT THE updated UI resource page: Working, Learning and Leading Remotely.

*For Enhanced/Promoting Employee Engagement - Try the platform 15Five

  • The HR team has tested it out and found that the free version offers a user-friendly weekly check-in that asks key questions for keeping staff engaged and motivated, shares that with their supervisor, and promotes further engagement with features like teams, survey options and virtual "high fives" to recognize teammates.  (Emily has an account and can add you easily - reach out to learn more!)

  • LinkedIn Learning courses: Managing Virtual TeamsLeading at a Distance, Learning Path for Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Team up for Success.

Remote Work Considerations and Tips.pdf

Tips for Supervising Students Remotely .pdf

Flexible Work Agreement form - employees should fill this out if they are remaining remote when they could/are asked to return to campus or will have an ongoing flexible arrangement (i.e. hours, duties, location) outside of what the pandemic is currently dictating for depts. 

Understanding and Managing Remote Workers - GALLUP RESOURCES

Referenced Resources from ICON Supervisor Training

Resolving Coworker Conflict of Coping with COVID

UI Resources and Programs

Leadership Development is an ongoing effort at the University of Iowa and in our Orgs.  The UI Organizational Effectiveness and Learning and Development teams are hard at work creating, updating and enhancing many training and development opportunities for leaders at all levels and supervisors, current and prospective.  Check out the links below.

Leadership Development

Leadership Competency Framework

Supervisor Training@Iowa

Supervisor Toolbox

Supervisor Guide to Onboarding


Your Org HR Team

Many of you are familiar with Clifton Strengths and the philosophy of positive psychology.  In May 2019, Gallup launched the new book IT'S THE MANAGER by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter, packed with 52 discoveries from Gallup's largest study on the future of work.  Your HR team is hard at work tailoring a workshop for supervisors to walk through and learn to apply the strengths-based philosophy to your regular supervisory and coaching strategies.  Feel free to reach out with thoughts or preferences on what this might look like and we'll be in touch when we've got a draft/plan to share!

External Development/Training Opportunities

  • Individual and Team Performance (ITP) Metrics Lab - Free team assessments to help you learn about each other and improve or enhance your teamwork!  Area to assess include leadership, peer feedback, team dynamics, conflict style, and personality.  These activities and following discussion can be a great teambuilder.

  • People Manager Qualification Program from  Designed to help supervisors develop skills for successfully managing teams, Elle - a virtual character in the program, will help you through an interactive, gamified and edutainment focused virtual learning experience to build solid people and team leadership skills. 

  • Tune into the recent Gallup webcast on Building Resilience: How Managers Lead Post-Crisis Performance, focused on employee engagement. 

  • Boss to Coach One - Virtual Training from Gallup to accelerate performance through conversations and coaching.

  • Check out Reality-Based Leadership, a philosophy developed by Cy Wakeman, self-proclaimed drama researcher and renowned speaker. Her research has shown that the average employee spends nearly 2.5 hours per day in drama and she made it her mission to support today's leadership on a mission to reduce drama and increase employee accountability.  These changes, in turn, increase productivity, employee engagement and satisfaction.  

  • For Leaders: Lead in Uncertainty and CrisisA new 2 hour webinar for leaders.