Supervisory Techniques and Skills

Public Employees Leadership Institute
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1. Supervisor’s role and leadership concepts
2. Understanding motivation and supervision
3. Managing workplace stress
4. Conflict management
5. Disciplining for success
6. Effective time management
7. Goal setting
8. Effective communication
9. Implementing Change
10. Discussion

This course is designed for supervisors, lead workers or others who find themselves involved in the management process – and perhaps concerned that they should be better prepared to do this job. It is not for middle or upper level managers or administrators who may be more concerned with the total organization or achieving organizational goals.

The first-line supervisors the person responsible for getting the actual work done properly and on time, is the critical link between the workers and the upper levels of management. This supervisor must know quite a bit about the technical side of the job: how to blade a road, how to repair a guardrail, and many other things. But, as a supervisor, they now find they must spend more time working with people and doing paperwork.

Working with people is a primary responsibility of a supervisor. The best individual worker is most apt to be promoted to supervisor. Often however, he/she may have a difficult time feeling comfortable with the new tasks.

This course will provide an opportunity to review some of the recognized management and leadership concepts, and allow each individual to relate his or her needs to these educational concepts.

Objectives: Upon completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Define the role of supervisor by identifying the required skill set for success.
  • Develop a system for hiring and training new employees to maximize work efficiency.
  • Identify ways to manage stress by eliminating obstacles and managing time.
  • Discuss different options for dealing with conflict to select correct styles for managing situations.
  • Understand what is meant by an organization’s culture and discuss how it impacts completion of daily tasks.
  • Develop a strategy to manage labor relationships.

City of West Des Moines Public Works Director

Bret Hodne has been with the City of West Des Moines Public Works Department since 1989. He started his career as an equipment operator for before moving into various managerial roles. He was promoted into the Superintendent of Public Works position in 1994 and into his current position as the Director of Public Works in 2008.

Bret has served as the APWA Iowa Chapter President and Delegate. In 2006 Bret was presented with the APWA Donald C. Stone Award for Excellence in Education. He was selected by the APWA in 2007 as one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders in North America. For several years Bret chaired the National APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee. He currently serves as a Past Chair with this group and is still actively involved. Bret currently is a member of the APWA Institute Review Committee and recently served as a member and Chair of the APWA Leadership and Management Committee.

During the past few years, Bret has conducted several presentations in both the United States and internationally on maintenance related issues. He has also written several articles that have been featured in various national publications.

Other Institute course(s)
Effective Communication Skills
Resource Management Skills
Winter Maintenance Management
Sustainability in Public Works

City of West Des Moines Superintendent of Public Services

Kevin Hensley currently works for the City of West Des Moines as the Superintendent of Public Services. He is a member of the APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee where is has been actively involved in winter maintenance training. Prior to being employed with West Des Moines Kevin worked for an Environmental Engineering Firm as a senior field technician. Kevin has completed the CPM program at Drake University and is currently working to obtain his Masters in Public Administration.

City of Dubuque Public Works Director

John Klosterman joined the City of Dubuque in 1975.  He has held a series of positions with progressively more responsibility.  He served as the City’s street and sewer maintenance supervisor from 1994 to 2016.  In that position, his responsibilities included the planning and operations of riverfront maintenance, street and traffic lighting, flood control, street, and sewer maintenance, including snow and ice control operations.  In May of 2016, he was appointed to the position of Public Works Director where he is responsible for the oversite and development of the operating and capital improvement budgets for the activities listed above, along with refuse collection and recycling, landfill operations and the municipal garage activities.

John is a current member of the American Public Works Association and was a member of the APWA Iowa Chapter Board from 1999-2004, serving as president in 2003.

Other Institute course(s)
Emergency Management

City of Des Moines Public Works Director

Jonathan Gano is the Director of Public Works for the City of Des Moines, a position he’s held since early 2015.  He is responsible for the city’s wastewater utility, stormwater utility, flood control, snow removal, tree care, and residential trash and recycling.

Before arriving in Iowa, Gano served in a variety of roles in the Public Works Department of the City of Springfield in Missouri with service over a 10 year period that culminated as the Assistant Director, responsible for infrastructure maintenance and operations.

Prior to working in public works, Gano served as an engineer officer in the United States Army for eight years, where his duties took him to a variety of different states and countries.  Gano holds a master of science degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri at Rolla and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy.  He is a professional engineer registered in the state of Missouri since 2001.

City of Ankeny Public Works Administrator

Aaron Putman is an Engineering graduate of Iowa State University and worked in Land Development for several years.  He has since worked in a Public Works leadership role for over a decade and is currently the Public Works Administrator for the City of Ankeny.

City of Cedar Rapids Street Operations Manager

Born and raised in Davenport Mike Duffy joined the Army out of High School and spent the majority of his Military career overseas.  After the Military Mike attended Scott Community College and then the University of Iowa receiving a BS in Civil Engineering.

Upon graduation Mike worked for Shive-Hattery in Cedar Rapids doing mostly roadway design and traffic related work.  Mike went to work with the Linn County Secondary Road Department in 2000 as Road Superintendent.  After the working closely with Cedar Rapids during the 2008 flood Mike accepted the full time position of Street Superintendent for the City in order to help with recovery and rebuilding.  Mike is currently the Street Operations Manager for the City.

Mike is an active member of APWA and serves on the City Incident Management team as well as the State IMT.

City of Davenport Engineering Manager

Eric Longlett has worked with the City of Davenport, IA Public Works for 3.5 years in the Streets Maintenance Manager position. This included leading a great team of 52 workers that completed day to day street maintenance, asphalt overlay, snow plow/removal and river flooding. Lately he has switched roles at the City and have taken the Engineering Manager position to lead another great team of 32 people in engineering and construction inspection. Prior to working with the City he had 30 years in the civil engineering field working in the private sector surveying, inspecting, designing, and project management of private and government projects.

City of Ames Public Works Operations Manager

Justin Clausen has a BS in Construction Engineering from ISU. He is a Licensed Professional Engineering in the State of Iowa and worked 10 years working in private industry constructing roads and bridges.

Currently Justin is the Public Works Operations Manager with the City of Ames.  Oversees street maintenance, storm sewer, snow and ice control, sanitary sewer collection, and water distribution for the City of Ames.

Other Institute course(s)
Effective Communication Skills

City of Council Bluffs Public Works Director of Operations

Pat Miller’s career consists of a history of maintenance operations beginning in 1973 at age 18 in the U.S Army fleet maintenance. He has worked at Union Pacific Railroad as Locomotive Journeyman Machinist and Supervisor, Westside School District head of Fleet Maintenance.

Pat has been with the city of Council Bluffs Public Works Department since 1999. He started his career as Fleet Superintendent before moving into Public Works Director of Operations in 2006 where he oversees the day to operations of Streets, Sewers, Pump Stations, Traffic Division, Facilities Maintenance and the City’s Fleet Division.

Pat has served as the American Public Works Iowa Chapter President in 2013 and on the Fleet services Committee. In 2013, Pat received the APWA Iowa Chapter Leader of the Year Award. In 2014, Pat and his Public Works Operations Department received the APWA Excellence in Snow and Ice Award. In 2014, Pat Received the Mayors Outstanding Achievement Award City of Council Bluffs, IA.


“The Supervisory Techniques and Skills online course was helpful and had some interesting information for improving my supervisory skills.” —Bryan De Jong, Assistant to Engineer/Construction, Dallas County Road Department

“The Supervisory Techniques and Skills course was very informative and I liked both the Fish Market and Gung Ho videos. They give us a little different insight into using and studying people skills. I’m sure that I will be able to use these processes on a daily basis when working for the City of Burlington or just dealing with people in general.” —Chris Clements, Operations Manager, City of Burlington

“I have completed the Supervisory Techniques and Skills online course. It was very well done, and my time was well spent.” —Randy Lorenzen, P.E., Civil Engineer III, City of Cedar Falls