First-line supervisors from across the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers gathered at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) for Propel training from July 15-19.
Propel is a five-day interactive training course for new first-line supervisors that provides them with tools to interpret the workplace, utilize organizational resources, and take appropriate and timely supervisory actions. The course also teaches leadership skills as well as conflict resolution and team building methods.
Propel training is taught monthly at different Warfare Centers to cohorts of 20 new first-line supervisors across all Warfare Center divisions.
“I always try to share with first-line supervisors just how important they are to the Organization,” said NSWCPD’s Technical Director, Thomas Perotti, Senior Executive Service (SES), when introducing the Propel cohort to the Command. “The importance of what each of us, as managers, bring to the Warfare Centers is how we bring all of the employees together to achieve our goal.”
Propel provides practical hands-on training for new supervisors that focuses on real-world workplace issues and different ways to resolve them. The training is based on performance standards for first-line supervisors from Donald McCormack, Executive Director, NAVSEA Warfare Centers.
While Propel is aimed at employees within 90 days of being selected as a new supervisor, the course also provides longtime supervisors a chance to refresh their skills and to learn about NAVSEA’s newest leadership initiatives.
NSWCPD’s Counsel, Gary Saladino, who has been a supervisor with the Command since 2016, was still able to learn some new supervising tools during the course.
“I learned a lot of new tools, the scenario-based education was really good, they gave us a lot of different tools to deal with various situations,” Saladino said. “I have taken supervising courses before but they weren’t as broad as Propel.”
One of NSWCPD’s newest supervisors, Susan Carter, Sail, Hull, and Deck Machinery Systems division head, also participated in this cohort of Propel.
“I think everyone was able to take things away from the training, it helped to be able to hear everyone’s different experiences,” Carter said.
Ryan Fox, NSWCPD’s Workforce Development Program lead, was one of the course facilitators for the latest round of Propel. Fox, who has facilitated three Propel trainings, hopes that participants recognize how important their job is.
“You’re not alone,” Fox said to the new supervisors. “You have a very hard job and the success of the organization relies on your individual success, as well as team success, so ask for help if you need it.”
The training culminates with a capstone course where the new supervisors form teams and go through workplace scenarios, giving them an opportunity to demonstrate how they would mitigate and resolve issues.
After watching each team present, Perotti told the cohort that he had dealt with many of the same issues they demonstrated.
“What I want to leave you with is that you will experience those scenarios, maybe in different ways, but you will see them again,” Perotti said. “When you do, I want you to think about what you learned in class to deal with them, because I promise you will run into some of these challenges.”
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,600 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel doing research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for Navy ships. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.