The Chelmsford Department of Public Works (DPW) is preparing staff to tackle the leadership and management challenges associated with supervising a work crew. The department recently dispatched a town employee to participate in a full-day “Succeeding as a Foreman” seminar held for a total of 10 municipal workers from around the region on October 24 in Acton, MA at Town Hall. The session was presented free of charge as a membership benefit by the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), property and casualty insurance provider for the participating municipalities.
“The Town of Chelmsford is committed to the professional development of its employees. Our first priority is employee safety,” said Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen. “The MIIA program serves as an excellent resource for training and workplace safety. The Chelmsford DPW will benefit from its participation in the foreman training event.”
The Succeeding as a Foreman training provided an introduction to the nature of leading a crew – from initial transition to a leadership role, to typical day-to-day responsibilities as a foreman – and was designed to boost professionalism and confidence of participants. Both veteran and aspiring foremen attending the six-hour training session, which covered the major elements of a foreman’s job – including supervising former co-workers, earning respect of the crew, delegating and delivering instructions and feedback, providing a safe work environment, and engaging and motivating employees through teamwork and reinforcement. Interactive group discussions focused on enhancing interpersonal skills and improving communication to be most effective on the job. Participants brainstormed how to handle a variety of day-to-day scenarios and highlighted the challenges they typically face on the job.
Rockie Blunt, president of Blunt Consulting Group of West Boylston, MA, conducted the training. An experienced management and organization communications trainer, Blunt has worked extensively with municipal and state agencies throughout New England. Upon completion of this training and other MIIA risk- and loss-prevention programs, Chelmsford and the other participating municipalities are eligible to receive insurance premium credits through the MIIA Rewards Program, which helps to reduce property and casualty insurance costs.
MIIA is the non-profit, member-based insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) insuring nearly 400 cities, towns, and other public entities in the state. In fiscal year 2012, nearly 8,000 city and town employees participated in nearly 400 MIIA-sponsored technical trainings and management seminars offered throughout the state. Member municipalities' efforts yielded more than $2.5 million of premium credit collectively through the MIIA Rewards incentive program for an 11-year total of $19.8 million. For more information please visit www.emiia.org and www.mma.org.