Leadership Development

As a manager, you have an important responsibility at GW. Learn what is expected of you as a member of GW’s management team. Coaching and counseling staff is a part of your job. Use the resources provided and build time into your schedule to perform these valuable functions.

A manager is any university employee who is responsible for administrative supervision of other employees; managers are expected to follow the conventions contained in the Manager's Handbook. In addition, managers are expected to be familiar with university policies and follow them. As regular university employees, managers are also expected to be knowledgeable about the information and guidance found in the Employee Handbook.

Reinforcing policies and practices is an essential responsibility you have to perform. In doing so, you shape our culture, encourage fairness, and demonstrate your commitment to the GW Values


The GW value of teamwork encourages you to collaborate to meet common goals and create a sense of shared responsibility. As a manager, you know that teamwork is critical to your department’s success. Investing in strengthening your team can create an atmosphere of engagement by encouraging co-operation, teamwork, interdependence, and trust among team members. Start now to identify what your team needs to reach its full potential.

Identify the Right Opportunities for Your Team to Learn Now

Take a team assessment, and review the learning resources available to help your team today. Using what you learn from the assessment, take action now to learn new skills or improve existing skills. Look over team-related learning resources in [email protected] - Learning, and pick one or more to start enhancing your team’s performance and development.

Coaching and Counseling

Ongoing coaching, feedback, and recognition build strong relationships, motivate employees, and create a culture of growth and development. Build informal coaching opportunities into your day-to-day interaction with staff and utilize performance checkpoints as a formal platform for providing guidance.

Where should most of my time be spent? Expectations.

First, you need to set and clarify expectations for what needs to be accomplished (e.g., job description, annual goals, special assignments). Next, set and clarify expectations for how work needs to get done using the Clarifying Expectations Tool (PDF) that outlines the GW performance factors. Once expectations are set and clear, manage them. If things are going well, give recognition. If things are off track, give feedback.

Counseling for Change

When performance is not meeting expectations and corrective action is required, don’t hesitate. Start working on your managerial courage, and begin counseling right away. Recommendations for performance counseling include:

  1. Review the job description with an employee who is struggling to perform. Use the job description as a framework for explaining what needs to improve.

  2. Do not forget that part of your job is to manage performance issues and that your manager is responsible for coaching you on how to navigate challenging situations.

Resources for counseling


Ongoing coaching is at the core of determining and maintaining successful performance. Use the following strategies to facilitate a culture of continuous development:

  • Partner with your manager and/or staff to clarify and manage expectations, in addition to communicating what tasks must get done.
  • Set appropriate goals and manage them throughout the year using performance checkpoints.
  • Provide and solicit feedback on a regular basis. Commit to taking action on the feedback you receive.
  • Recognize individual and team successes. Take advantage of opportunities to provide both formal and informal recognition using the Recognition Toolkit.

Who is responsible for coaching?

Everyone. Make sure you are giving and receiving the coaching needed for you and for others to be successful at GW.


Introductory Employment Period Toolkit

These resources will both help managers onboard new employees in a way that will speed up the time it takes for them to contribute fully in their new role and also reduce the risk of new employees underperforming.

We highly recommend you watch the 15-minute webinar (below) that provides an overview of the IEP guidance along with best practices and resources to support you during the IEP process.

  1. Introductory Employment Period Manager Webinar

  2. Welcoming A New Employee (PDF): A checklist to help prepare for the arrival of a new employee.

  3. Clarifying Expectations Tool (PDF): A customizable document designed to help clarify which expectations are most important for a successful transition.

  4. Giving Feedback Planning Worksheet (PDF): A planning tool to prepare for a successful feedback conversation.

  5. Employee Recognition Profile (PDF): A worksheet a new employee can fill out to articulate what motivates them to help provide meaningful recognition.

  6. Introductory Employment Period Documentation Tips (PDF): A document sharing useful suggestions to help with documentation.

  7. Confronting Difficult Situations and Correcting Behavior (PDF): A planning tool to prepare for a counseling session to take corrective action.

In addition to the toolkit, your manager and HR Business Partner are available to help you navigate the onboarding experience with new employees. If you need additional guidance, please contact Talent and Organizational Development at [email protected].

Browse additional GW training resources.


As a manager, an important responsibility is to maintain compliance with GW’s policies to ensure that the university is operating within legal guidelines. The university provides a number of resources where you can reference important policies and practices:

Ensure staff compliance

Identify the policies that are relevant to your staff and ensure that they review them periodically. Provide new staff members with early access to these policies and also provide them with time to complete any relevant compliance training.