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


Manager Essentials

Manager Essentials

Manager Essentials is a program designed to give managers the basic information needed to successfully manage themselves, individuals, and teams within the GW Service Framework. Managers will learn how to apply the GW Leader Behaviors to support a service-centered culture. Managers will also have the opportunity to learn best practices and share information with other managers across GW. 

There are two components to Manager Essentials. Managers are invited to attend a four week cohort based program focused on developing skills in the areas of managing yourself, managing individuals, and managing teams. The second component to Manager Essentials is quarterly information and training sessions from departments across HRMD.


Manager Essentials Cohort Program

The Manager Essential program is a four week course, for two hours each week. Participants will receive a participant toolkit as their course materials and will work with a learning partner each week. At this time, all sessions are held virtually. For more information, please reach out to the Talent and Organizational Development team at [email protected].


Manager Essentials Quarterly HR Information Sessions

Each quarter, managers will have the opportunity to attend information and training sessions hosted by various departments across HRMD. These sessions are designed to give managers the skills to manage the day to day aspects of being a manager such as attracting and retaining talent, approving timesheets, performance management, and more. Click the links below to see current available sessions.

If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

  • Talent Acquisition: Learn about the Talent Acquisition team, the recruitment process, and best practices for interviewing candidates.
  • Benefits and Payroll: Learn about benefits and payroll programs at GW, and resources available to you as a manager.
  • Compensation: Learn about the compensation team, compensation at GW, and the career path structure, and manager resources.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity and Access: Learn about GW's EEO and Access team, important things to know as a manager related to EEO and Access, and additional resources. 
  • Talent and Organizational Development at GW: Learn about the Talent and Organizational Development team and learn about the programs this team offers such as new employee orientation and training and development opportunities. You will also learn about the performance management process at GW.
    Team Development

    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 Talent@GW - 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:

    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.

    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

    Contact your HR Business Partner for help with difficult situations, disciplinary actions, and grievances.

    Use performance counseling trainings and resources on Talent@GW - Learning before, during, and after a challenging situation to continuously improve your ability resolve performance issues.

    Consult the Manager's Handbook section on Managing Performance & Conflict for guidance on how to manage and maintain a productive working environment.



    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.

    Find out how coachable you are (PDF). Find out how effective of a coach you are (DOC).
    Managing New Employees 

    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.

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

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

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


    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.

    Policies and Practices

    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:

    GW Policy Website

    Manager's Handbook

    GW Values


    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.