Family Supportive Supervisor Training (FSST) is a customized supervisor training program developed by professors Leslie B. Hammer, Ph.D., Portland State University and Ellen E. Kossek, Purdue University, to address how supervisors and managers can help workers ease the stress of work and non-work life. Our research has shown that supervisors are the key to increasing worker engagement on the job, improving worker well-being and reducing workplace injury. This unique training program requires supervisors to focus on specific, repeated behaviors, that have been proven through our research to improve employee work and health outcomes such as reductions in turnover intentions and improvements in reports of health and job satisfaction.
This training is designed to:
- Describe the benefits of providing support to help employees balance their work with their non-work/personal lives.
- Interpret results from the work and life assessment that is completed by employees and supervisors in your company.
- Offer specific behavioral approaches to managing and supporting work and non-work demands.
Three Tiered Training System
The FSST Training System has three tiers including: 1) Assessment, 2) Online Training, 3) Behavior Tracking. Organizations can customize this training system to include one or all of these components but we recommend all three for optimal organizational and employee outcomes. Each of these training components is described below.
1) Assessing your workforce
We administer our customized survey, in which we ask supervisors and employees to rate statements about the supportive behaviors of Supervisors/Managers. The results typically reveal that Supervisors/Managers and Employees have very different views regarding the level of support offered by supervisors. Overall, supervisors see themselves as more supportive than employees do—we find there is a perceptual gap between what supervisors believe they are doing and how employees see them. When we provide this feedback to supervisors, they tend to showed increased motivation to learn methods for becoming more supportive of their employees.
2) Training for success
After conducting surveys customized for your business, Supervisors and Managers will complete an hour long computer based training which introduces four family supportive supervisor behaviors and four performance support behaviors. It is through a combination of family support and performance support that supervisors are able to effectively engage their workforce to achieve optimal performance outcomes in a way that minimizes stress and positively impacts well-being for employees.
3) Behavior Tracking
After completing the online Family Supportive Supervisor Training, supervisors are asked to engage in a two week behavior tracking exercise designed to reinforce the family and performance support behaviors introduced during the training. This tracking exercise can be completed online using a computer or any mobile device.