Manager and Supervisor Guidelines
Review guidelines to help you manage teleworking staff.
Manager and Supervisor Guidelines
Telework works best when employees and supervisors communicate clearly. The following will help you establish a foundation for effective teamwork, managing expectations, and continued productivity.
Become familiar with your department’s telework policy and procedures
Review your department’s telework policy and procedures to become familiar with the requirements. Ensure that you and your team are in compliance with all requirements, such as information security, policy administration, Telework Agreement processes and aligned with departmental telework goals.
Know who your department Telework Coordinator is
Your department will appoint a Telework Coordinator (TWC) who serves as the primary point of contact for the day-to-day operational needs of teleworking. Departments may also choose to appoint telework liaisons to help support the TWC with the implementation of the telework program. Work with the TWC to ensure compliance with the department’s policy and procedures. The TWC serves as a resource for supervisors with telework issues and concerns, and provides information such as your department’s policy, the Statewide Telework Policy, training resources, and these Manager and Supervisor Guidelines.
Lead by example
Leading by example helps employees see what lies ahead and act swiftly to counter any challenges along the way. Managerial and supervisory guidance and support is critical for fostering a culture conducive to telework. Further, providing transparency about anticipated telework challenges and supporting appropriate participation is important to ensuring cultural acceptance of the telework program.
Take telework training and stay informed
In addition to the list of telework training referenced on this website, your department may also have training available.
Assess Employee Readiness for Telework
Your department will determine what positions or portions thereof are eligible to telework. Refer to your department eligibility list to determine whether or not an employee’s position is eligible to telework. Departments should establish a process for regularly evaluating their eligibility list and making appropriate changes to add and/or remove positions as necessary. The statewide policy specifies that “all employees in positions designated by management as eligible shall be qualified to participate in telework and are authorized to participate to the fullest extent possible without diminished individual or organizational performance.”
Managers and supervisors have the final decision to approve requests for telework. Follow state policy and your department’s procedures and guidelines when reviewing requests from staff to telework. As a supervisor, consider if the employee can effectively perform the job duties of the position while teleworking at the alternate work location when determining if a telework arrangement is appropriate. For additional information, review the state’s guidance on Eligibility and Participation.
Departments are encouraged to include language in duty statements and job advertisements when a position is conducive to telework and include the percentage of time eligible for telework. Similarly, management should make ongoing determinations of telework eligibility based on job functions in accordance with the direction provided in the Statewide Telework Policy.
You may find it helpful to consider the questions outlined in the Supervisor’s Assessment. Consider the following factors in making an honest determination about your employees telework capabilities. Note any concerns you may have and how to address them for the employee to telework.
- Is this position a classification that is eligible or has been approved for teleworking?
- Does the nature of work performed allow the employee to provide and maintain quality customer service while teleworking?
- Does the work described by the employee include duties that are measurable for the amount of telework proposed?
- Does the proposed telework schedule allow you to monitor the employee’s job responsibilities or tasks?
- Does the proposed telework schedule allow you to effectively evaluate the employee’s job performance?
- Does the proposed telework schedule allow the employee to participate in meetings during core business hours?
- Has the employee demonstrated the ability to establish priorities and manage their time?
- Is the employee reliable, responsible, self-directed, and able to work independently in performing his or her work duties?
- Has the employee demonstrated the ability to return emails, calls, and other messages in accordance with office procedures?
- Is the employee in compliance with the department’s Information Security and Privacy Awareness Training?
- Does the employee consistently adhere to the department’s Information Security and Privacy guidelines and laws?
- Has the employee been fully onboarded and trained to perform essential job functions?
- Will the employee’s telework schedule meet the business need?
- What responsibilities or duties cannot be fulfilled while working remotely? How will this be mitigated?
- How will communication and collaboration occur while working remotely to ensure responsibilities and tasks are being performed effectively?
- How will regular check-ins and status meetings occur while working remotely?
- How will relationships be established and maintained while working remotely?
- Has the employee been informed of telework etiquette and appropriate communication practices?
- How will the employee’s work product and job performance be evaluated or managed?
- How will all employees in the unit be engaged virtually to ensure teleworking employees are included?
- Will the teleworker be provided opportunities to grow professionally and continue to evolve as a core member of the unit?
- Will the unit continue to grow professionally and evolve as a remote team or hybrid workforce?
Review the Telework Agreement (STD 200) and meet with your employee
The Statewide Telework Policy mandates that each teleworker has an approved agreement on file. All teleworkers and their supervisors must use the STD 200 to formalize the telework arrangement. Once the department implements its Telework Policy, employees will be required to sign a new STD 200.
The STD 200 includes provisions including employee expectations, your responsibilities, the equipment your employee will use, and the communication methods your employee will use. In order to review the STD 200, consider the following:
- Meet with your employee to discuss the terms of their telework request.
- Discuss the employee’s proposed work schedule.
- Discuss the employee’s proposed alternate work location.
- Ensure your employee will have the proper equipment to get started or maintain telework.
- Ensure your employee reviews best practices to ensure information assets are secure including your department’s Acceptable Use Policy and Information Security and Privacy Awareness training.
- Ensure your employee reviews ergonomic guidelines to ensure their workstation is set up ergonomically correct.
- Ensure your employee reviews best practices for communication, physical safety guidelines, etiquette, and effective meeting management.
Review your employee’s STD 200 at least annually to ensure the agreement continues to meet business needs.
Denying, Revising, or Terminating a Telework Agreement
There are many reasons why a STD 200 may be denied, revised, or terminated. If the request must be denied, the business reason(s) for the denial must be documented for further discussion with the employee and to set expectations or identify areas of improvement.
Denials, revisions, or terminations should be provided timely and in writing and in adherence with the departmental policy and procedure. When considering the decision to deny, revise or terminate a STD 200, consider the following:
Business or operational reasons why a STD 200 might be denied, revised, or terminated:
- Has there been a change in job functions and/or work processes?
- Does the position have some duties that are not conducive to telework?
- Does the employee require additional training to be ready to telework?
- Is the employee no longer maintaining performance standards and/or expectations?
- Is the employee not able to fully participate in meetings, training and/or team building activities?
- Is the employee’s alternate work location not suitable for teleworking?
- Have there been numerous technical and/or network issues stemming from the alternate work location which prevent seamless telework and impact productivity? What can be done to remedy the situation?
- Is the employee not current with the Information Security and Information Privacy training? What is the plan to ensure the employee takes and remains current with mandatory department and State training?
Non-business or non-operational reasons why a STD 200 might be denied, revised, or terminated:
- Is the employee going on an approved Leave of Absence, Family and Medical Leave Act, or medical leave and for what duration?
- Will the employee be going on a Military Active Order assignment and reporting elsewhere for an extended period of time?
- Is the employee on leave due to California State Disability Insurance, Nonindustrial Disability Insurance, temporary disability, or Workers’ Compensation claim and will not be able to report to work for an extended period of time?
- In what way has the employee met or not met telework provisions and expectations? What are the plans to remedy the situation, if any?
- Does the telework request need to be returned for corrections?
If the need to deny, modify, or terminate a STD 200 is based upon an inability to meet performance standards and/or expectations, the supervisor must be able to demonstrate that the employee’s teleworking directly or negatively impacts productivity. The Statewide Telework Policy allows a supervisor to revise a telework agreement if it is determined that:
- The telework agreement results in the inability to maintain performance standards or expectations, does not enable training, oversight or any other supervision deemed necessary.
- The agreement no longer supports operational needs due to funding or change in services.
Consult with your human resources and/or labor relations office if you determine that a change or termination of a Telework Agreement is needed. Follow your department’s telework denial processes and procedures. Unless otherwise provided by the employee’s MOU, you should endeavor to provide employees 30 calendar days’ notice in the event of a revision or termination of a Telework Agreement.
Beyond the Pandemic
To prepare and support managers and supervisors, GovOps and CalHR developed three half-hour panel discussions featuring state managers sharing their experiences and best practices for navigating the new hybrid workforce. You can watch and learn more about the panel discussions below.
Panel 1: Managing the Hybrid Workforce
Bud Olafsson has been in the Caltrans Office of Discipline Services for the past 6 years and is currently the Deputy Division Chief over the Caltrans Offices of Discipline Services, Labor Relations, and Drug Certification and Substance Testing. During this time, Bud has set the performance management/progressive discipline process for the entire department (appx. 21,000 employees) and most recently has implemented several virtual trainings regarding progressive discipline in the past year, including statewide training for Managing Employee Performance – Teleworking and Managing Teleworking Probationary Employees. By the end of FY 20/21, these trainings will have been presented to over 1500 supervisors and managers within Caltrans.
Angelica “Angie” Quirarte
Product owner for Covid19.ca.gov; Office of Digital Innovation
Angelica Quirarte, also known as Angie, is Deputy Director at the Office of Digital Innovation. In her role she works on strategic engagements that use design, data, and empathy to solve hard problems and empower public servants. She was product owner of the Alpha of CA.gov and led the team that created Californian’s response website to COVID19- covid19.ca.gov. Angie has developed and implemented state-level governance structures and policies for digital innovation including web standards, web accessibility, open data, and open source. She was a member of the California GovOps DMV Strike Team that Governor Newsom announced in January 2019 where she led the coordination of the strike teams’ deliverables to help transform DMV service delivery; and champions initiatives such as Code California and the state’s open data program. To support the platform of change, she founded NxtGov, a network of government change-agents looking to bring pride back into public service and bridge the silos to help us collaborate, serve, and inspire the next generations of public servants.
Director, Office of Digital Innovation
Udaya Patnaik is the Director of the California Office of Digital Innovation. ODI is focused on transforming state government services using the power of technology, research, and design. ODI is pioneering new ways to improve the performance, accessibility and relevance of digital resources and programs to help increase equity for all Californians. Prior to joining the State of California, Udaya co-founded Jump Associates, a strategy and innovation consulting firm focused on driving large-scale growth and impact for corporations, nonprofits and government agencies. He also worked in rural infrastructure development. Udaya sits on the board of Just Human Productions, a non-profit that creates media to raise awareness and build collaboration around issues of health disparity, and the International Advisory Board of Fundación Chile, an organization dedicated to economic development and innovation in Santiago.
Links to tips on managing a hyrbid workforce
Manage the tech. Use cameras, headsets and monitors. Pay attention to the chat. Train each other.
Talk slower, vary your voice and pause more. Assume everyone’s attention is at 50%. Use “phatic” communication (uh, huh… right… yes…).
Take notes on screen. Write down what people say. Validate their contributions. Doesn’t have to be a fancy digital tool – a Word document or a simple PowerPoint slide with zones on it is a good start. Send out decisions and actions afterwards.
Ask questions. Prepare them ahead of time if you can. Listen actively and learn.
Share your work. Do more show-and-tell of what you are working on. Tell each other about projects you do, things you learned and wins you had.
Make personal connections. Chitchat as people come into the room. Share personal stories and accomplishments. Express compassion.
Give people breaks. Take a few deep breaths at the beginning. Let people transition from one meeting/activity to another.
Open and close with gratitude. Be thankful that people are flexible and trying to make it work. Use the chats in meetings for everyone to express thanks.
There is still a role for phone calls rather than using video exclusively. Give your eyes a break. Remove the cognitive load on those in the discussion.
Panel 2: Results-Oriented Management
Department of General Services, Chief, Customer Delivery
Ann Baaten has served as the Chief of Customer Delivery for Enterprise Technology Solutions, which provides IT services to the Department of General Services, for the last 8 years. She is passionate about delivering excellent customer service and fostering a healthy workplace. Prior to joining the DGS, Ann worked for Hewlett-Packard in various roles, many of which were global and geographically distributed. Ann holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and is certified Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Expert.
California State Teachers Retirement System
Kristel Turko is the Assistant Director of Human Resources for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world, and the second largest pension fund in the U.S. Prior to joining CalSTRS in 2011, Kristel was a 15 year employee of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, where she served in various staff and management capacities. Kristel holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation from the HR Certification Institute and is a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Senior Certified Professional (SCP).
Department of Managed Health Care, Manager, Training & Organizational Effectiveness
Anna Wright has over 25 years’ managerial experience, with 15 of those years managing training professionals. In 2014, Anna joined the State of California and currently manages Training and Organizational Effectiveness (Training, EEO, Safety, and Health & Wellness) at the Department of Managed Health Care. Anna enjoys her job because of her passion for helping people reach their full potential and career goals. Anna is the co-founder of TOP (Top of the Podium) a non-profit that provides services to underrepresented minors. Anna is a breast cancer survivor and serves as an executive team member for Carrie’s TOUCH, a breast cancer survivor’s non-profit support organization. Anna is married and mom to two adult children and a dog (Cockapooshitzu). Anna is a native Sacramentan and a loyal Sacramento Kings fan!
Planning and Results Conversation Tool
This tool makes planning easy by identifying key components for you to be successful in your position. Use this tool to:
- Identify existing or new priorities
- Manage your assignments and deadlines
- Keep your leader informed of progress and difficulties
- Identify development opportunities
- Seek feedback
PDF Attachments: Planning and Results Conversation Tool
Individual Development Plan
The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is used to identify learning opportunities that support an employee’s development goals and objectives. This tool assists with formalizing and keeping track of the mutually agreed upon plan.
PDF Attachments: Individual Development Plan
Staff Competency Check-in & Leadership Competency Check-in
Each competency tool provides an opportunity to check-in and obtain feedback on competency development. It also offers an opportunity for leaders and employees to set professional development goals.
Panel 3: Change Leadership is Intentional, Consistent and Persistent
DMV, Chief Deputy Director
Kathleen Webb is Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Prior to this, she served as the Director of Performance Improvement at the Government Operations Agency from 2017 to 2019, where she also served as Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Accountability from 2015 to 2017. Prior to joining the Government Operations Agency, Ms. Webb’s public service experience included Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for the California Public Employee Retirement System from 2012 to 2015, Director of Policy and Risk Management from 2010 to 2012 and Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy from 2009 to 2012 for California Correctional Health Care Services, Deputy Director of the Interagency Support Division at the Department of General Services from 2008 to 2009, and Director of the Governor’s Office of the Insurance Advisor from 2006 to 2008. Ms. Webb also held multiple positions with State Farm Insurance from 1986 to 2006, including agency, claims management and legislative affairs.
Executive Director, California Energy Commission
Drew Bohan is the executive director of the California Energy Commission. The Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. He has served Californians for more than 15 years. His public service includes leadership roles with the Energy Commission, California Environmental Protection Agency, the Ocean Protection Council, and the California Department of Conservation. He served as the executive director of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, chief counsel to the House of Delegates in the Republic of Palau, and a litigation attorney at Heller Ehrman in San Francisco. He lives in Carmichael with his wife, Angela, and their two children, Linnea and Landon. He is an avid bike rider.
Deputy Director, Caltrans
Aaron Ochoco has over 25 years of service with the State of California and currently serves as the Deputy Director of Administration for Caltrans. In this position, he is responsible for the administrative functions of Caltrans, which include human resources; labor relations; learning and development; procurement and contracts; office of facility operations and planning; statewide security operations; statewide resource management for Administration; and business services. The Administration Program provides services and consultation to staff both in Headquarters and throughout Caltrans’ twelve (12) districts. His vision of the Administration Program’s role in strategic talent management is one where all employees feel valued, are fully engaged, and take pride in their work, in supporting Caltrans’ Mission, Vision, Goals, and Values.
Navigating the Future of Work
California state agencies anticipate lasting changes for state employment – creating new opportunities and challenges.
PDF Attachments: Navigating the Future of Work
Navigating the Workforce
Lead your operations through today’s labor challenges.
PDF Attachments: Navigating the Workforce
Why Transformation Feels So Hard
Four Psychological Hot Spots in Transformation.
PDF Attachments: Why Transformation Feels So Hard