Frontline Supervisor Training to prepare supervisors to support employees in crisis

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78th ABW/PA
Starting in April, Team Robins supervisors will learn to support their employees through whatever life throws their way through Frontline Supervisor Training.

"What I like about the Frontline Supervisor Training is it isn't the canned, dry, now you are a supervisor here's what you have to look like training," said Christine Parker, chief of the Airman and Family Readiness flight

The training is designed to help supervisors feel confidant in their ability to handle any situation affecting their employees.

"The term frontline is not a mistake; we as supervisors are on the front line and we are the first line of defense and in some cases offense," Ms. Parker said. "We are on the front line and we need to be in tune with our people."

The goal of the course is to help supervisors feel competent in their ability to handle problems that could arise, such as knowing where to send people for support and how to be supportive, said Linda Towry, chair of the Integrated Delivery System

"We want to prepare supervisors to meet any challenge or crisis that could be presented by their employees," Ms. Towry said.

The course tries to keep supervisors from being caught off-guard by their employees' circumstances.

"The example I always use in training is, 'what if one of your employees came into your office and said she was raped the night before. What would you say and do? Where would you go for support? What would you do to support them now, today and in the long run,'" Ms. Towry said.

She added the course addresses how to handle smaller crises too, such as employees dealing with a parent who suffers from Alzheimer's disease or those coping with divorce.

The course talks about how it is better to say something and risk offending or embarrassing because it could save a life than to keep quiet and jeopardize someone's well-being, Ms. Parker said.

The training is for all supervisors, but is targeted at lower-level supervisors who work side by side with their employees because the close proximity to their employees allows them to notice differences in demeanor that could signal a problem.

Ms. Parker said one of her favorite things about the training sessions is they encourage supervisors to take a holistic approach to human wellness and focus on the physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being of their employees.

"It is a chance to hear some good things about taking care of people and yourself," Ms. Parker said.

Ms. Towry explained the program is important because when members of Team Robins are happy and healthy they're able to better accomplish the mission.

Base-wide training sessions will begin in April and Team Robins members will be notified by their training managers about when and where they should report, Ms. Towry said.

The Frontline Supervisor Training program is an Integrated Delivery System initiative. IDS is a committee on responsible for coordinating all the prevention programs on base such as child abuse, obesity, underage drinking and suicide prevention, Ms. Towry said. Air Force Material Command is requiring all of its supervisors from all of its bases to receive the training, Ms. Towry said.

For more information visit and click on the Frontline Supervisor Training link.