New Supervisor Onboarding (NSO) Program

New Supervisor Onboarding (NSO) Program is the enhanced supervisory development program that spans a new supervisor’s first year. In an organizational learning context, orientation is often associated with a one-time event whereas onboarding is a multi-phased process. With that in mind, our new approach highlights a commitment to create learning solutions that engage learners over multiple months to ensure learners are set up for success.

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Who is Required to Complete the NSO Program?

The NSO Program is for new externally hired City supervisors and City employees promoted to a supervisory position within the City for the first time or City supervisors rehired after the effective date of this policy and who have not successfully completed this new program. This includes Classified supervisors from both Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department who supervise non-classified employees.

Below is a breakdown of the three main learning components of the enhanced NSO Program:

NSO Step 1

NSO Virtual Session

A seven-hour, live virtual session hosted on Microsoft Teams that provides...

new supervisors with essential information about the City, its rules, policies, and programs. Offered monthly, new supervisors must complete it within 45 days of hire, rehire, or promotion. Some topics include risk management, positive corrective action program, employee rights & responsibilities, and emergency management. New supervisors will register themselves in TMS.

NSO Step 2

Self-Paced eLearning Modules

a) NSO HEAR (the City’s Performance Management System): A series of...

three self-paced eLearning modules are automatically assigned to new supervisors and focus on building their ability to fulfill their supervisory responsibilities under the HEAR program. Topics include SMART goal development and HEAR plan creation. From the date assigned, new supervisors must complete the modules within two weeks.
b) NSO Drucker Playbook: The Drucker Playbook for the Public Sector is a series of eight self-paced eLearning modules that introduce Peter Drucker’s management and leadership philosophy for organizational effectiveness. It equips new supervisors with tools to translate their learnings into practice. Modules are automatically assigned and can be completed in any order to meet the needs of the supervisor.
Some topics include effective leadership, values, accountability, and change management. From their date of hire, promotion, or rehired date, new supervisors must complete the modules within 11 months.

NSO Step 3

NSO Peer to Peer (P2P)
Learning Workshops

A series of eight, 90-minute live virtual peer to peer learning workshops hosted on...

Microsoft Teams serves as a follow-up to each self-paced eLearning module. Workshops engage new supervisors in a diverse learning discussion based on a specific tool, video, or worksheet from the module. Learners share their lived experience applying Drucker’s teachings and gain valuable feedback from their peers while building a supportive network.

As new supervisors complete each Drucker Playbook for the Public Sector self-paced eLearning module, they can register for its respective peer to peer learning workshop in any order in the Talent Management System. All eight peer to peer learning workshops must be completed within 11 months of hire, rehire, or promotion date.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I took NSO prior to April 2023, am I required to complete this new NSO Program?
A: No. If you already took NSO (New Supervisor Orientation), you do not need to complete this new program.

Q: How do I check if I have completed NSO (New Supervisor Orientation) in the past?
A: Check your completed learning transcript in TMS.

Q: I have registered and completed other HEAR classes, do I need to complete the NSO HEAR eLearning?
A: Yes. The NSO HEAR eLearning are specifically designed and unique for the NSO Program. It is possible that you have completed the NSO HEAR eLearning in other training environments. If so, TMS will automatically mark you complete for the courses upon assignment.

Q: Can I register for the NSO Peer to Peer Learning Workshops at the same time as registering for the NSO Virtual Session?
A: No. You must first complete the NSO Virtual Session, the NSO HEAR eLearning modules, and the NSO Drucker Playbook eLearning module topic(s) prior to being able to register for the Peer to Peer Workshops.

Q: Will I still be able to take CAPS even though I’m still taking the eLearning modules and Peer to Peer Workshops?
A: No, one CAPS requirement is completion of the New Supervisor Onboarding Program.

NSO Virtual Sessions

If you are a new supervisor, welcome!
CLICK HERE to register for the first step, New Supervisor Onboarding Virtual Session.

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NSO Checklist

CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD the New Supervisor Onboarding Program Checklist to help you track your progress.

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Have Questions?

For information about this program, contact:

4501 Leeland Street, Houston, TX 77023
Phone: 832-395-4900
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri: 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.