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Supervisor's Toolkit

The Supervisor Toolkit includes information about a vast array of human capital programs, policies, and procedures to help employees carry out their supervisory duties.

If you have any questions or need further assistance for supervisory issues, please contact your servicing Human Resources Specialist.

The greatest asset of an organization is its people. A hiring manager plays a critical role to ensure that the best people are hired by an organization. To make this a reality, the hiring manager must complete the Hiring Process steps accurately and thoroughly. Additionally, we created many resources to help guide hiring managers throughout the process.

Still have questions?

Please contact your servicing Human Resources Specialist and they will be happy to assist.


In organizations where some employees are part of bargaining units, you as a supervisor may have opportunities to interact with the bargaining units or unions. Below are some links that will assist you with this. If you have questions or require further assistance/consultation, please contact your servicing Human Resources Specialist.


Once an employee is onboard with the Department of the Interior's Interior Business Center, it is important that the supervisor maintain open lines of communication with employees and assist employees when challenges in the work environment arise. Below are some resources that will assist you in addressing employee performance and conduct. Although addressing these is part of the supervisor's responsibility, you are not expected to address these alone.  If you have questions or require further assistance/consultation, please contact your servicing Human Resources Specialist.


The following information is DOI specific. For agency specific information, guides, and content, please contact your ER/LR Specialist directly.



Once your organization is proposing a reorg/realignment you will want to contact your servicing HR Specialist to begin the reorg process. An organizational change has impact on all HR Branches, therefore close coordination is required.

In order to ensure that the organizational changes are completed accurately, timely and within legal compliance, the following information is for your review as well as some required forms needed in order to affect your requested changes.

  • Organizational Entity Definitions: The Organizational Entity Definitions provides information on proper naming conventions for each organizational code.

  • Org Code Numbering Scheme: The Org Code Number Scheme identifies the appropriate way to develop the new numbering of the organizational code.

  • FBMS Cost Center Codes (DOI Customers ONLY): Contact FBMS Helpdesk to establish and input new codes.

  • Supervisor Reorg Packet: A helpful aid that walks through each document and form required to complete a Reorganization.

    • Reorganization Crosswalk: The Reorganization Crosswalk will identify the employee’s current and new organizational information.

    • Current and Proposed Organizational Charts: Charts should clearly outline organizational structure; include Org Codes, number of full-time employees and contractors, and FBMS cost center code(s).

    • Draft Reorganization Approval Memorandum: Memo will outline specific organizational changes and proposed effective date. The Reorganization Memorandum must be reviewed for accuracy and submitted for higher level approval/signature.

Supervisor Actions for Career Ladder Promotions

A career ladder promotion is a promotion to the next higher grade level to which an employee advances without competition, up to the full performance level (FPL) of their position. For example, if a position is classified at the GS-11/12/13, and an employee is hired at the GS-11 level, promotion to the GS-12, and then to the GS-13, are considered career ladder promotions.

To be eligible for a career ladder promotion, the following eligibility requirements must be met: employees must meet time-in-grade, possess the appropriate level of specialized experience, and have an official rating of record of at least fully successful. It is important to remember that a career ladder promotion is not an automatic entitlement and can be delayed. Other factors to consider in determining if an employee will receive a promotion include verifying there is an adequate amount of available work at the next higher grade level, funding, and whether or not the employee has demonstrated the ability to perform the higher graded duties. An employee may meet all of the eligibility requirements, but may not yet have the ability to perform the higher graded duties. In this case, it may be appropriate to delay the promotion until the employee displays the ability to perform at the next higher grade.

If an employee meets all requirements and will be promoted, supervisors must authorize the FPPS action and forward it to the servicing personnel office (SPO) prior to the effective date of the promotion. HR Recommends that supervisors authorize and forward these actions to SPO well in advance of the effective date in order to avoid any issues. Promotion actions cannot be made retroactively because a supervisor fails to authorize and forward the action timely.

If the promotion will be delayed, the rationale for the decision should be well documented and discussed with the employee, along with a strategy or plan that will help the employee make the improvements necessary for the promotion to be granted. Promotion actions should be authorized and forwarded to the SPO as soon as the employee meets all of the criteria.

HR encourages supervisors to provide timely, fair, and specific feedback to employees throughout the year. Supervisors should not wait until the progress review or end-of-year performance review to inform an employee of problems or concerns that may lead to a decision to delay the promotion. Timely feedback will allow an employee to make changes to improve.

The decision to delay a promotion should not come as a surprise to an employee at the time of the promotion determination.

When a supervisor has provided positive feedback to an employee throughout the year, and perhaps rated them “fully successful” or higher, but subsequently decides to delay the promotion, the decision can appear to be in conflict with the prior feedback given. This can make defending the decision troublesome. This situation is further complicated when an employee has received an award during the same time frame.

Contact your servicing Employee Relations Specialist for guidance related to performance concerns, or contact your servicing Staffing and Classification Specialist for general questions related to career ladder promotions.

Writing Position Descriptions (PDs) are a vital part of a supervisor's responsibilities. Properly documenting the duties of a position is very important, and it is the supervisor who is in the best position to do this since s/he is the subject matter expert. If the position description is for a position pending recruitment, please see Hiring an Employee to ensure all appropriate steps are completed.

To learn more about roles and responsibilities for each step throughout the writing / updating a position description process, please review the Writing/Updating a Position Description Process Roles and Responsibilities page.


Please contact your servicing Human Resources Specialist.


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