March 22nd, 2011
UDOT LEADER OF THE YEARPreserve Infrastructure, by Catherine Higgins.
Glen Wahlberg, Area Supervisor, UDOT Region Three was chosen as the leader of the year. Glenn was nominated by Robert Westover:
Glen Walberg has a firm but gracious leadership style that fosters achievement, efficiency and trust. For this an many other reasons Glen has been chosen as UDOT’s the 2010 Leader of the Year.
Glen has worked at UDOT for over 29 years, including seven years as a Station Supervisor in Eureka. He has been the Area Supervisor in the South Area of Region Three for the past two years. During his career, he has demonstrated superior leadership skills and a sincere interest in individual workers.
UDOT will benefit for years to come from the upcoming leaders Glen has inspired, motivated and sometimes cajoled into learning new skills. As a case in point, when Glen left the Eureka Station to become Area Supervisor, his Station Lead was highly qualified to replace him as the supervisor – largely because of Glen’s mentoring. That employee is mentoring his crew in the same fashion.
Glen successfully mentored many employees while leading the South Area through the implementation of the Transportation Technician program — one of UDOT’s most significant money saving and efficiency promoting efforts ever undertaken. The program allows UDOT to use construction and maintenance funding judiciously by balancing workload throughout the year. Besides being a smart management approach, the Trans-tech program also offers employees the chance to learn new job skills through participating in the Transportation Education Program (TEP). Glen set out to actively promote TEP and encourage workers to participate as a way to help individual workers gain skills and progress as employees.
Some crew members were hesitant to participate at first. But Glen provided clear expectations and the support and encouragement needed to accomplish the task. He continually emphasized to employees how TEP participation would not only bring value to the Department, but also be a career booster for workers. Because of his support and encouragement, many employees have completed the Trans-Tech program and many others are pursuing completion. An employee who first resisted participating in TEP now credits Glen for helping him see the personal career benefit. He now is enrolled and successfully progressing through the training.
Glen is committed to providing diverse work opportunities for his crew members. Before Glen became Area Supervisor, very few workers could operate specialized equipment such as the Vactor truck or chip-seal machine. In a few instances, only one person could operate a specific machine.
Glen saw a chance to promote efficiency of operation and career development. He insisted that more employees become trained and proficient at operating equipment.
Several employees throughout the area are now capable of operating each piece of specialized equipment. For example, several people who had never previously had the opportunity have now developed the critical skills needed to operate complicated chip sealing equipment. Region Three has benefitted from having a more flexible and versatile workforce – critical work can be completed more quickly and crews can work more efficiently.
Because of his years of experience, Glen has incredible foresight when planning and forecasting future workload. Last year, the Region Three implemented a $600,000 chip sealing program on lower volume roads in his area. His crew took on the extra work load without needing additional funding or personnel and still accomplished the other critical work needed throughout the year.
His ability plan and manage people and resources has also conserved limited funding. Through working carefully, some of that saved funding was made available for the new chip-seal program.
Glen’s success is due to his skill as a mentor, experience as a worker, but also because he earns the trust and respect of his employees. In all of his interactions with others, Glen shows that he values other employees. He provides steady support for his crew by treating everyone with respect and dignity regardless of their position. He is always willing to provide insight that comes from his years of experience, but knows when to step back and let people develop their own solutions to challenges.
Glen has the unique ability to be both direct and personable. He is approachable and always ready and willing to listen and answer any question. When his answer is not what crew members want to hear, Glen takes time to carefully explain his reasoning so everyone understands his decision. As a result of the respect and support he shows workers, crews in the South Area perform at a very high level and are continually challenged to become even better still.
Glen also has the courage to do the right thing no matter how difficult that action may be. Crew members know that he holds himself to a high standard, and he won’t ask anyone to do something that he isn’t willing to do himself.
Glen is an excellent leadership role model. His actions have encouraged team work and excellence. His skill as a mentor has provided a pattern for other leaders to follow. Because of his experience, he is able to provide valuable perspective to less experienced workers as well as senior region leaders. Under Glen’s leadership, the public is very well served. He deserves to be honored as UDOT Leader of the Year.