The University Record, July 19, 1993

HRD courses, catalog will have a new look this fall

Human Resource Development (HRD) will roll out a new training curricula with a new-look catalog this fall.

The easier-to-use catalog will list fewer courses overall, and more that are intensive or in-depth.

The core training programs are catalogued under the headings of team development, staff development and management development.

The core courses will offer more opportunities for staff at all levels to learn about the principles, tools and techniques of M-Quality, along with needed skill enhancement.

HRD Director Sally M. Johnson says the new curriculum is in response to a needs assessment that began two years ago. HRD customers and focus groups who were interviewed said that they wanted more in-depth classes offering “hands-on,” usable skills, Johnson says. “We also knew that M-Quality was coming.”

The new catalog, expected to be available in mid-September, will list a number of M-Quality courses, including Orientation, Concepts and Practices, Managers’ Applications, Team Leader Training, Facilitator Training and Team Member Training.

Team Development

The Team Development curriculum is designed to provide skills and knowledge to enhance the performance of all U-M work teams, whether or not they are formal “quality improvement” teams, according to Deborah A.W. Nystrom and Warren E. Cohen, HRD staff development associates. Core information will include the basic dynamics of teams, how to function effectively as a group, team action-planning, and such skills as group decision making and conflict management. The courses are designed to provide tools and strategies that will help team leaders and members maintain and improve teams. Many of the courses under this heading are designed for team members to attend together.

HRD also offers team skills training to individual units on an as-needed basis.

Staff Development

Designed to improve staff professional skills to enhance work performance, the Staff Development curriculum covers office administration, U-M information, customer service, communication skills and work productivity.

Courses focus on a variety of skills from managing office records, to providing student service, to processing temporary staff and Work-Study student paperwork, to understanding the concept of customer service. Familiar courses such as time management will continue, enhanced by the addition of a Franklin Time Management Seminar. New skill courses, such as Using Consensus and Using Fishbone Diagrams, will be offered. A fishbone diagram is a tool used by M-Quality teams.

Jacqueline A. Muldrow, administrative assistant and one of the HRD staff members responsible for the Staff Development curriculum, says the workshops should be useful to the increasing number of units that are trying to accomplish more work with fewer employees.

The courses also mesh with the University’s new Staff Development Philosophy Statement that affirms its commitment to staff development, Muldrow adds. Others working on the Staff Development curriculum are Jane W. Pettit, staff development coordinator, and Kristen M. Storey, staff development assistant.

Management Development

The purpose of the Management Development curriculum, according to Poage Baxter, staff development associate, is to provide managers and supervisors with information and opportunities for skill enhancement so that they can contribute to the development of a consistently excellent working atmosphere at the U-M.

The curriculum begins with basic management courses for those new to management and supervision at the U-M. They provide essential training in the responsibilities of managers and supervisors in the U-M environment.

HRD also will offer a Managers’ Update series to inform experienced managers about new policies such as the Family/Medical Leave Act and the Sexual Harassment Policy, and to help them sharpen their skills.

HRD also will offer developmental courses in management and leadership skills. In the planning stages is a leadership assessment program designed to analyze needed management competencies and to assess an individual’s profile of strengths in those competencies, in order to guide further training.

Elective leadership workshops will focus on:

  • Management tasks such as interviewing, performance planning and evaluation, managing by fact and developing vision;

  • People skills such as delegation, motivation, empowerment and conflict management; and

  • The changing environment of leadership, including managing within the context of higher education, managing change and managing a diverse work group.

    HRD will continue to offer workshops under the umbrella topics of wellness and career.

    Health and Well Being classes will focus on health and fitness, personal finance and family-related issues. Many are offered in cooperation with the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and the Family Care Resources Program.

    Career planning and furthering one’s career with such practical classes as resume writing and interviewing will be the focus of the career development classes.

    HRD will continue to design workshops for the needs of specific units.

    As part of its effort to continuously improve, HRD welcomes feedback from faculty and staff on the changes it is making and any of its course offerings, Nystrom says.