Summer Organization and Professional Development Courses

The Organization and Professional Development (OPD) team in MSU Human Resources is proud to offer a variety of courses to support you in achieving your goals. Since Educational Assistance benefits for support staff reset with the fall semester, use your remaining benefits this summer on a virtual course from OPD. All courses below are available over Zoom, so learning opportunities can go with you no matter where you are this summer. 

Communication

Grammar Refresher – Tuesday, July 12, from 9:00 a.m. to noon 

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue – Blended learning, with several August dates from 1:00–2:30 p.m. 

Human Resources 

Certified Human Resources Specialist (CHRS) – Thursdays, July 14, 21, 28, and August 11 from 8:30–4:30 p.m.

Advanced CHRS – Tuesdays, August 9 and 16, from 8:30–4:30 p.m. 

Leadership

Strategic Planning – Wednesday, August 17, from 1:00–3:00 p.m.

Management

Performance Management for Hybrid Teams – Wednesday, June 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon

Building Cohesive Teams – Tuesday, July 19, from 9:00 a.m. to noon

Managing and Leading Across Locations – Tuesday, August 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Personal Development

The Power of Habit – Wednesday, July 13, from 8:30–4:30 p.m.

Ready, Set, Change – Tuesday, July 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon

Everything DiSC: Behavior Styles at Work – Wednesday, July 20, from 8:30 a.m. to noon

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace – Thursday, August 25, from 8:30 a.m. to noon

You can find all current OPD courses on the HR website. Sign up through the EBS Portal. Questions? Contact Organization and Professional Development at prodev@hr.msu.edu.

MSU Winter Events and Activities Round-Up

Staying warm this winter doesn’t have to mean sitting at home by the fire. Improve your health, be a lifelong learner and go see something new with these winter events and activities! 

Healthy Living

Outdoor Exploration

  • The winter months have much more flora and fauna to explore than you might think, and it is all worth writing about. The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary has Zoom classes that teach you and your family about nature journaling and how to blend art and science! Register for one or all of the four classes in the series here.
  • The City of East Lansing’s longest walking trail is open for the winter! Bundle up and visit the Northern Tier Trail for almost five miles of trail and end your adventure in the Abbott Road Park with a snowball fight or an igloo building contest.

Learning

  • The February and March shows at the Abrams Planetarium have been announced and registration is now open. This month, check out Skywatchers of Africa and SkyTellers and next month you can catch Planet Nine: The Search is On and In my Backyard
  • MSU HR is always updating the online resources from Organization and Professional Development, so you can take a course on anything from Communication to Professional Development from the warmth of your own home. Check out the full list of course offerings here.

Performance and Art

  • The Broad Art Museum is open and always free to the public. Make a reservation online and visit to see the new exhibitions for 2022 including a feature by Beverly Fishman for Broad’s 10th Anniversary.
  • The Wharton Center is back and a great place to escape the cold with Broadway shows and incredible live performances including the long-anticipated run of Hamilton between March 29 and April 10, 2022. Buy tickets or view their upcoming shows here.

Along with staying warm this winter, stay safe by following all mask mandates on and around MSU’s campus and get your booster vaccine if you have not yet. Enjoy the winter wonderland, Spartans!

Register for an Upcoming Virtual Professional Development Course!

Whether you’ve jumped into the new year with a list of goals to work on or need a little inspiration, HR Organization and Professional Development (OPD) has a variety of online, live courses to help you. Find a list of upcoming courses sorted by topic below.

Additionally, OPD wants to know your training preferences for the upcoming year. Complete this short questionnaire to help us ensure we’re best meeting your learning and development needs.

Business Analysis

Promapp, Interactive Process Creation – February 2 
Learners will continue their process improvement journey and build upon the knowledge and skills learned in Introduction to Process Mapping

Communication

Conflict Management and Non-Escalation: Train the Trainer – Starts January 19 
The goal of this course is to prepare participants to be able to provide instruction on the Vistelar proven methods to help others address the challenges of dealing with conflict and crisis. 

Crucial Conversations – Starts February 8 
Learn how to hold crucial conversations – where emotions and stakes are high and opinions vary. 

Finance and Accounting

Vendors in KFS – February 22 
This class will cover the various types of vendors in KFS and when to use them, how to add and edit a vendor, including documentation required, and tips on searching for a vendor.  

Human Resources

Certified Human Resources Specialist – Starts February 1 
In this five-class series, you will acquire an extensive set of reference materials and resources while building your professional HR network. 

Mitigating Bias in Hiring – February 10 
Learn about best practices and procedures for reducing potential bias in the screening and interview process and obtain tools for increasing understanding and self-awareness. 

Leadership

Engaging Teams for Maximum Performance – January 25 
Learn methods of building trust, setting goals and providing feedback to help enhance employee engagement and working relationships. 

New Leader Development Series – Starts January 18 
Apply now  to join the next cohort of the new, nine-session NLDS. Kicking off January 18, this program equips new leaders with a toolkit of crucial knowledge and resources. 

Strategic Planning – February 17 
Participants will gain a foundational base for implementing strategic planning in a unit.

Management

Building Cohesive Teams – January 26 
Learn methods for building collaboration within a team and skills for influencing team performance. 

Operations

Records Management and Retention at MSU – February 23 
Learn the rules, regulations, and strategies to help manage university records. 

Professional Development

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace – February 15 
This course provides humorous insight into the seven habits of negativity, including tips to stop gossip, techniques for getting along with others, and strategies to reap the many benefits of a positive and engaged workforce. 

Everything DiSC®: Behavior Styles at Work – January 27 
Learn how to build more effective working relationships based on an understanding of different behavioral styles. 

The Power of Habit – February 16  
Learn how habits are created and how to replace undesirable habits with productive ones. 

Ready, Set, Change! – January 26 
This interactive and engaging course is appropriate for anyone responsible for implementing and guiding change in their organizations, such as leaders, project managers and their team members, HR professionals and more. 

You can find all the current virtual Organization and Professional Development courses on the HR website. Class enrollment is completed within the EBS Portal. Employees may use available educational assistance funds towards course fees (if any). 

Becoming a More Effective and Influential Team Member

We often use the word “team” to describe just about any combination of people, but a true team is not simply a set of individuals. A group of individuals still has personal ego concerns — there’s a primary focus on self, while true teams remove that element. A team’s work is focused on a larger goal or purpose, with everyone understanding the greater good to the work being performed.

Real teams can be difficult to create and don’t last forever, often being designed for a specific project or objective. If you recently watched the Tokyo Olympics, you likely saw this in action. Teams that won gold medals in basketball, soccer, and relay races will almost certainly not be composed of the exact same individuals for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

The good news? A group of individuals can become a team, no matter whether the individuals are all working in the same physical space, remotely, or in a hybrid set-up. Your attitude about, and approach to, being part of a team can have an impact on the entire team’s success. Read on for key strategies you can utilize to become a more effective team member.

You Can Make the Difference

Regardless of your role on a team, there are ways to develop into a better team member. Not only does this lead to a more successful team, but it can ultimately make the team experience more productive and even enjoyable for you as an individual.

  • Set the tone — What’s the current mood of the team? What’s your current mood toward the team? What kind of mood do you want to set? Notice any differences and set the tone for the team in ways that can help shift the team to be closer to the desired state.
  • Develop and maintain a positive mindset — Although sometimes easier said than done, focus on the benefits of working on a team. Concentrate on team members’ positive aspects. Accept mistakes, learn from them, and then move on.
  • Be proactive — Identify opportunities for action. Be sure to gain approval or acceptance from the rest of the team.
  • Demonstrate respect — Acknowledge others’ rights to hold differing opinions. Use nonjudgmental, objective language.
  • Work collaboratively — Share pertinent knowledge with the team. Consider the team’s needs, not just your own.

Being a Good Virtual and Hybrid Team Member

Virtual and hybrid teams have become more and more common and can present unique challenges to working together as a unified team. Working from various locations requires each member of a team to possess a specific set of skills and characteristics that allows the team to function effectively. It’s important to develop and consciously improve these skills and traits so that you can contribute more effectively as a team member regardless of where everyone on your team is located.

  • Be independent and disciplined — It’s up to each team member to be accountable and professional. Plan and confirm daily goals and stick to deadlines. Think ahead, anticipate needs and make sure you have what’s needed to complete tasks with minimal support.
  • Learn to manage complexity and uncertainty — You may also face greater uncertainty regarding roles and responsibilities. Strive to be tolerant, flexible, and ready to take the initiative to get what you need to complete your work. Stick to designated workflows and established processes, and be able to discern when to make independent judgments and when to wait until a next move is approved or specific information becomes available.
  • Be proactive, cooperative, and able to network — Take the first step, communicating with others as soon as problems arise and seek advice, insight, information, and consensus on solutions. Working in a different space than your teammates makes it easier to ignore issues or put off responses, so it’s especially important to be proactive and follow up. Form good team relationships and participate in regular virtual or in-person meetings, even when work is going smoothly.
  • Be comfortable with technology — You’ll generally rely more on a wide range of tools to communicate, share documents, and collaborate — for example, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, cloud storage, and internal file-sharing and project management platforms. All team members must be able to use suitable tools to present and share information.

Although we often have no choice of who’s on our teams, there are always strategies we can use to be an effective and influential team member. Learn more using the self-paced elevateU resources below and contact Organization and Professional Development at prodev@hr.msu.edu regarding individual and department offerings that can lead to greater team success.

Recommended elevateU Resources

Coping with Change at Work

Written by Andrea Williams, Organization and Professional Development

How are you feeling about work lately? Burned out? Frustrated? Apathetic? If so, you may be experiencing change fatigue, and you’re certainly not alone. Changes at work can lead to feelings of confusion, anxiety, anger and helplessness. With the rapid rate of change right now, it’s important to take time to gauge whether you’re having feelings of change fatigue and learn skills to cope with, or perhaps, even embrace change as an opportunity to grow.

Six Stages of Reaction to Change

You’ve likely heard of the five (or more) stages of grief commonly associated with loss. Did you know there are also typical stages of reaction we experience when confronted with change? Being aware of these tendencies better allows us to work through our reactions with intention and feel less overwhelmed and alone in this very normal process.

  1. Shock: Often experienced as feeling numb or as if you can’t grasp what’s happened. You may think or say things like, “I need time to process this or make a decision,” or “I can’t believe this is true.”
  2. Denial: You might try to deny the reality of the situation or continue as if nothing has happened. You could say things like, “It doesn’t make any difference.”
  3. Anger: You want to defend yourself against the change or resist it. Strong hostile or negative statements and behavior may occur during this stage.
  4. Passive Acceptance: Once you realize nothing can be done about the change – it’s happening regardless of how you feel – you begin to accept the change as a fact of life and simply get on with your work. You might start having the mindset of, “It’s out of my hands,” or “This is just the way things are.”
  5. Exploration: When you accept that change is inevitable, you may also start actively engaging with it, trying to learn more and generally becoming explorative and curious. Thoughts are more along the lines of, “I wonder what effect this will have,” or “Why is this being implemented?”
  6. Challenge: Although its name implies this is the most difficult stage, this is actually the point at which you feel most empowered. You’re willing to come to grips with the change and actively contribute to developing solutions and resolving difficulties. You may make useful suggestions, ask constructive questions and offer to contribute toward any new goals.

Escape vs. Active Coping

Experts believe there are two general types of coping: escape coping and active coping. Which way have you been coping with recent changes?

Escape coping involves changing your behavior to try to avoid thinking or feeling things that are uncomfortable. If you’re experiencing change fatigue, you may be escape coping.

Active coping allows you to tackle a problem head-on. This approach is healthier because you are addressing what’s causing your negative feelings, rather than avoiding it.

The ability to adapt to change — which typically goes along with active coping — is advantageous to your professional and personal life. One of the most important ways you can cope with change in the workplace in a healthy way is to simply acknowledge it. Recognizing and accepting change is one of the first steps toward managing it.

Tips to Actively Cope with Change

If you find yourself escape coping or feeling stuck in a stage of resistance or fatigue related to work changes, try the following approaches.

Take a closer look at your response. Our reactions to change often reflect our interpretations – or “stories” – that we believe to be true. In reality, our stories are often subconscious and are not always accurate. What is your primary emotion when considering a change? Once you identify it, ask yourself, “What do I believe to be true that’s making me feel this way?” This can help influence your perception of the change and better understand the stories driving your emotions.

Help others. If you feel uncomfortable with a change in the workplace, there are likely other people feeling the same way. If you can take the focus away from your own situation and direct it toward someone else’s, it can help you cope. Whether it’s a check-in with a colleague via Teams or inviting someone in your office for a walk during your lunch break to discuss the situation, the act of helping others and communicating your thoughts and feelings will allow you to better deal with stress, feel less isolated and helpless, and adapt more quickly to change.

Embrace new opportunities. Change often translates to possibility for those who are willing to embrace it. Ask yourself, “What are the opportunities with this change,” and “How will these opportunities help me and others?” Things may feel bleak when you don’t agree with a change, but studies show having a positive outlook can open you up to new possibilities and be more receptive to change.

Whether we like it or not, change in the workplace is inevitable. Although sometimes disruptive and uncomfortable, there are clear benefits to change — the development of new skills, increased innovation, and new and better opportunities, to name a few. If you find yourself experiencing ongoing change fatigue or feelings of burnout you can’t shake, there are many resources available to help, including the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Health4U, Organization and Professional Development, and the WorkLife Office.

Sources:

Castrillon, Caroline (2020, February 26). How to Cope with Change in the Workplace. Retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2020/02/26/how-to-cope-with-change-in-the-workplace/?sh=4904dd38d207

Skillsoft Ireland Limited. Organizations Change So Get Ready. Retrieved July 15, 2021 from https://elevateu.skillport.com/skillportfe/main.action?path=summary/COURSES/pd_31_a01_bs_enus

Wiens, Kandi and Rowell, Darin (2018, December 31). How to Embrace Change Using Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://hbr.org/2018/12/how-to-embrace-change-using-emotional-intelligence

Leadership Blog Series: Every Improvement Involves Change

Written by Sharri Margraves, HR Associate Director for Organization and Professional Development

Change itself isn’t an improvement…but every improvement involves change.

We are experiencing unprecedented (there’s that word again) change on many levels and across many systems, under-resourced in many areas while managing through tremendous pressure for both you and your teams. Learning new ways to make improvements is critical. I invite you to take a fresh perspective on leading change, starting with yourself. You need a deliberate path for leaning into change and bringing your team along with you as you lead improvement measures.

Start with Yourself

To begin, reflect on the following questions while considering your current leadership approach during this time of rapid change. How do you approach problems and lead improvements?

  • Are you treating the symptoms, or are you tackling the root cause of the issues? Imagine the feeling of having your teams think about the root cause of any problems or improvements. Connecting improvements throughout the organization to individuals can increase engagement and build more value for your stakeholders.
  • Does everyone in your organization or on your team know how to participate in improvements? Do they know what is expected of them, or do they have to wait to be told what to do? Imagine empowering and unleashing the potential from your entire team by inviting them to work on what really matters, in a way that is supported by trusting those who know the most about the issues.
  • Do you expect continuous improvement in the daily work? Envision being able to systematically improve even “small” thorny issues, recognize people, and deal with processes that are ineffective, wasteful and redundant.
  • Do you include representation of all your key stakeholders in your efforts? No one wants to feel like they are at the little kids’ table—waiting for scraps and being told what to do. Be holistic in solving problems and making improvements. Not including good representation from across the spectrum to solve issues around change means you are sowing seeds of suspicion or, even worse, sabotage.

Lean into Change

Regardless of an issue’s scope, create a path toward improvement utilizing the following steps:

  1. Define the problem. Create a team to solve the problem that includes those responsible for the activity, process or action. Develop the problem statement in one or two sentences—get to the real root cause by asking the 5 Whys until you get to the bottom of things.
  2. Define the desired state in one to two sentences. If XYZ changes, what is the intended outcome?
  3. Define who needs to be involved and how. Use a RACI chart to help you define roles: who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Consider the difference between responsible and accountable: If I am an electrician who is responsible for installing a new outlet and I get sick and can’t complete the job, my manager is accountable to find someone to complete the job.

Lead with Intention

Now you are ready to conduct kaizen, which means to take apart (“Kai”) and put back together (“Zen”). Remember, there is no “bad” information or people—the focus should be on the facts of the problem and not the person. Lead this process with intention using the steps below.

  1. Document the current process with time estimates (or other measures).
  2. Identify areas of improvement. You are likely trying to eliminate wasted time, money or energy. Everything should have a real value—or we shouldn’t be doing it.
  3. Develop new processes that can prevent or improve problems. Document them in Promapp.
  4. Implement (i.e., do the things!) Build in a loop to communicate on the implementation and the results over a period of time. Develop training tools based off your process/actions.
  5. Measure and compare to previous results to verify improvement. Remember, anything that does not add value (time, money, energy) should be eliminated, and measuring improvement is possible—even for what can sometimes feel like Byzantine university processes. This is an important transparency step to all members in the process.
  6. Standardize the new process, system or action. Use visual tools, such as dashboards or posters, to reinforce the processes.

Ongoing steps in the process: Celebrate successes whether big or small, maintain continuous monitoring as situations change, and continue to embark on improvements.

Change Management Strategist, Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta, describes change leadership as “the ability to influence and inspire action in others, and respond with vision and agility during periods of growth, disruption or uncertainty to bring about the needed change.” Approach improvements with intentionality to be an influential leader of change during our current period of transition.

Interested in learning more? Recommended SourceLive articles are listed below, and the Organization and Professional Development department can be reached at prodev@hr.msu.edu for specialized support.

Recommended Reading

Sources

Balzer, W., Francis, D., Krehbiel, T., Shea, N. A review and perspective on lean in higher education. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/William-Balzer/publication/308000035_A_review_and_perspective_on_Lean_in_higher_education/links/5ea32ac6299bf112560c188d/A-review-and-perspective-on-Lean-in-higher-education.pdf (log-in required)

Jenkins, Alison. Advancing lean leadership. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/advancing-lean-leadership#

Neumeyer, Adrian. Create a RACI chart so everyone knows their role. https://www.tacticalprojectmanager.com/raci-chart-explanation-with-example

Leadership Blog Series: Measuring and Improving Employee Engagement

Written by Sharri Margraves, HR Associate Director for Organization and Professional Development

Before the pandemic, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace research pegged employee engagement at an abysmal 15%. While there is no perfect definition of employee engagement, it’s fair to say that if 85% of any given workforce is disengaged, regardless of the criteria, an organization is not providing its best effort and could be headed for trouble.

In 2017, 81% of employees surveyed indicated they would consider leaving their jobs if the right offer came along, and the “right offer” criteria did not equate to simply receiving a higher rate of pay. It’s no secret that there are now additional challenges to filling positions and retaining talent across the entire spectrum of occupations due to the pandemic. Plus, humans are curious creatures — if one of our colleagues leaves their position, others are more likely to follow suit.

We have approximately 12,000 benefits-eligible employees at MSU. Using Gallup’s findings, does that mean 10,200 of us are not engaged? And if so, what can we do about it

What is Engagement?

To begin, it’s imperative to know what employee engagement entails. Engagement is sometimes used synonymously with employee satisfaction or even happiness. However, these three measures are quite different.

Happy employees are individuals who generally respond to work situations with a decided choice. Even when faced with difficult situations, how the employee deals with the circumstances is what determines happiness.

Satisfied employees are content, but it doesn’t mean they are engaged. Organizations are filled with employees who like their jobs enough — the conditions, benefits, pay — and continue to come to work but do not help drive toward goals or improvements. Plenty of people are satisfied just going through the motions, but the competitive edge will go to organizations with more significant numbers of engaged employees.

An organization heavily influences engaged employees. Engagement is more about how employees feel about their organizations. They bring their whole selves to the job and are committed to achieving the goals of the organization. They do everything in their power to help their organization be successful. They go above and beyond. They have a growth mindset, can tackle the challenges, and seek continuous improvement — and their leaders support these behaviors.

Consider the V-5 Model

To better gauge your unit’s employee engagement level, try the V-5 model. V-5 describes five major elements of employee engagement in the pandemic/post-pandemic organization: value, voice, variety, virtue, and vision.

Value — Employees are the most vital asset and are valued for their work and commitment. They are recognized and respected.

Voice — Employees can provide feedback without fear of negative impact and have input on work rules and policies.

Variety — Jobs leverage skills and strengths and offer creativity, autonomy, and challenge.

Virtue — Employees connect to the organization’s values, have trust and belief in its mission across the organization, and see that it creates value for all stakeholders.

Vision — There is a clear and comprehensive stated goal of an organization that it strives to achieve in the future. Key features of a vision include brevity, goal clarity, an abstract yet challenging approach, and desirable goals.

Interested in learning more? The V-5 model table breaks down the variables of each V-5 element and can be helpful in customizing this approach for your unit.

Advice on Engagement Surveys

Some units use surveys to gain insight into employee engagement. If you plan to take this approach, be sure to review and follow the steps below.

  • As a reminder, any survey going to support staff will need to be reviewed by the Office of Employee Relations before issuance.
  • Until there is an organization-wide effort on employee engagement, units must think carefully about their survey design.
  • If you don’t attend to essential items that make a difference, such as those outlined in the V-5 model, don’t bother. You’ll likely only make things worse. One resource to utilize is the Sample Employee Engagement Questions, which provides effective survey questions and explains some of the challenges you might encounter during this process.

It bears mentioning that there are several valid proprietary survey instruments available for purchase as well. Ensure you do not plagiarize these as the legal ramifications could put your unit at risk.

Additional OPD resources

There are a number of resources available to further advance your knowledge and practical application of employee engagement methods.

Live, Online Course

elevateU Online Resources

Sources

Kumar, P. (2021) V-5 Model of employee engagement during COVID-19 and post lockdown. Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0972262920980878

Gallup. (2019) State of the Global Workplace. 35 Employee engagement survey questions you need to ask. https://lattice.com/library/28-employee-engagement-survey-questions-you-need-to-ask May 2021

Employee engagement: 8 statistics you need to know https://blog.smarp.com/employee-engagement-8-statistics-you-need-to-know blog post. January 4, 2021

Clapon, P. The difference between employee happiness and employee engagement. https://gethppy.com/employee-engagement/the-difference-between-employee-happiness-and-employee-engagement. Blog post. September 4, 2020.

Upcoming Supervisor Professional Development Courses

As a supervisor or manager, it’s important to keep learning in order to build a successful team and keep your employees engaged. Whether you’re brand new to your leadership role or an experienced supervisor looking for resources to develop your skills, we offer a variety of classes to help you grow in your career. Stay on track with your personal and professional goals by taking one of these upcoming courses.

Fundamentals of Supervision – March 11

Supervisors are a main determinant of overall performance, retention, and morale in an organization. This session will help participants with less than three years of supervisory experience learn fundamental skills to become a successful supervisor.

Communication Strategies for Supervisors – March 12

One of the non-negotiables for successful leadership is being an effective communicator. Many leaders believe they do communicate effectively, but what most leaders do not understand about communicating with their team is that it is not just about what is said. It is about how it is said, when it is said, to whom, did the receiver understand the message in the way it was intended, and on and on. To lead successfully today, leaders must be able to persuade, inspire, listen, articulate the big picture, and create teams of people who buy into and trust the sender.

Manager as Coach – March 12

Successful managers today understand the importance of coaching in the workplace to improve productivity, loyalty, and results. Instead of telling team members what to do, or just expecting them to perform, it is important to guide, discuss and encourage – in other words, coach.  This session is geared to help leaders understand the importance of being a successful coach.

Creating an Inclusive Environment – March 17

While this course is for everyone, it’s especially important for leaders to understand how to create an inclusive working environment. First, you will work to understand and identify categories associated with the various labels we apply to ourselves and others. Second, you’ll consider the ways in which these categories apply to you and how this shapes your interactions with others. Finally, you’ll then be introduced to an exercise designed to enhance self-awareness and bridge connections.

Supervisor Strategies for Performance Planning – March 17

As a supervisor, it is important that you sufficiently prepare and work collaboratively with your employees to make the Performance Planning portion of Performance Excellence successful. In this program, you can expect to learn strategies to link university and departmental priorities to the employee’s role, clarify expectations, write effective SMART goals, identify skill gaps, create a development plan and increase engagement in the process.

Leading Change – March 31

Effective leadership is imperative in times of transition, regardless of the nature or source of the changes you’re experiencing. This session will enable you to understand the phases of change, deal with resistance, build support for change, and communicate more effectively to reduce resistance and build change adeptness in staff members.

New Year, New Professional Development Courses!

Do you have any goals for 2020? Chances are if you do, they are likely centered around self-improvement. One way to enhance your work experience and get the most out of this year professionally is to take professional development courses! Find courses through Organization and Professional Development (OPD) to help you reach your personal and professional development goals.

Upcoming Courses:

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace – Wednesday, February 5

Turnover, stress-related illness, and disengagement are signs of a problematic workplace and according to the most recent Gallup polls, nearly 70% of employees are unhappy or disengaged at work. This course provides humorous insight into the seven habits of negativity, including tips to stop gossip, techniques for getting along with others, and strategies to reap the many benefits of a positive and engaged workforce.

From Distracted to Productive – Wednesday, February 5

Email. Interruptions. Project transitions. Office clutter. Social and other media. Text messages. Even family and friends. These seven “distractors” sometimes make it almost impossible to get anything done. But with some forethought and effective strategies, as well as some personal discipline, it is more than possible to find your focus once again, even in a hyper-distracted world. Learn “game plan” ideas for getting and keeping your distractors under control and finding critical “focused productivity” time each day, leading to improved performance as well as clarity of mind and purpose.

Managing Meetings – Wednesday, February 12

With company resources tighter than ever, and staff and management busier than ever, frivolous meetings are simply not an option. Yet they continue to occur more often than ever. And too many unproductive, wasteful meetings create a major drag on staff morale and motivation, thus affecting productivity, turnover, and the corporate “bottom line”. If you are the organizer or leader of meetings, you simply cannot afford to look unprofessional when you are “on stage” in a competitive or political environment. Use this program to better plan, lead, and follow through on your meetings and enhance team productivity, coordination, and cohesion.

Crucial Conversations – Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13

By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you’ll begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment. Learn step by step tools for promoting an open, honest dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics—at all levels of your organization.

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership – Wednesday, February 19

A strong leader ignites motivation and unleashes productivity creating an environment in which individuals want to “follow.” A person with high emotional intelligence has mastered self-management and interpersonal dynamics. Combine the two and the result is an emotionally intelligent leader!

Honing Your Emotional Intelligence – Wednesday, February 19

Isn’t it interesting how some people have a seemingly natural talent for handling themselves and/or others with ease? It is an amazing feat considering our high stress, multi-tasking, spread-too-thin world today. Most likely, these individuals have mastered the principles found within Emotional Intelligence. The essence of Emotional Intelligence is our ability to identify and manage our own emotions and our ability to identify emotions in others and manage interpersonal relationships.

Crucial Accountability – Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20

This two-day course teaches a step-by-step process for enhancing accountability, improving performance and ensuring execution. A combination of role-playing and interactive scenarios allows participants to practice how to talk about violated expectations in a way that solves problems, improves relationships and improves team and organizational effectiveness.

You can find all the current OPD courses on the HR website. Sign-up through the EBS Portal. Questions? Contact HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Start the New Academic Year with a Professional Development Course!

Welcome to a new academic year at MSU! Organization and Professional Development (OPD) is offering new courses this fall to help you reach your personal and professional development goals.

NEW Upcoming Courses:

Managing Meetings – Tuesday, October 15
With company resources tighter than ever, and staff and management busier than ever, frivolous meetings are simply not an option. Yet they continue to occur more often than ever. And too many unproductive, wasteful meetings create a major drag on staff morale and motivation, thus affecting productivity, turnover, and the corporate “bottom line”. And, if you are the organizer or leader of meetings, you simply cannot afford to look unprofessional when you are “on stage” in a competitive or political environment. Use this program to better plan, lead, and follow through on your meetings and enhance team productivity, coordination, and cohesion.

Communication Strategies for Supervisors – Thursday, October 24
One of the non-negotiables for successful leadership is being an effective communicator. Many leaders believe they do communicate effectively, but what most leaders do not understand about communicating with their team is that it is not just about what is said. To lead successfully today, leaders must be able to persuade, inspire, listen, articulate the big picture, and create teams of people who buy into and trust the sender.

Manager as Coach – Thursday, October 24
Successful managers today understand the importance of coaching in the workplace to improve productivity, loyalty, and results. Instead of telling team members what to do, or just expecting them to perform, it is important to guide, discuss and encourage – in other words, coach.

Presentation Skills 101 – Wednesday, November 20
You may have a great deal of knowledge or important information to share, but if your presentation is not engaging, you may lose your audience and opportunity for influence. Whether you’re a training professional, an executive, a manager who leads meetings, or anyone who needs to communicate clearly to more than one person at a time, this workshop will show you strategies to create and deliver effective presentations with confidence and enthusiasm.

Support staff should note that their Educational Assistance benefit resets with the fall semester – be sure to use these funds to help cover costs for any registration fees.

You can find all current OPD courses on the HR website. Sign-up through the EBS Portal. Questions? Contact HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.