New and In-Person Fall Professional Development Courses

With the contagious energy from students starting a new year of learning and the Educational Assistance benefit resetting with the fall semester, now is a perfect time to consider your professional goals and how you can work toward achieving them. HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) department is excited to offer a variety of new and in-person programs this semester to support your learning and development.

Registration is now available in the EBS Portal for both in-person classes and virtual courses to provide expanded options and best meet your learning needs and preferences.* View all current in-person and virtual OPD programming on HR’s website and learn about highlighted courses below.

New Fall Courses

Facilitating Process Improvement | Tuesday, October 18, AND Thursday, October 20 | In Person

Strengths Based Leadership | Wednesday, October 26 | In Person

Mitigating Bias in Hiring | Tuesday, October 11 | Virtual

Crucial Conversations for Accountability | Wednesday, November 2, AND Thursday, November 3 | In Person

Additional In-Person Courses

All in-person OPD programming will be held in East Lansing.

Communication

Grammar Refresher | Wednesday, October 19

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue | Wednesday, November 16, AND Thursday, November 17

Conflict Management and Non-Escalation  | Tuesday, December 6, AND Wednesday, December 7

Management

Building Cohesive Teams | Wednesday, October 12

Performance Management for Hybrid Teams | Tuesday, December 6

Managing and Leading Across Locations | Tuesday, December 13

Personal Development

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace  | Wednesday, October 12

Ready, Set, Change | Thursday, November 17

Identify and Maximize Your Strengths  | Tuesday, December 13

Register for OPD courses in the EBS Portal today! Questions? Contact Organization and Professional Development at prodev@hr.msu.edu.

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Image by jannoon028 on Freepik

OPD Course Spotlight — Continuous Process Improvement Series

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain

Picture this: Your department is functioning smoothly, with greater efficiency and productivity, utilizing clear, easy-to-understand frameworks for ongoing processes with easily transferrable knowledge and expertise. This type of work environment isn’t just a pipe dream. In fact, it’s part of MSU’s strategic plan, which sets forth the following action item:

Establish processes to systematically identify and remove barriers to success and reduce work inefficiencies to improve the experience of working at MSU.
(MSU 2030 Strategic Plan: Goal 2, Objective 1, Strategy/Action 6)

Continuous Process Improvement is an area of growing importance, as new and emerging leaders recognize process as foundational to the success of individuals, teams and organizations. Continuous improvement can range from simple changes in the day-to-day workings of your team to large-scale procedural shifts across the entire university. In all cases, you need the right instruments to achieve success and keep it going.

Continuous Process Improvement Learning Series

A variety of programs are available to assist you and your team in developing a culture of process excellence, with Fall 2022 sessions currently open for registration in EBS. The courses below typically provide the maximum benefit when taken as a series, although taking only a few of the classes is also an option, depending on your learning needs.

  1. Process Mapping 101 – Getting Started | elevateU e-learning course, 20 minutes
    • Define key process improvement terminology.
    • Identify common process maps and their differences.
  2. Introduction to Process Mapping | Instructor-led training
    • Define key process improvement terminology.
    • Identify common elements of process maps.
    • Reduce barriers to success by adopting best practices.
    • Create a process map.
    • Begin work on individual work-related processes using the resources provided.
  3. Promapp, Interactive Process Creation | Instructor-led training
    (requires completion of a prerequisite course, Introduction to Process Mapping)
    • Create processes in the Nintex Promapp system and use key features.
    • Utilize best writing practices and process standards to create engaging and consistent processes.
  4. Writing Policies and Procedures | Instructor-led training
    • Draft policies and procedures in clear terms that can be understood by all.
    • Discover strategies and methods for creating easy-to-understand resources.
  5. New Course! Facilitating Process Improvement | Instructor-led training
    • Identify leading process improvement frameworks and their appropriate applications.
    • Apply the RAPID methodology and supporting project documents to design a process improvement initiative.
    • Evaluate process effectiveness and identify common sources of waste
    • Adopt facilitation best practices in the management of process improvement initiatives.

Check out a preview of what you can expect from the Introduction to Process Mapping class to get a feel for the types of tools and strategies you’ll gain:

Ready to Learn More?

Register for upcoming courses in the Continuous Process Improvement Learning Series in the EBS Portal by selecting the Courses for Employees at MSU tile under My Career and Training. A list of recommended self-directed learning resources is below to get you started, and OPD can be reached at prodev@hr.msu.edu with any questions.

RECOMMENDED ELEVATEU RESOURCES

elevateU Courses

elevateU Microlearning – Videos

Sources

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

Leadership Blog Series: Ready to Lead

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

How did you know you were ready to lead? What inspired you to take that first step? What is your mission as a leader? Who helped you see you could be a leader and who helped you along that path? I’m curious about the journey that brought you where you are now as a leader, and where you want to go in the future.

In my case, I didn’t think about any of this when I first started in a leadership role. My first job out of college was as an APSA level 10 supervisor at MSU, and I was just happy to have a position in my field. So, armed with my dietetics degree, off I went into “institutional food service” as a personnel supervisor. Thankfully, I was able to attend a six-week training program before being assigned to my permanent spot.

The joke was on me because I was sent to that training unit just a few days before the start of the fall semester. Let’s just say that I decided to immediately start looking for another job! In that first year, the colleague who made my job bearable quit, another experienced colleague was experiencing a personal crisis, and our supervisor was demeaning and unethical. Then, one day I came into work, and the supervisor’s office was cleaned out—something was about to change.

Senior leaders began coming to the unit daily, and an interim leader was assigned. I took on new job responsibilities and challenges. The climate we operated in was hectic and unsettling, but I found a groove. I encountered many challenges the first year but was seen by others as a leader. I certainly made mistakes and missteps all along the way (I still do), but I was given a chance and found people who cared and were willing to help me learn. My experience showed me the rewards of being kind and helpful to new people. I was also given the gift of recognizing lousy leadership and the impact it can have.

Throughout my career as a leader at MSU, I’ve made it a point to take on stretch assignments and do all I can to continue to grow—public speaking was particularly hard. I figured if I kept growing, I would be able to help others be successful too.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Encouraging and empowering others will help our needed leadership talent grow. Always be on the lookout for talent—hire people better than you and model positive leadership by refining their gifts and talents. Find others that need a chance and the grace to grow into the leaders we need, whether they are individual contributors or supervisors.

Leadership Resources from OPD

MSU offers and continues to develop resources to support leaders and managers at all stages of their professional journeys. HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) launched the New Leader Development Series in January 2021, designed to give new leaders a survey of different topics related to both leading and supervising/management. More than 70 people will be making the connection with this fall’s cohort. Although this next series is full, consider the January 2023 cohort for you or members of your team.

OPD is also excited to announce a new leadership workshop and the return of a re-engineered course that’s been extremely helpful to MSU leaders: Strengths Based Leadership and Crucial Conversations for Accountability (previously titled Crucial Accountability), both available for registration in EBS for fall dates. Check out the recent HR post Learning and Development Resources for Supervisors for additional courses and other resources to help you grow and advance on your leadership path.

Are there resources not currently offered by MSU that you feel would be useful to your growth as a leader? What support would help you feel ready to lead? I’m interested in your story and what could make a difference in growing MSU’s leaders. Feel free to comment below or contact me directly at margrave@msu.edu.

Sources

Photo by Christina Morillo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/three-woman-having-a-meeting-1181626/

Educational Assistance: Fall Reminders

With this year’s Educational Assistance, or “Ed Assist”, support staff benefit resetting with the start of the fall semester, now’s a perfect time to refresh your Ed Assist knowledge and take advantage of this opportunity for your learning and development. Here are a few important reminders regarding this benefit. New to Ed Assist? Start here for an overview.

Educational Assistance Balance Reset

If you are eligible for Educational Assistance, your Ed Assist funds reset each year with the start of the fall semester. You may check your current Ed Assist balance within EBS.

  1. Log in to EBS.
  2. Access the My Career & Training section.
  3. Select the Educational Assistance System tile.
  4. Hover over My Account in the top menu.
  5. Choose EdAssist Balance.

Credit and Non-Credit Options

You may receive financial assistance for both credit and non-credit courses, which may include training, seminars, workshops, conferences, or other educational opportunities. Use this benefit to enhance your professional skill set or help you reach Performance Excellence goals.

For non-credit courses, like professional development courses available through HR, support staff employees have up to $800 per year to use toward course registration fees. The course must be considered job-related and from an approved institution/program to receive assistance.

For credit courses, you can receive up to 14 credits per academic year. Your financial assistance level is determined by your union group, the type, of course, you’re taking (graduate or undergraduate), and where you’re taking the course (MSU or another university). The course must be considered job-related, degree-related, or career/professional development-related.

Taxation Information for Graduate-Level, Degree-Related Coursework

When using Educational Assistance funds toward graduate-level, degree-related classes for credit, it’s important to remember and plan for IRS tax exemption rules. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provides an exemption of up to $5,250 in a tax (calendar) year for graduate-level, degree-related courses reimbursed/waived through employer educational assistance programs, such as the one at MSU. Any amount of the benefit over $5,250 for degree-related, graduate-level courses is considered taxable income by the IRS.

If you utilize Ed Assist benefits for graduate-level, degree-related courses for credit over the $5,250 exclusion amount, appropriate tax withholding will be made, and the amount will be added to your gross wages. If a tax liability is determined, the deductions must be completed within the same calendar year. If this tax situation applies to your Ed Assist usage, you will receive notification via email in the fall, typically around September. This notification will indicate the amount of Educational Assistance received in the calendar year, how much of that amount is taxable, and on which paychecks withdrawals will occur to cover the outstanding tax liability.

Keep in mind: This tax liability, dictated by the IRS, applies ONLY to any Ed Assist benefit usage over the $5,250 limit when applied to graduate-level, degree-related courses for credit. For example, if you received $6,250 in eligible Ed Assist benefits in a year, then you would only be taxed on the $1,000 amount that is more than the exclusion limit and owe a percentage of that $1,000 as your tax liability.

Find detailed information about Educational Assistance – including how to apply – on the HR website. Contact Organization and Professional Development at prodev@hr.msu.edu with questions.

Sources

Photo by ThisIsEngineering: https://www.pexels.com/photo/female-engineer-taking-notes-3862153/

Leadership Blog Series: Learning & Development Resources for Supervisors

Whether new to a supervisory role or a long-time manager, the best leaders are lifelong learners adaptable to change and flexible in their leadership style. The rapid changes and unknowns of the past couple years have made it particularly clear that supervisors must embrace the complexity of their roles, which demands new ideas and strategies to stay fresh and ahead of the curve. HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) department has resources to help.

NEW LEADER DEVELOPMENT SERIES (NLDS)

Designed for supervisors new to their roles or new to MSU, this nine-session series equips new leaders with a toolkit of crucial knowledge and resources. Registration is available in EBS for the next NLDS cohort, beginning August 30, 2022.  

Sessions cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leading in a Union Environment
  • Workforce Management and Strategic Staffing
  • Fostering an Inclusive Culture
  • Budget Responsibilities and Ethical Finance
  • Conflict Management
  • and more

Learn more about NLDS.

LEADERSHIP WORKSHOPS

Looking to learn or strengthen specific leadership skills? OPD has both in-person classes and virtual courses to provide expanded options and best meet your learning needs and preferences.*

View all upcoming OPD course offerings.

SELF-DIRECTED LEADERSHIP RESOURCES

elevateU

On-demand, self-paced courses, videos, audiobooks and more are available to MSU employees via the free elevateU platform, including a Leadership Development section covering a wide range of leadership topics.

Access elevateU leadership resources.

Leadership Library

Created by a cross-departmental workgroup to assist leaders in navigating challenges and handling their responsibilities with confidence, the online Leadership Library highlights curated content related to timely topics.

Visit the online Leadership Library.

Have questions regarding the above resources and opportunities? Contact OPD at prodev@hr.msu.edu for additional information.

*MSU HR Organization and Professional Development follows all applicable state and public health guidance and university-wide directives. If deemed necessary or advisable to refrain from in-person learning, courses scheduled as in-person will instead be hosted in a virtual format.

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.

OPD Course Spotlight — Identify & Maximize Your Strengths

“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” ― Donald O. Clifton

How do you build better relationships at work? Find the right role to fit your talents? Have powerful, constructive conversations? Living your best life begins when you tap into your unique talents. Learn to Identify & Maximize Your Strengths in an upcoming workshop with HR Organization and Professional Development.

Identify & Maximize Your Strengths is currently open for registration in the EBS Portal for Wednesday, September 21, or Tuesday, December 13, 2022, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Before this workshop, you will complete Gallup’s CliftonStrengths online assessment to determine your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Then, attend the 4-hour Zoom session to receive your customized assessment results and participate in a series of structured discussions and reflection exercises to develop a deeper understanding of yourself and increased appreciation for others.

“Identify and Maximize Your Strengths is an introduction to the CliftonStrengths framework in which participants will take the assessment and review their results to explore what they naturally do best, identify the impacts of those talents on their work and relationships, and determine how to further develop these areas to be most successful,” explains course co-facilitator, David Robinson, Learning and Development Professional for MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities.

Lean Into Your Strengths

Often, when we think about learning and development, we’re working on our “weaknesses” — areas that could use improvement. One unique aspect of this workshop is its focus on your existing strengths. Discovering your strengths is just the beginning. Applying and investing in them sparks real change and growth.

Danielle Hook, course co-facilitator and Learning and Development Manager for MSU HR Organization and Professional Development, shares, “Identify and Maximize Your Strengths guides participants from the initial understanding of their results through the identification and implementation of strengths-based actions. It is through these actionable steps that we see the deeply meaningful impact of a strengths-based approach to the development of individuals and teams. Using the CliftonStrengths framework, we celebrate the unique talents and contributions of individuals as well as the diversity within our teams.”

Check out a preview of what you can expect from the CliftonStrengths assessment and Identify & Maximize Your Strengths:

Ready to Sign Up?

Register for an upcoming Identify & Maximize Your Strengths session in the EBS Portal by selecting the Courses for Employees at MSU tile under My Career and Training. Contact OPD at prodev@hr.msu.edu with questions about this workshop or inquiries regarding hosting this program for a group.

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). 

Leadership Blog Series: New Leadership Library and Leader Development Resources

Whether new to a supervisory role or a long-time manager, the best leaders are lifelong learners adaptable to change and flexible in their leadership style. The ongoing changes and unknowns brought on by COVID-19 have made it particularly clear that leaders must embrace the complexity of their roles, which demands new ideas and strategies to stay fresh and ahead of the curve.

Earlier this year, a small workgroup was formed at MSU to explore the learning development needs of those who find themselves leading in this “new normal.” The group identified the need for an easily accessible collection of relevant and applicable self-directed learning resources on a wide range of topics. To assist leaders in navigating challenges and handling their responsibilities with confidence, an online Leadership Library was created in August 2021.

Visit the new, online Leadership Library.

One member of the workgroup, Cindi Leverich, Director of Academic Leadership Development in the Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development, explains, “As leaders continue to navigate the changing world of work, it is important to have a range of resources available in multiple modalities. The Leadership Library provides busy individuals a convenient list of articles, videos, and workshops on topics key to developing and supporting remote and hybrid teams.”

Updated regularly, the Leadership Library highlights curated content related to timely topics. Ideas for additional, relevant leadership resources are welcome and may be sent to prodev@hr.msu.edu for consideration.

Looking for additional leadership development opportunities?

Danielle Hook, Learning and Development Manager for HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) department, shares, “The importance of professional development cannot be overstated. We also recognize the barriers to accessing meaningful learning are greater than ever. In response, we are exploring creative ways to differentiate our learning solutions to meet the increasingly diverse needs of our learners.”

Learn more about OPD’s new leadership programs and resources below.

New Leader Development Series (NLDS)

Apply now to join the next cohort of this nine-session series. Starting January 18, this program equips new leaders with a toolkit of crucial knowledge and resources.

Sessions cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leading in a Union Environment
  • Workforce Management and Strategic Staffing
  • Fostering an Inclusive Culture
  • Budget Responsibilities and Ethical Finance
  • Conflict Management
  • and more

Leadership Workshops

In addition to OPD’s popular, established courses around the topics of leadership and management, five new workshops for leaders were recently launched. Currently held via Zoom, registration will soon be available within EBS for the following classes:

  • Building Cohesive Teams
  • Conflict Management
  • Managing and Leading Across Multiple Locations
  • Performance Management for Hybrid Teams
  • Strategic Planning

Find out more about OPD’s upcoming course offerings.

elevateU Leadership Resources

On-demand, self-paced courses, videos, audiobooks and more are available to MSU employees via the free elevateU platform, including a Leadership Development section covering a wide range of leadership topics.

Access elevateU leadership resources.

Have questions regarding the above resources and opportunities? Contact OPD at prodev@hr.msu.edu for additional information.

OPD Course Spotlight — The Power of Habit

“If you believe you can change if you make it a habit the change becomes real.” ― Charles Duhigg

Consider this: what would your life look like if you actually did the things you believe you ought to?

Research shows that approximately 40-45% of what we do every day isn’t a result of deliberate decisions but rather out of habit. Habits affect performance more than talent, intelligence or luck, but it can be a challenge to control our habits to get the outcomes we want.

Have you acquired new or different habits throughout all the changes brought on by COVID-19? As we navigate the next phase of our professional and personal lives, University of Southern California research psychologist, Wendy Wood, explains, “We’re going to be faced with two sets of habits: pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. And we’ll have to choose which to repeat.”

As daunting as that might sound, you’re now in a perfect position to decide which habits you want to maintain going forward and any new habits you want to form. MSU HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) department’s workshop, The Power of Habit, can help.

The Power of Habit, is currently open for registration in the EBS Portal for October 13, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Check out a preview of what you can expect from The Power of Habit.

Based on the bestseller by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit will teach you how habits work and how to develop effective habits using simple and precise skills grounded in science and research. Changing undesirable habits and creating new, healthy ones is not an innate trait nor something dependent on grit and willpower. Rather, habit formation is a skill that can be developed and strengthened. Discover how to master your automatic routines with the belief that almost any habit can be reshaped once you understand how — and why — it was formed in the first place.

Ready to learn more? Register for an upcoming The Power of Habit session in the EBS Portal, or contact OPD at prodev@hr.msu.edu or 517-355-0813 for additional information.