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.

Happy National Online Learning Day!

September 15 is National Online Learning Day! Online learning provides convenience, flexibility, and personalization for all learners. Did you know MSU offers FREE online learning opportunities for all faculty and staff? Get access to online resources including books, videos, courses, and more via elevateU. 

Access elevateU here or log into EBS and look for the “elevateU” tile under the “My Career & Training” tab. You can access elevateU from your computer or through the Skillsoft Learning App for Android and iOS devices.  

There are programs that cover leadership, IT & desktop, business, finance, human resources, change management, project management, interpersonal skills and so much more. Resources are available in a variety of formats: 

  • Video-based and interactive courses 
  • Videos 
  • Books 
  • Resources to prepare for various professional certifications 

Watch the following video for a general overview of the resources available to you and how to access them:

Need help navigating elevateU? Click here for an additional video on how to use the search function and navigate through the resources available. 

Utilize the resources as reference tools to help answer your day-to-day job questions or as part of your ongoing personal and professional development. Many of the courses are even approved for Continuing Education credits! Remember, all courses are available to current staff and faculty at no charge.  

Happy National Online Learning Day! 

Job of the week – Training Program Developer

This week’s job of the week is a Training Program Developer (#600097)  for the Associate Provost for Academic Services, specifically for the Student Information Systems (SIS) Modernization Project. This position is seeking an individual to consult with the Office of the Registrar senior leaders, managers and staff on instructional needs for technology training, as well as designing instructional development classes, seminars, and workshops. Other responsibilities for this role include producing courseware including manuals, quick reference guides, FAQs, PowerPoint presentations and web-based materials.

The ideal candidate would possess knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by a four-year college degree program in Educational Systems development, instructional Technology Systems, Instructional Science or a related educational programs development area; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work in the design, development and presentation or instructional programs using software or tools related to the educational programs being conducted; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

For more details on the responsibilities of this position, and to view all our current postings, visit careers.msu.edu. Internal applicants should access postings through the Careers @ MSU tile in the EBS Portal.

Performance Excellence Resources

Do you have a Performance Excellence annual review and/or planning meeting coming up soon? Performance Excellence is a collaborative process between MSU support staff and their supervisors that ensures employees are continually developing their skills to contribute to the success of the university. Employees should be meeting regularly with their supervisors to discuss their Performance Excellence development plan and goals for the year. This encourages everyone to stay engaged and allows goals to be adjusted if needed. Whether you are an employee or supervisor, we have resources to help you get the most out of the Performance Excellence process.

Find Tips and Tools on the HR Website

There is a wealth of information available about Performance Excellence on the HR website including:

  • Detailed info about the process
  • Required training
  • Learning opportunities to help meet performance goals
  • Related forms
  • Tips and tools for success

Visit the Performance Excellence webpage and then select whether you’re looking for resources for employees or supervisors.

Professional Development Courses

Are you looking for resources to help you build skills in certain areas? Organization and Professional Development (OPD) offers a variety of instructor-led courses to help you reach performance goals. Find courses on how to thrive through change, manage difficult customers, or identify and maximize your strengths, among many others! Find a list of all current OPD courses here.

Supervisors can also find courses to help them navigate the Performance Excellence process, including this upcoming course:

And remember, eligible employees have access to Educational Assistance for any course registration fees.

Online Resources through elevateU

No time to attend an in-person course? No problem! elevateU is a free online learning platform available 24/7 for MSU employees with courses, books and videos to assist with skill building. Resources cover a variety of topics and you can print off a learning transcript to show your supervisor a list of resources you’ve completed. Learn more and access elevateU here.

Questions? Contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.


How to Get the Most Out of Classroom Training

This post was written by Kathie Elliott, Sr. HR Professional for Organization and Professional Development.

It’s Tuesday morning, and you realize you’re scheduled to attend a course which you completely forgot about until this moment. You arrive late, and the rest of the class is talking about the pre-work they completed and brought with them. As you grab an open chair, you feel your phone buzz and see a text from your co-worker. You are late and feel unprepared and distracted.

At your table, you contribute very little and try to avoid the facilitator’s eye. Four hours later you leave and feel you were too distracted by the work day’s emails piling up and your feeling of unpreparedness to focus on what you were supposed to learn.

Sound nothing like you? Great! Still, do you have a nagging feeling that you could be getting more out of your training opportunities? Read on for tips.

BEFORE TRAINING

  1. Confirm Logistics: Know the location/time of the course and verify directions. Be sure to add in time for unexpected delays, like confusing Google directions or if you are supposed to be at Nisbet or at the Henry Center, Kellogg Center or other common locations. To be safe, check your email and junk mail for any class updates.
  2. Clear Your Calendar: Leave time for the class and a little time after in case you want to network or ask the facilitator a question. And give yourself time in the office afterward to think about what you learned, digest all that new information, and consider how to apply it. 
  3. Limit Distractions: Let your co-workers and family know that you’ll be attending a course that day and to not expect you to answer any calls or emails right away. Make sure you change your out of office message for your phone and email. Limit physical distractions by making sure you are rested, fed, hydrated, caffeinated, and prepared for fluctuating classroom temperatures. Favorite beverage, special dietary items, comfortable but appropriate clothing can enhance your learning experience.
  4. Bring Your Learning Mindset: Be a co-creator of your learning experience by coming prepared to learn relevant, immediately applicable skills. Many facilitators will send out reminder emails in the days leading up to the class with any prework or final notes. Then, try setting some goals for yourself. What are a few questions that you want answered? Do you want to meet and network with others in similar positions?

DURING TRAINING

Since you’ve taken steps to limit distractions and discomfort, you’re all set to be an engaged learner. If you need a push to stay attentive, try asking one of your prepared questions, offer to be the spokesperson for your table, or jot down a couple notes to share with a co-worker later. If you’re more visually inclined, why not try visual note-taking? Visual note-taking – which uses a combination of images and text to help synthesize info – is a creative way to pay attention and capture/group the info you’re learning in class so you remember it better later.

AFTER TRAINING 

Learning really doesn’t happen until it’s applied. Develop a post-training action plan and stick to it. In the amount of time it would take for you to brew a pot of coffee, you could jot down your top takeaways, action steps and goals, obstacles, resources and strategies, and how to keep yourself on track. Before you know it, you’ll be a hero at work for your willingness to learn new skills and share them with others

Options for Using Your Educational Assistance Benefit

Are you an MSU support staff employee looking for professional development opportunities? There are a variety of ways for you to learn and grow in your career at MSU. If you find a course or learning opportunity you’re interested in, don’t forget you have access to Educational Assistance! This benefit offers financial assistance towards your professional development after you’ve worked at MSU for an equivalent of 12 full-time service months. If you work less than full-time, the benefit is prorated based on your employment percentage.

You may receive financial assistance for a variety of learning opportunities. For non-credit learning opportunities, you may have up to $800 per year to use towards registration fees. It must be considered job-related and from an approved institution/program to receive assistance. Some examples of learning opportunities you can use this benefit for include:

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.

Find detailed information about Educational Assistance – including how to apply – on the HR website. Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Please note: Academic Specialists have a program similar to Educational Assistance, please see the HR website for details.

New Supervisor Essentials Course

Continual learning and networking is the key to supervisory success. Don’t go it alone.Person choosing a path

Are you a recently appointed or newly hired supervisor or manager? If so, or if you are just looking to brush up on your leadership skills as a manager or supervisor, the monthly-held New Supervisor Essentials professional development course is available on Thursday, April 16 or Wednesday, May 13 from 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. in Suite 10 of the Nisbet Building. This session is designed to provide you with support and information to help you get off to a good start in your important role as a leader at MSU. Content includes an overview of leadership skills, administering Employee Relations and a panel discussion with current MSU supervisors. Lunch will be provided and attendance is free. Your presenters will be Jennie Yelvington and Kathie Elliott of MSU Human Resources.

To find more courses offered through the Professional Development Services Department check out their catalog. To register for this course, please log into EBS.

Enhance Your Service With The Spartan Experience

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Said one participant, “[The Spartan Experience is] one of the most fun, memorable customer service classes I’ve attended.”
The Spartan Experience program addresses the key concepts, habits and vital behaviors that are universal to providing excellent service and creating outstanding experiences. The program provides the foundation and tools that equip staff supervisors and managers to define the service experience in their specific unit. It helps all participating understand how they help MSU distinguish and embrace a high-performance customer-service culture. Since its start in October 2013, over 1,600 employees have participated in The Spartan Experience from over 30 departments. More than 400 supervisors have attended Leading the Spartan Experience, designed to introduce them to the concepts and resources available.

Don’t hesitate, register for The Spartan Experience today! To do so, log into EBS and select the Training Opportunities quick link under your ESS tab.

This spring, there will be multiple classes held:

Dates:
Thursday, January 15
Friday, January 16
Friday, February 20
Monday, February 23
Tuesday, February 24
Thursday, March 12
Friday, March 13
Monday, March 16
Thursday, April 16
Friday, April 17
Monday, April 20
Tuesday, April 21

Location:
Suite 10, Nisbet  Building

Time:
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Also, for supervisors, Leading the Spartan Experience is available:

Dates:
Tuesday, February 3
Thursday, March 19
Monday, April 16

Location:
Suite 10, Nisbet Building

Time:
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.