PHOENIX — Encouraging professional growth for the staff in your office not only makes your office run more efficiently, but also leads to greater employee satisfaction and retention. But how do you efficiently encourage and foster professional growth while also getting everything done during your 40‐hour workweek?Last month, we brought you pointers for how to foster a growth environment in your office, as shared by Joellen Shendy, associate vice provost and university registrar at the University of Maryland University College; and Insiya Bream, assistant vice provost for registrar strategic operations at UMUC, at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Strategic Enrollment Management conference. This month, review Shendy and Bream's steps to create a framework to support and measure staff growth.Identify competencies to improve then support structured growth effortsOne of the major challenges Shendy and Bream faced in their office was that with the workload, all 119 employees needed to be working 40 hours per week for the operation to run smoothly. To incorporate time for professional development into those hours, professional development needed to be concretely established and tied to tasks that needed to be completed in the office.Two areas that were constantly identified as in need of skill building, and which Shendy said the entire office needed to work on, were change management and interpersonal communication.The office had planned to work with the National Student Clearinghouse on a reverse‐transfer data exchange project to eliminate transcripts and exchange data directly with other campuses. Shendy and Bream assigned staff members to the project who had identified that they wanted to work on the skill of change management.However, instead of simply throwing them into the project, Shendy and Bream also built into it a framework designed to strategically build and test the new skillset. “When you actually tie a competency back to your office, it helps your staff see that they're capable of doing more, and that developing new skills is actually applicable to their job,” Bream said.The steps to creating a professional development pathway at UMUC are as follows:Identify the competency your staff member would like to work on.Complete the placement reflection form, including the real‐world scenarios to reflect upon. These real‐world scenarios include challenges already addressed in the office.Utilize resources to learn about the competency. In Shendy's office, the staff are given the option to use Lynda.com and various massive open online courses. Staff members are also given the opportunity to take their own initiative and find resources they believe will benefit their professional growth, which Shendy then evaluates and authorizes as an expense.The staff member works with his supervisor to identify a hands‐on learning opportunity in the office and complete the activity/project.The supervisor assesses the demonstrated competency mastery in the project. If the staff member has not yet mastered the competency, he goes back to Step 3 and keeps working until mastery is achieved.Take advantage of campus resources for effective staff developmentInsiya Bream, assistant vice provost for registrar strategic operations at the University of Maryland University College, shared best practices for enhancing staff professional development at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Strategic Enrollment Management conference. At UMUC, Bream uses the following strategies:✓ Reach out to different areas at your institution to collect knowledge you may not have. Maybe other departments on your campus are already doing staff development well, Bream said. Look to the best practices available from your own campus.✓ Build eportfolios for your staff. It's not just your students who benefit from eportfolios, Bream said. Having your staff catalog and archive their learning projects is beneficial for institutional knowledge as well as your staff members' personal and professional growth.✓ Instill a culture of growth. “This is a development model, not an automatic promotion model,” Bream said. Changing the mindset that doing these things will automatically gain promotion to an atmosphere of growth and development is not a change that comes overnight, Bream said.
The Successful Registrar – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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