for Policy on Staff Development
can be viewed as the activities and programs (formal or informal and on or off
campus) that help staff members learn about responsibilities, develop required
skills and competencies necessary to accomplish institutional and divisional
goals and purposes, and grow personally and professionally to prepare themselves
for advancement in the institution or beyond the campus.
Because job descriptions,
individual goals and even the mission of the institution, division or department
may change, staff development plans will be reviewed on a regular basis. Changes
to the staff development plan shall be made as needed. Both the supervisor and
the staff member must agree upon changes.
policy should be directed toward the following objectives:
- Clarify expectations
for the continued professional education of each staff member
- Specify the options
available for staff improvement
- Make clear the
connection between continuous professional development and institutional rewards
- Ensure adequate
funding for staff development activities
- Purposefully determine
staff development activities based upon a careful assessment of staff member
- Employ accepted
methods of teaching and learning in staff development activities
All members of the
student affairs division will participate in an ongoing process of staff development.
Because the particular mission of each unit is different, supervisors will develop
a plan for staff development that encompasses the missions of the Institution,
the Division of Student Affairs, and the department.
Divisions of student
affairs should adopt a policy that all staff members have an individual staff
development plan. Staff development plans should be developed collaboratively
between the staff member and supervisor and reviewed on a regular basis.
At minimum, staff
members should participate in at least one professional organization related
to the field of student affairs. Because of the importance of this, each unit
should have a line item in the department's budget to help defray the costs
associated with attending professional conferences and other professional development
activities. In addition, each unit is strongly encouraged to coordinate professional
development activities that are open to the entire division.
Because of the diverse
population in which today's colleges and universities serve, all staff members
of student affairs divisions should participate in a program of diversity education.
It is recommended that the chief student affairs officer of the institution
have such a program housed at the division level. It is also recommended that
each unit within the division plan and implement diversity education and training
The Staffing Model in Staff
The integrated staffing
model suggests a close relationship between staff development and performance
appraisal. Like performance appraisal, staff development practices are contingent
upon the context of the institution Effective staff development should be congruent
- Mission and goals
of the institution.
- Mission and goals
of the division of student affairs.
- Mission and goals
of the department.
- Appropriate professional
association's statement of professional practice.
- Job description
for the position that the staff member occupies.
- Goals of the individual
Effective and comprehensive
staff development practices must attend to staff and organization improvement,
derive from a developmental plan, include attention to both process and product,
be anchored in day-to-day work, be multifaceted and ever changing, and recognize
maturation and growth in staff.
Staff and Organization Development
practices have a dual focus in that they must attend to individual staff and
to organization development. For staff development to be successful, both
goals must be achieved -- that is, they must be mutually supportive. This
commitment requires creativity and flexibility in plans for staff development.
must be intentional, active, and potent. A plan for individual growth should
reflect current personal and professional status regarding attributes needed
to perform assigned duties, short- and long-term goals, and alternative methods
for achieving those goals. There should also be a plan for organization improvement.
Both individual and organizational needs are included in this plan.
Process and Product
The goal of staff
development is improvement in staff and organizational effectiveness. This
is a process that affects interpretations of job requirements, relationships
with colleagues, and perspectives on the methods of education.
occurs in a social context and emphasizes teamwork, built on a foundation
of collaboration. Staff development is a process that demonstrates the commonness
of purpose of all staff and the crucial nature of individual knowledge and
skills to perform assigned duties in relation to the achievement of these
Anchored in Day-to-Day
As a process,
staff development is ongoing and anchored in day-to-day work making it visible
in all personnel functions of the division. All other staffing functions are
related to staff development. This is especially true in supervision and performance
is multifaceted, targeted to many different people in different roles and
thus, it must be ever changing. Staff development activities should require
thoughtful interaction and reflection couched in a context of requirement
of the job. This is more likely to result in desired effects on behavior.
must be cognizant of the variations in the maturity and growth of individuals
and the organization. While some staff members may have served the profession
for many years, others may be only beginning their professional careers.
roles of staff members may also change and may require retooling for the new
responsibilities. Such circumstances may require tailoring staff development
opportunities if they are to be effective. These development opportunities
must reflect multiple individual and organizational conditions. Holmes (1998)
developed a human performance systems model for student affairs, which has
the following components:
Selection, and Retention - All activities, which are associated with
identifying potential professional staff candidates, identifying the candidates
who are the best fit for both the job and the institution, and providing
systems, and activities geared toward ensuring that staff members stay in
Coaching - Student affairs administrators and staff members should develop
performance plans and engage in a continuous process of leading and motivating
staff members. Effective coaching allows supervisors and staff members to
build stronger relationships and to work collaboratively to attain performance
Assessment - Performance appraisal processes are necessary to establish
and maintain the conditions required for effective performance management.
When properly facilitated, performance assessment confirms employee understanding
of roles, evaluates the extent to which performance goals are being met,
identifies problems and barriers in the work environment, provides positive
and constructive feedback, encourages regular job-related conversations
between supervisors and staff members, and provides the information needed
for the performance reward process.
Reward - It is important that compensation by aligned with organizational
goals, and facilitates staff development. The performance reward process
consists of the allocation of employeesalary and benefits. When effectively
implemented, the reward system provides specific consequences for actual
performance and feedback concerning the merit of accomplishments.
Employee Development - Employee development includes all activities that directly or indirectly
influence the ability of the student affairs professional to do her or his
current or future job. This requires identifying the competencies needed
by staff members to perform one's job and ensuring that development activities
are geared toward enhancing those competencies. This can take the form of
professional conferences, on-the-job training, new employee orientation,
on-site workshops and programs.
and Development - Career planning consists of the systematic approaches
used to ensure that each staff member's interests, values, and skills find
confluence with the department's workforce requirements and needs. Career
development can consist of tuition reimbursement, career-planning workshops,
staff orientation programs, career coaching, job enrichment, and release
time to take graduate classes.
Career Transition - Without fail, some staff members will leave the organization, either voluntarily
or involuntarily. In either case, it is important that supervisors make
this transition as smooth as possible. Staff members who leave an institution
should have the skills and knowledge necessary to make a seamless transition
into her or his next position.
Development - The primary focus of organizational development in student
affairs is on a planned implementation of organizational changes that benefit
students, staff members, and the institution as a whole. These changes are
geared toward improving relationships and processes among individuals and
groups so that work processes can be facilitated more effectively and efficiently.
be described as a mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles,
perspectives, values and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations
with which they interact. Diversity empowerment provides the philosophical
foundation for the human performance system model. It is an intentional,
proactive, approach to creating an environment in which members accept,
respect, celebrate, and effectively use the diversity within an organization
as a source of added value.
With this in
mind, the environment should fully support the benefits of diversity within
communities and organizations, include members of diverse social groups
as full participants, reflect the contributions and interests of these diverse
constituencies, and act to eradicate all forms of social injustice.
(2001) offers an Equity-Sensitive
Perspectives (ESP) (Figure 1) model of leading, educating, and managing. ESP is
a synergistic change model, focusing on people, processes, and programs
in the context of institutional change (p 72). According to Dixon, in order
to best promote equity, student affairs professionals attend to each concept
in the model for all significant activities and programs.
Figure 1 - Equity-Sensitive Perspectives Model
problem that Dixon discusses is the sense of exclusion experienced by groups
not included in gender and race-based programming. Attention to the ESP
principles during the planning and implementation stages of programming
can minimize such problems. Staff development activities should recognize
and attend to the categories offered in the ESP model. Application
of the ESP model (Table 1) highlights the role of the student affairs professional
in focusing attention on key items relating to people, process, and program.
Table 1 - Application of ESP Model
& organizational behaviors
(1991) developed training initiatives that he labeled "valuing
differences" for the management of business that are increasingly hiring
employees, and doing business with companies with diverse backgrounds. Thomas
suggests that programs should focus on ways that men and women, or people
of different races, reflect differences in values, attitudes, behavior styles,
ways of thinking, and cultural background. The objectives of such a program
awareness and acceptance of individual differences.
greater understanding of the nature and dynamics of individual differences.
- Helping participants
understand their own feelings and attitudes about people who may be different.
how differences might be tapped as assets in the workplace.
work relations between people who are different.
In writing about
the delivery of human services cross-culturally Diller
(1999) discusses cultural competence . Cultural competence is defined
as the ability to effectively provide services cross-culturally.
several cultural competency skill areas that are necessary for effective
cross-cultural delivery of services. Though Diller addresses cultural competence
in a human services agency context, they have been adopted here to fit the
interaction of student affairs staff members and supervisors.
and Acceptance of Differences - The first step in developing cultural
competence involves gaining an awareness of the ways in which cultures
differ and realizing that these differences may affect relationships.
Cultural differences can exist in values, styles of communication, the
perception of time, etc. Acknowledging these differences are as important
as the similarities that exist between people.
Self-Awareness - In order appreciate the impact of culture on the lives of others, it
is important to get in touch with one's own culture. How one defines family,
identifies desirable life goals, views problems, etc. are influenced by
one's own culture.
of Difference - Related to self-awareness is the realization that
sooner or later, there is likelihood that there will be some miscommunication
based on cultural differences. An awareness of the dynamics of difference
involves knowing what can go wrong in cross-cultural communication and
knowing how to set it right.
Diller, cultural communication has two forms. The first relates to past
experiences that one has had with members of the other's group or the
nature of current political relations between groups. Second is that that
the dynamics of differences involve different cultural styles. For example,
if direct eye contact is a sign of respect in the supervisor's culture,
but a staff member is from a culture in which direct eye contact should
be avoided, the supervisor may come away from a meeting between the two
with a negative feeling about the staff member.
of the Staff Members Culture - It is critical for supervisors to familiarize
themselves with the staff member's culture so that behavior may be understood
within its own cultural context. Given the variety of populations, it
is not expected of supervisors to be conversant in all cultures and subcultures.
It is expected though that supervisors and other staff members are willing
to learn about other cultures.
Issues in Staff Development
section will provide some general information regarding staff development of
minorities. For the purpose of
this document, ethnicity will be considered part of the overall diversity
section. Because there were
some areas where research was more readily available (Religion, Gender, and
LGBT), specific information and tips for these populations will follow. This document does not claim to be exhaustive but is an overview of things
and Staff Development
is often referred to by various terms such as in service education, continuing
professional education, and assumes many forms (Winston
& Creamer, 1997). Staff
development should also be a priority of a student affairs division and the
institution. Training and development activities and programs should
include all staff working within the Student Affairs division in order to
meet the needs for quality service and professional and personal growth (Scott,
development programs will ultimately ensure that continued education occurs
in order for staff to remain knowledgeable in the field of student affairs. It will also provide a basic understanding of the language, history,
traditions, symbols, and culture of the organization as well as provide a
basic understanding of theory and practice (Bryan
& Schwartz, 1998).
Using other resources
to promote staff development initiatives such as: academic courses, job rotation,
mentoring, and self directed training can also be a beneficial method of implementing
staff development activities (Dalton,
to consider in staff development include:
- Addressing the
diverse nature of student affairs work
- Addressing the
changing technology and demographics which create a significant impact on
- Increasing one's
awareness of diversity and multiculturalism
- Developing a
broad range of skills and knowledge to address challenges and the complexity
of student affairs (Scott,
mentoring program can be very beneficial by helping to address issues of diversity;
assist diverse populations with integrating more fully into the organization;
and by providing educational opportunities. Megginson
and Clutterbuck (1995) define mentoring as off line help by one person
to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking.
They also conclude that it is not usually considered an official responsibility,
but a relationship developed for purposes of aiding less experienced staff
members to learn the ropes.
opportunities for diverse populations and staff members will help to:
It is important that
staff consider the following when implementing a mentoring program in order
to ensure its success. These issues
- Create a positive
- Opens channels
- Convey important
organizational and individual values
- Assist staff
with feeling more comfortable, knowledgeable, and confident in their ability
to complete their tasks
- Provide staff
with easy access to knowledgeable colleagues
- Provide opportunities
to discuss various issues especially those which pertain to diversity
- Being aware
that not all staff members are fit to serve as mentors.
- Marketing the
- Providing training,
education, and guidelines for the mentoring process.
a time limit for the mentor relationship to occur.
evaluating the mentoring process to ensure it is continuing to meet the
needs of those involved (Schuh,
J. & Carlisle, W, 1991 and Blackhurst,
Other staff development
initiatives which would promote and address issues pertaining to diversity
include sponsoring culturally and ethnic based activities such as socials,
lectures, and workshops can provide awareness, education, and collaboration
on various issues (Winston
& Creamer, 1997).
Religion and Staff
The following tips
are designed to provide supervisors and other staff members with ideas and
potential resource for addressing religion in staff development practices:
Issues in Staff Development
adequately address gender issues in staff development, supervisors should:
programs that educate managers on sexism and how to deal with these problems
in the workplace.
programs that teach men and women to work together as colleagues .
workshops on dissolving the myths of women in business.
instances of sexual harassment occur as a result of ignorance. Train staff on the law, the consequences at that institution, and
the ways in which to avoid it.
Harassment is defined as, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly a term or condition
of an individuals employment
persons submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as
the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual, or
- the conduct unreasonably interferes with a persons work performance
or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
depends on the receivers perceptions, not on the harassers
intent. If a person finds
sexually oriented behavior unwelcome or offensive, it is harassment (Karsten,
1994, p. 58).
of Sexual Harassment
- 2/3 are women
most typical scenario involves a man over 35 and a women younger than
is more common in sex-segregated organizations and occupations. Segregation exists when more than 70% of jobholders in a firm
or profession are of one sex (Karsten,
1994, p. 61).
of color are more likely to be sexually harassed than white women (Karsten,
1994, p. 58).
against employer liability
sexual harassment in staff development can provide protection against
liability. At a minimum, supervisors should ensure that:
prohibiting sexual harassment written in an understandable language
and distributed to all employees.
policy is communicated to staff
- Training sessions cover the nature of the problem, provide suggestions
for dealing with it as an individual, and explain the internal channels
for reporting cases
are investigated and followed-up with discipline when appropriate.
LGBT Issues and
is important to note that gay people want many of the resources and rights
that are provided to heterosexuals such as a safe work environment, equitable
benefits, and public support. Therefore
organizations can develop initiatives to educate and support the gay work
and equitable work environment - initiatives to provide a safe work
environment for gays can be implemented by creating a nondiscrimination
policy that includes and stresses the importance of sexual orientation and
diversity education; ensuring that equitable benefits are provided to partners
of gay employees; and providing organizational support which will send the
message that the organization is committed to its employees.
does not imply the organization endorses the behavior or beliefs, but that
it acknowledges the right of all employees to be themselves and believe
in whatever they choose (Winfeld
& Spielman, 1993).
Orientation Education - creating and implementing sexual orientation
education is a necessity if the issues of homophobia and gay rights are
to be addressed appropriately. An
institution or organization must first understand the difference between
workplace education and training when the focus is sexual orientation. The difference being that education provides knowledge and
training provides improving skills.
effective workplace education program should focus on sexual orientation
and attempt to educate people about concepts of sexual orientation, the
validity of same-sex based families, or the justification for the equitable
treatment of gays in the workplace (Winfeld
& Spielman 1995). When implementing sexual orientation education,
the following steps should be taken:
- Utilization of a needs assessment tool to determine the climate of the
- Implementation of an educational program that can fit the changing requirements
of the environment.
and reinforcement of the diversity mission.
education should also be included in the workplace in order to provide
further education and dispel stereotypes and myths (Winfeld
& Spielman, 1995).
Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Office - Creating a LGBT office is one
of the most successful ways to provide support to the gay population. The University of Michigan was the first college campus to establish
an LGBT office in 1971. Numerous
other institutions created these offices also but most were founded during
the 1990's. According to Nuss
(1996), institutions have a responsibility for the development of all their
students inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Therefore, establishing a staffed LGBT campus resource center
will aid in the development of the whole person (Sanlo, 2000).
Orientation Speakers Bureau - Sexual Orientation Speakers Bureau are
service groups that provide panels of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender speakers to lead discussions about LGBT issues. The speakers usually are volunteers and can include an array of individuals
such as students, faculty, staff, alumni, or supporters of the gay community. The goal of this group is to raise consciousness about LGBT issues
on campus, dispel stereotypes and misinformation, and encourage a supportive
attitude toward human diversity. Speakers
bureau presenters should also be prepared for the coming out of individuals
in the audience and dealing with overt hostility by attendees (Luckstead,
Development Resources on the Web
website for the American Society for Training and Development. Information
on this site includes book lists, video lists, a free training and development
newsletter, and a monthly information line with great training tips.
This site offers
resources on mentoring, coaching, and school improvement (mostly for K-12,
but can be modified). Topics also covered include staff development, assessment,
improvements in productivity, and employee retention. A staff development
advice page is also available.
Another New Zealand
company whose site allows you to download free training videos, access free
training activities, see a recommended book list, and join a monthly newsletter
club on staff training issues.