The Professional Development Institute, established in 2002, is a center dedicated to providing tailored development programs to foster career growth for targeted employee groups and to support Duke's staffing needs. Professional development specialists, working with recruiters in Human Resources, will train, develop and help staff who aspire to be promoted or to transfer to new opportunities.
The goals of the Professional Development Institute are to improve retention, strengthen Duke's workforce, develop the skills and capabilities of staff, and support Duke's commitment to diversity.
The Professional Development Institute was created to expand Duke's staff development opportunities and support the staffing needs of the organization. Developing the skills and talents of current Duke staff to fill critical job needs through internal promotion or transfer has several advantages over hiring external candidates. Some of these advantages include quicker productivity and proficiency, since incumbents understand the Duke culture, increased loyalty and retention due to investment in our own workforce, increased staff satisfaction with more career development opportunities, a more diverse workforce reduced turnover and improved productivity.
Why is emphasis being placed on supervisor positions for the second program of the Professional Development Institute?
Good supervisors play a critical role in helping Duke develop a positive work environment dedicated to excellence in education, research and patient care. Supervisors are the front line for any organization, so developing strong, supportive supervisors is one of the best way to improve individual and operational performance, increase staff retention, and enhance the overall work environment. New supervisors are sometimes hired or promoted into positions with management responsibility without any support or training regarding how to deal with the challenge of people management, financial management and budgeting, or project management.
There is an identified staffing need for quality supervisors at Duke, and as Duke continues to grow, there will be a greater need for experienced supervisors and managers. At the present time, there are more than 100 vacancies for supervisory positions listed at Duke. The First Time Supervisor Program provides managers with an opportunity to recognize and support outstanding individual performers who are ready to assume supervisory responsibilities. The program will provide participants with the necessary competencies to transition successfully within Duke into supervisor positions.
Why should a manager support a staff member's involvement in the First Time Supervisor Program if she/he may be promoted into a position outside of the department?
The Professional Development Institute's mission supports the career goals of individual staff as well as the internal staffing needs of Duke. By strengthening the skills of Duke staff, managers will have access to a deeper pool of talent with specific knowledge and experience at Duke. Providing staff with opportunities to develop and grow within Duke is also a leading driver to job satisfaction and retention. A manager may also explore the opportunity of offering a participant a promotion or new position within the department that takes advantage of his/her new skills. The department would then benefit directly from the program. The skills learned during the program can be used by staff on their current job throughout the 12-month period.
The program will take 12 months to complete. This will include a minimum of two or three days per month of classroom training in which participants will need to be released from their regular work schedule. Additional training time may be scheduled during regular work hours for coaching, mentoring, individualized classes, and a project within the department.
The department will provide $500 towards the program cost for each participant. The bulk of the cost is covered by the Professional Development Institute. This covers the 360-degree assessment, educational instruction, (including Durham Tech Corporate Education, Learning & Organization Development, and independent contractors), books and other general costs. If the staff member is in a non-exempt position, there may be an additional payroll expense to a department if overtime occurs.
It is important for managers to actively support training and coaching of their staff who participate in the First Time Supervisor Program. The PDI Program Manager will facilitate ongoing discussions and feedback with managers to ensure a participant's success in the program. The Professional Development Institute also encourages participants and managers to discuss their experience in the program regularly. In addition, managers will be actively involved in development planning, work experience and the participant's department project.
What will happen if involvement in the program begins to interfere with a staff member's work performance?
A participant's current job must remain his/her first priority; therefore, if involvement in the program begins to interfere with current job performance, measures can be put in place to address the problem. The PDI Program Manager, in consultation with the Professional Development Specialists, will work with the manager and participant to help identify and address issues affecting work performance. However, because of the limited time spent away from work for the program, interference with the current job should be minimal.
A manager can support their staff by providing: 1) financial/payroll support, 2) flexibility in scheduling for staff to participate in classes and projects, 3) ongoing performance feedback to the staff member, 4) opportunities for the participant to practice new skills on their current job including work experience and department projects or assignments, 5) support and encouragement through the 360 and development planning process, and 6) identifying one or two potential mentors.
Mentoring is a key component of this program. Mentors from the participant's department or area have proven in the past to be very effective in providing advice and guidance. Through the nomination form, a manager is to recommend a staff member within the department to be a mentor for the First Time Supervisor participant. Mentors are given training and commit to maintaining contact on a regular basis with program participants. Mentors should be an experienced manager/supervisor with at least five years of service at Duke.