PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

This program is open to those who hold support positions within their Offices.  The program requirements include two core classroom programs, four online programs and the choice of one elective.

Support staff perform essential tasks every day for the Offices and Programs they serve.  A high- functioning workplace requires well trained support staff in order to provide excellent services to clients.  In many cases, support staff set the tone and greatly affect the efficiency and quality of the workplace.  They are the point of first contact for many doing business with the Department and their work helps to inform customers perception and expectations.  The needed skills of support staff have grown in recent years with the addition of technology.  This series offers new and experienced support staff training in the necessary skills expected of those in these roles:  organization, customer service, effective communication, and the technology and software utilized within the Department.

Classroom Programs:

1.  Customer Service and Professionalism
Customers' perceptions of service delivery are of paramount importance to those staff seeking to provide excellent service.  This program, a required component of the Professional Development Certificate Program, will review and expand upon the role of support staff in displaying the behaviors and skills necessary for both excellent internal and external customer service.  Through small group activities, discussion, and case scenarios, staff will learn the Customer Service standards of the Department and the valuable role played by support staff in ensuring a productive and comfortable workplace environment.

2.  Conflict Resolution at Work – Three days (all are required in sequence)
Skill in the area of communications is critical to success as a supervisor. High performance at work requires successful collaboration. The basis for collaborative work relationships is a communication process that includes: listening for understanding, confronting effectively; and implementing solutions based on identified underlying needs of all parties. In this three-day, 18-hour program participants explore such concepts as "problem ownership", "roadblocks to communication" and "needs vs. solutions" and learn to resolve conflicts.

The learning objectives for the program are that participants will be able to:

•Explain, demonstrate and use the powerful skill of active listening;
•Identify common listening errors;
•Describe different confrontation styles and their impact;
•Develop and deliver non-threatening confrontations;
•Explain the effects of power in conflict resolution;
•Participate in, and learn to lead, a six-step model of problem solving; and
•Demonstrate skills in managing conflict of values.

On Line Programs (Required)

1.  Time Management and Organizational Skills
Sometimes being efficient doesn't mean working harder but working smarter.   In this program, participants will explore common principles of time management and organizational skills.  They will be provided opportunities to improve their skills in solving common time management problems, challenging beliefs that channel unproductive behavior, dealing with typical time wasters, setting priorities, preventing procrastination, and handling costly interruptions.  Participants will discover a more successful way of changing habits and be urged to regularly incorporate tips and techniques into their schedule.

2. E-Mail Etiquette
Description:
E-mail is an efficient and effective tool for communicating in the workplace, however comes with its own set of limitations and standards for usage.  This program addresses the use of e-mail for workplace communication that is professional and well received.  Comparing the elements of prior workplace communication methods, letters and memos, we explore the sometimes unwritten rules and standards of e-mail use to build a professional reflection of the sender and the Department.

Microsoft Office 2010- participants must choose 2 of these programs for the Professional Development Certificate

These programs are also open to all DHHS staff

1.  Upgrading to MS Office 2010
This training concentrates on the differences between Office 2010 and the earlier versions of MS Office.  Information on navigating the ribbon, using the Back Stage view and new features of both Word 2010 and Excel 2010 are highlighted.

2. Power Point 2010
Use of the PowerPoint program to enhance presentations is taught in this recording. Topics include: formatting and designing slides, use of the view features, inserting graphics/clip art and use of animations and transitions to add visual effects to your programs.

3.  Word 2010
This training covers the commonly used features of Word, including formatting, creating lengthy documents and business letters.  Use of the ribbon, locations of frequently used commands and creating styles is shown.

4.  Outlook 2010
This training is focused on the use of the Outlook program for organizing, sorting and working with the calendar.  Covered content includes:  color coding email, archiving email, creating folders for better organization and checking schedules and room availability to send meeting notifications. 

5.  Excel 2010
This training covers some of the basic uses of Excel 2010 and highlights the changes from previous versions.  Training content includes:  entering data and formatting text, adjusting height and width of rows/columns, hiding and unhiding rows/columns, inserting formulas to perform basic calculations, filtering and sorting data, copy and pasting, and developing Pivot charts and Pivot tables.

Electives (select one)

1.  Managing Difficult Calls
This three-hour program is designed to enhance staff skill in controlling calls- especially when callers are difficult, while continuing to deliver high quality customer service.  The basic communication skills of clarifying requests, confirming your understanding and reflective listening are discussed and practiced.  Among the topics to be covered are: types of difficult callers, good listening skills, summarizing requests, dealing with emotions, and terminating calls professionally.  The day will end with some quick stress management techniques for maintaining composure in a challenging work environment.

2.  Resiliency
The American Psychological Association defines "resilience" as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to change or misfortune. Research shows us that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary, and that people commonly demonstrate it; yet the current economic climate presents factors that challenge each of us, regardless of our respective lines of work.

In this program participants will focus on the potential for personal burnout and will learn the answers to such questions as who is and who tends to be most resilient and why. The program offers a four-step process for building resiliency amid increasing demands. Topics will include clarifying personal missions, identifying the values behind motivation, surviving change and managing time, energy and stress.

The process of developing resilience is a personal journey. Participants will complete individual assessments and will leave the program with personal action plans developed during the session.

3.  Writing Skills
Writing such as documentation of justifications for decisions and/or written materials that may become legal documents challenge writers to use clear language, present only relevant facts and findings, organize materials, and use appropriate grammar and punctuation. Through presentation, discussion, and group activities participants will explore: the use of plain language; recording only actual observations; organizing material; and grammar and punctuation.