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Supporting the Development of Your Staff through Self-Assessment
After completing your action plan, you will want to consider who will be implementing it and what they need to do so. The self-assessment process can be particularly useful in getting a clearer picture of staff strengths and challenges and determining each person’s role in making improvements. For starters, you will need to know the skill sets they presently have and what skills they need in order to make improvements. While workshops, delivered at conferences or on-site, are a common means of professional development, improving staff’s capacity should not be limited to workshops. Professional development can be offered through a variety of venues, such as program observations, peer mentoring/coaching, supervision, staff meetings, conferences, networking events, and higher education courses. Keep in mind that professional development isn’t just about workshops that present “new skills.” It allows for everyone to get on the same page, provides tools and resources for achieving program goals and examples of promising practices, and supports and builds a community of learners. “Research shows that a skilled, stable, and motivated workforce is a key determinant of quality programming.”
In order to develop a training plan for your staff, you may use a tool, such as the PASE Professional Development Planning Tool, as a first step towards identifying skills and needs of each individual staff person. This process should be completed during an individual meeting between you and each staff person. Once you have determined all of the skills and knowledge each person on your staff needs, you can look for commonalities across the entire staff to determine group training. Where there are differences, you can work with each staff person to identify professional development opportunities that are appropriate for him or her.
Blueprint for Action: Professional Development System for the Out-of-School Time Workforce, Achieve Boston