Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Staff Development Day

Chinook Arch HQ staff recently participated in a staff development day where we learned more about our benefits package, participated in a team building exercise about communication and had some discussion around the concept of intellectual freedom. Staff were also 'quizzed' on Chinook Arch facts and rewarded with a holiday treat for knowing the correct answer.

Staff development days have many purposes:
  • Allow staff time together in a more relaxed environment
  • Allow staff who may not normally get a chance to talk to each other an opportunity to chat
  • Builds a feeling of comraderie and reinforces common goals
  • Allow staff to learn more either about their day-to-day work or overarching philosophies that affect their work. This can result in greater job satisfaction and better service to patrons.

Many libraries, and other organizations, recognize the value of staff development days. As such, a survey of libraries and their staff development days was conducted by the ALA Emerging Leaders Team and the results published on the Staff Day Success wiki (http://librarystaffdevelopment.wikispaces.com/). The team also shared on the wiki all of the ideas and resources for staff development that they collected through the survey. Included on the site are:

  • Ideas for keynote presentations at your staff development day
  • Ideas for topical workshops, including resources. Some of the ideas include: community involvement, customer service, team building and technology training
  • Ideas for staff recognition
  • 'Just for fun' activities
  • Evaluation methods for your staff development day
  • Other resources for professional development and staff development days

The Emerging Leaders Team's ultimate goal is to create a guide available through the ALA's LearnRT website for libraries interested in implementing their own staff development training programs. Watch for this resource at www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/clenert/index.cfm. In the meantime, the team continues to add to the Staff Day Success wiki.

There are also lots of ideas around team building, communication, etc on the web. You might want to do a bit of a needs assessment first to determine what the needs of your staff are. And of course, Chinook Arch staff are available to train on some topics.

Has your library held a staff development day? We'd love to hear about your experiences.

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