U.Va. Human Resources Offers New Workforce Development Program

Feb. 7, 2007 -- University of Virginia Human Resources has unveiled a new professional development program for employees that offers fundamental skills and ideas for workplace success and an increased understanding of how the workplace operates.

The program, “Essential WorkSkills: Steps to Success in Your Job,” was co-developed with AchieveGlobal, a worldwide workforce training company used by more than 400 Fortune 500 companies. Employees will gain practical skills such as speaking with confidence, defusing emotionally charged situations and asking questions to get the information they need to succeed.
 “I am really excited about this new program. It’s a great way to start off 2007,” said Susan Carkeek, chief human resources officer at the University. “Our front-line staff are key to the success of the University. This program is one small way we can recognize their importance and express our appreciation for all their hard work. It also gives our staff an opportunity to grow and develop on the job. To that end, ‘Essential Workskills’ is an investment in the University’s workforce.”

The program is designed to build employee commitment, improve communication, reduce absenteeism and turnover, develop a more competent workforce and improve teamwork. The classes of 15 to 18 participants will incorporate small group exercises, games and real life examples from home and work.

“Essential Workskills” is targeted to newly hired and established salaried employees in entry-level positions (typically Pay Bands I and II). The classes are also appropriate for individuals re-entering the workplace or those joining a large employer like U.Va. for the first time. The employee must be nominated by his or her supervisor to participate. To be eligible, employees must have completed at least six months’ service at the University and have achieved at least a “contributor” rating in the probationary progress review.

Unlike many training modules, there is no cost to the department or employee for “Essential Workskills.” Successful completion of the program earns the employee a certificate of achievement and a one-time, base salary increase of $600 per year.

The inaugural offering of the program will run for 13 weeks, from Feb. 21 to May 23, 2007. The seven class sessions will meet every other Wednesday for a half-day (five hours each).

More information is available at: www.hrs.virginia.edu/career/dot/essentials/Essentials.html.