Encouraging Staff Growth
Posted on: October 28, 2021
New Development Plans
Over the last few months, our HR Department and Executive Team have been collaborating on development plans, a new project that encourages and incentivizes staff growth. We’ve piloted some development plans in certain programs recently, and they’re now getting incorporated into more locations.
Each development plan features quarterly milestones and expected outcomes, and they take place over the course of a year. Successful completion of the quarterly milestones also comes with monetary incentives. Ideally, these plans empower staff to prepare for the next step in their careers.
Kristin Minervini, Director of Human Resources, is helping to oversee the rollout of these development plans across the agency. “They help staff feel valued,” she said. Staff with development plans in place are learning how to help in interviews and check professional references, attend leadership meetings, create weekly staff schedules, and more. “They’re getting out of their comfort zone and learning new things,” said Kristin. Each program can only have one person in a development plan at a time, and the plans are limited to one year.
So far, the response has been great. “Staff are really excited about it,” said Kristin, “and managers are thrilled because they’re able to develop their staff.” Kristin is looking forward to working with managers across the organization to bring this new initiative to their programs and offices.
Development Plans in Practice
The development plans have been particularly helpful in our Reintegration programs. At the moment, we have Support Service Specialists growing into Support Service Coordinators across the agency. Tess Eller, Support Services Specialist at Unity House, was one of the first staff members throughout the agency to work with such a development plan. “It helps keeps you focused,” she said. “I’ve learned so much.”
As part of her development plan, Tess revamped Unity House’s groups in collaboration with other staff. The program now runs a combined process group and groups on meditation, art therapy, and creative writing. “Program participation is up and we haven’t had a recurrence of use in almost two months,” said Tess. She also learned more about OASAS’s 820 regulations, supervisory skills, and other important facets of how Unity House functions. “Now I’m comfortable enough to sit with staff in a supervisory role, and I can guide them on treatment plan writing myself,” she explained.
Tess is extremely grateful for the opportunity and for the encouragement she received from Greg Sykes, Assistant Director of Reintegration Services and Angela Angora, Director of Reintegration Services. “Since I’ve been here, I can’t even put into words how much I’ve learned under Greg,” Tess said. “His leadership style is so unique. He makes you feel empowered.”
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