HR training offers classes for better

workplace skills, relationships

As the school year winds down, it's a good time for employees to think about brushing up skills or learning new ones over the summer. Human Resources' current Learning & Development Catalog offers professional and personal enrichment classes to faculty and staff from now until September. "We give people skills that they can walk out of the door with and apply immediately," said Kym Harris, training manager.

A new series called "Sponsored Programs and Grants & Contracts" includes courses on topics ranging from the basics of research budgeting and clinical trial administrative requirements to seeking grants via the World Wide Web and post-award grants management. "These classes teach hands-on skills to assist with everyday issues surrounding grants," said Sonji Boston, training specialist. They're popular with new staff and faculty who have large awards to manage and are unsure of all the policies and procedures surrounding the administration of grants, she said. But even veteran researchers can benefit from tips for searching the web to unearth new funding sources.

Classes and series on effective management skills are geared toward both faculty and staff as are personal enrichment and finance courses. The Management Learning series and the the Professional Development series help managers and staff learn better ways of relating in the work environment. "We're interested in building relationships between employees-supervisors, coworkers and customers-because that's what makes the organization hum," said Harris. They even offer classes to help employees earn general educational development diplomas, or GEDs, that can open the door to promotions, better wages or higher education.

Personal enrichment and finance classes belong in the professional setting, said Harris, because home and work lives are never fully separate. "People can't [always] leave personal issues at the door, come to work and be consistent and undistracted performers," she said. With their classes, Harris hopes to create "informed consumers," she said, "to empower people and take the fear out of personal finances."

Although developing, organizing and teaching classes keeps Harris, Boston and staff members Donna Crabb and Joy Imoudu busy, they are actively seeking more customers. "We would like to touch a larger portion of the Emory population," said Boston. Last year the group trained approximately 1,400 employees.

Many of the classes are conducted with the help "subject experts" drawn from administrative staff and faculty. "There are lots of classes," said Boston. "We couldn't possibly teach or provide them without their assistance." In the future, Harris and Boston hope to do more "road work," traveling to deparments in transition or just starting up.

They are also amenable to suggestions from faculty and staff for new classes or improvement to existing ones. "If one person has a need there's probably someone else out there with the same need," said Boston.

For more information on Human Resources training or to receive a copy of the Learning and Development Catalog, call 727-5054.

-Stacey Jones

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