Talent Development Series helps UMMC employees Prepare for Success
Published on Wednesday, March 27, 2019
By: Bruce Coleman
As a development specialist early in her career at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tara Brock is always looking for opportunities to advance the institutional mission.
So when she received an email from Human Resources Talent Development last fall touting an exciting new professional development series aimed specifically for UMMC employees, she immediately wanted to learn more.
“I believe wholeheartedly in our vision for ‘A Healthier Mississippi,’” Brock said, referencing the Medical Center’s unofficial catch phrase, “and I want to advance in my career so I can help the institution progress to the best of my ability.
“The topics all sounded interesting to me, specifically business communication. I thought it might help me get a leg up to communicate and network better.”
With the consent of her supervisor, Brock enrolled in the introductory level program of four interactive workshops. Soon, she found herself immersed in fascinating small-group discussions on insightful topics such as how to ensure career success to how difference in personalities can affect work styles and communication.
“One thing I’ll always remember from the class – they said to treat others as they want to be treated,” she said. “It taught us about different work styles. I’m more analytical, so it’s not as natural for me to make small talk as it may be for someone else.
“Now I try to do that to make my colleagues feel more at ease. Stepping outside of my comfort zone to interact more with my coworkers has helped me in building better relationships.”
Brock offered business etiquette as an example.
“When I first started working here, I would get right down to business on phone calls and in emails. I thought I was being very considerate by saving my coworkers’ time.
“I didn’t realize that some of my coworkers actually perceived me as rude. They thought I didn’t care how they were doing or if they were having a good day or not. That wasn’t the case at all; I just didn’t want to bother people.”
Enhancing interactions is just one of many benefits UMMC employees can receive by taking part in the free, integrated series of four two-hour classes, according to Paula Henderson, chief human resources officer.
“Through the variety of feedback mechanisms in place at UMMC, employees regularly express interest in professional development, and UMMC is listening,” Henderson said. “The components of this series are intended to strengthen the skills and abilities of our UMMC colleagues to help them be the best they can be for themselves, their coworkers and their peer learners, as well as our patients and their family members.”
Springing from last year’s 100-Day Workout Professional Development Team, the Preparing for Success series is designed to increase the professionalism of UMMC’s workforce and prepare those who attend for career advancement, according to Paula Shelton, talent development manager.
“The 100-Day Workout Team sought to develop a program for employees because we have employees who want to move forward in the organization, but they may not be as prepared in some aspects, such as the interview process or resume writing,” Shelton said. “We wanted to provide those skills to the employees who were interested in learning about professional development in the workforce.
“It’s really for employees who are interested in increasing their level of professionalism in the workplace. Employees will learn how to work with different personality styles, especially when there may be conflict. Because it’s four classes, employees learn different things – one class talks about how to present yourself in an interview, how to write a resume, and another class teaches grammar and email etiquette – but they’re all about communication and presenting yourself properly in the workplace.”
She said employees who successfully complete all four modules – “Advancing Professionalism for Your Success,” “Working Well With Others,” “Business Communication I – Self Presentation” and “Business Communication II – Business Writing and Etiquette: Grammar, Email, Telephone and Meeting Planning” – can obtain U Med Cred credentials.
“All of the classes have assignments and assessments attached to them that the employees have to complete within a certain amount of time to get their credential,” she said. “So they can show they have gone through the program, mastered the training and acquired these particular skills.”
Instructors include Dr. Elizabeth Franklin from the School of Health Related Professions, Martha Johnson from the Division of Information Systems and Tori Whitley from the Human Resources Department, “which shows this has truly been a collaborative effort,” Shelton said.
“We are very appreciative of the time, talent and support we have received from these areas to make this program successful,” Shelton said. “We could not have done the number of classes without the support from all of these departments.
She said the “overwhelming” response to Preparing for Success classes presented by HR last fall – an estimated 500 UMMC employees took part in at least one of the training modules – led HR to offer them again this spring. Unlike the previous courses, which all took place on the Medical Center’s main campus, many of the upcoming offerings are scheduled for the Jackson Medical Mall or the Central Billing Office to make it easier for employees at those locations to take part as well.
To register for the classes, UMMC employees can access HealthStream, select the Catalog tab and type “Preparing for Success” into the Search Engine. They can then select a text link to any of the courses. Employees will need to obtain verbal approval from their respective supervisors to register for the classes.
Brock said she would recommend the series to anyone at the Medical Center.
“If you get a chance to take the classes, take them – There’s nothing wrong with learning and meeting other people interested in advancing their careers.
“The series isn’t just about networking. It’s all great information – every single class.”
Preparing for Success Class Schedule
Advancing Professionalism for Your Success
9-11 a.m. Thursday, April 11, Classroom Wing 106
9-11 a.m. Thursday, May 2, Gilliam West Room, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall
2-4 p.m. Thursday, May 2, Gilliam West Room, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall
2:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, Classroom Wing 308
9-11 a.m. Thursday, June 20, Large Conference Room, Revenue Cycle, Central Billing Office
2-4 p.m. Thursday, June 20, Large Conference Room, Revenue Cycle, Central Billing Office
Working Well with Others
9-11 a.m. Friday, March 29, Classroom Wing 106
2-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, Classroom Wing 106
9-11 a.m. Wednesday, May 15, Large Conference Room, Revenue Cycle, Central Billing Office
2-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, Large Conference Room, Revenue Cycle, Central Billing Office
9-11 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, Ellzey Room, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall
2-4 p.m. Wednesday May 22, Ellzey Room, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall
Business Communication I – Self-Presentation
9-11 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, Discovery Training Room, Central Billing Office
2-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, Discovery Training Room, Central Billing Office
8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, Classroom Wing 308
9-11 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, Gilliam West Room, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall
2-4 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, Gilliam West Room, UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall
Business Communication II – Business Writing and Etiquette; Grammar, Email, Telephone and Meeting Planning
8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, Classroom Wing 308
2:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, Classroom Wing 308
9-11 a.m. Thursday, June 13, Large Conference Room, Revenue Cycle, Central Billing Office
2-4 p.m. Thursday, June 13, Large Conference Room, Revenue Cycle, Central Billing Office