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Staff Skill Development: Soft Skills, Firm Results by Mary Carmen CHimato and Colleen S. Harris


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Computers in Libraries 2010 presentation by Mary Carmen Chimato and Colleen S. Harris

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Staff Skill Development: Soft Skills, Firm Results by Mary Carmen CHimato and Colleen S. Harris

  1. 1. Staff Development:Soft Skills, Firm Results Colleen S. Harris Mary Carmen Chimato Access & Delivery Services NCSU Libraries Raleigh, NC
  2. 2. Who are we?Why are you listening to us?
  3. 3. ADS at NCSU Libraries:• 33 full time staff• 24/5 during the academic year• 362 days a year• circulation, course reserves, ILL,document delivery, stacksmaintenance, media/microforms, &offsite collections• 14,000 visits per day 2008/09• textbook collection and technologydevice lending
  4. 4. A Radical Idea: Talk to your people!!!!!! Organizational Clarity: identifying and agreeing to the fundamental concepts that drive it.***Providing all employees, at all levels with a common vocabulary and a set of assumptions about what is important and what is not.***Reinforce this clarity through Human Systems: hiring, performance management, rewards & recognition, employee dismissal.
  5. 5. The First Annual ADS Staff Retreat August 5, 2009 What values are fundamental to our department?Why does the library exist and what difference does it make in our world? How/Where does ADS fit? What are our goals for the next year/5 years/10 years? Who has to do what in order for us to meet them?
  6. 6. Access & Delivery Services Department, NCSU Libraries
  7. 7. What We Learned After Being Locked in a Room Together • More Feedback at EVERY LEVEL! • DELEGATE! • Allow Risk Taking • Training & Development • Generate HIGHER Expectations • Acknowledge Achievement All of our Levels of Immeasurability are different, but very similar!!!!
  8. 8. WHAT DOES EXCELLENTCUSTOMER SERVICE LOOK LIKE?AND…CAN YOU MEASURE IT? o Error rate in response to John Pommerich, library technician & NCSU Provost’s patron communication Award for Excellence nominee, o Satisfaction surveys hands student an iPad o Compliments vs Complaints (and the trouble with this) o Service desk demeanor o Claims returned rate o Note: What’s in the annual evaluation? Is it useful? o Base measures on actual work & department needs
  10. 10. DO YOUR STAFF OWN THEIR WORK? OWNERSHIP OF PROJECTSEMPOWERING STAFF Tina Adams, LJ 2009 Parapro of the Year & Tripp Reade, media Resources Librarian
  11. 11. Challenges
  12. 12. Learning & Empowerment Issues
  13. 13. Basic Responsibility as a Leader:Development of productive, creative, inspired, determined, focused, energized, and well disciplined individuals.
  14. 14. Three Types of Personnel Problems Performance Attendance Behavior/Conduct
  15. 15. Punishment FAIL!  Uncertainty  Inconsistent  Long-term disaster
  16. 16. Solving Performance ProblemsTwo causes: lack of knowledge or lack of execution.Deficiencies in knowledge are cured by training.Deficiencies in execution are approached differently: 1. Clarify expectations: can they explain what is expected? 2. Remove obstacles: resources to do the work are available. 3. Provide feedback: regular, accurate and timely. 4. Arrange appropriate consequences.
  17. 17. Performance Improvement Discussions  Know your organization’s process  Serious and planned discussion  Specific goals  Structured
  18. 18. Actual versus Desired PerformanceWhich type of problem is it? If there are multiple problems, limit the discussion to the highest priority issue.Be specific about the issue Effectively describe what you want versus what you are actually getting from the person’s performance.What is the desired performance? (What do I want?)What is the actual performance? (What do I get?)
  19. 19. Why the Problem Must be SolvedWhat is the goal of this meeting? To get the employee to agree to change. Avoids the rollercoaster of employee performance.Gaining Agreement: Offer the good business reasons for why there needs to bechange. List the problem’s effects.
  20. 20. Determining ConsequencesGenerate a consequence list Tool to help the manager feel more confident while having thediscussion.Disciplinary action, but what else? Logical consequences of actions: Having an office or cube moved Change in supervision Change in workflow
  21. 21. Determining the Course of ActionThe first 3 steps inform course of action.Disciplinary action versus performance discussion
  22. 22. Conducting a Performance DiscussionWho, What, Where, When, How Long & Why?Opening statement: put the employee at ease by gettingstraight the to the point.“ There’ s something that’ s concerning me and I need to talk to youabout it.”“ I’ m dealing with a situation that is troubling me and I need yourhelp to resolve it.”Go into a specific/detailed discussion of issue.
  23. 23. Conducting a Performance DiscussionHand the ball to the employee: “ Tell me about it.” “ What can you tell me about this?” “ Is there something I should know?”Practice active listeningGain agreement: Review statement of actual versus desired performance. Ask employee to agree. Use logical consequences Personal responsibility and locus of controlEnd on a positive expectation of change Follow-up in writing (email or formal memo)
  24. 24. Solving Attitude Problems Three ways to make a fundamental change in a person’s attitude:  psychotherapy  religious conversion  brain surgery
  25. 25. Thank You!