Self-motivation and staff training

Last week, David Lee King posted a note on his blog about your boss being you and it got me thinking about staff training and the “will to learn” by library staff. I like to think of myself as fairly self-motivated. I learned HTML, XHTML, CSS and PHP without taking any classes – just reading some books and playing. I have picked up on the social networking stuff without doing any formal training, too. I actually like taking classes (that aren’t even for credit…) and learning new things without anyone standing over me requiring that I do so. I still – even with those things in the positive corner – don’t think I spend enough time and effort keeping up and learning new things. I feel behind at times and am occasionally rather down on myself about what little I know (though I have moments of validation – I had a MORENet tech come in to see what I was doing wrong with our firewall and he couldn’t figure it out either, I felt a bit better about my networking skills after that, such as they are…). For staff members who don’t take the initiative to stay current on basic skills, though, how much more lost must they feel?
This year, I’ve asked the department heads to take a quick look around their departments and send me a list of the skills (computer-based, generally, but I’ll take anything and see what I can do about it) that they feel their departments need to work on in 2011. Armed with those lists and some excellent core competency lists that I have stolen borrowed from libraries and librarians across the country, I’ll be focusing on getting staff up to speed on the things that they and their managers feel they need to work on. What I’ll also be working on this year, though, is to really stress to people that these skills are not “extra” work – being able to manipulate a Word document or understanding how to edit a patron’s record in our automation software is not stuff that “might be nice” for staff to know. These are core skills that will make them better employees – here and elsewhere – and that it’s stuff they should probably devote some brain power to. Hopefully, the training this year will not only provide some hard skills in these areas but it will also give staff the motivation to learn some things on their own, without someone standing over them with either a stick or a carrot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Relation Browser
0 Recommended Articles:
0 Recommended Articles: