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Professional and Personal Development

Boston College recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for growth and change at both the individual and organizational levels. The Department of Human Resources, through its Employee Development Office and the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, offers a variety of programs, services, and consultations designed to respond to organizational needs and promote institutional goals, to encourage skills acquisition, to help resolve job performance problems, and to deal with issues related to overall conditions of employment.

Employee Development

The Employee Development Office is an important component of the Department of Human Resources. Its mission is to support the overall management objectives of the University. The Office has offered programs emphasizing individual employee skills and knowledge development, as well as competency-based training in areas such as leadership and management, supervisory skills, communication, and interpersonal skills. In addition, the Office has organized information sessions and workshops on diversity and multicultural issues, human resources policies, and financial/budget administration.

The Office has developed a process that links workplace learning with the University's strategic goals, as well as with departmental objectives. To this end, the Employee Development Office works in partnership with individual departments, or functional work groups within departments, to identify key objectives and develop strategies to integrate learning into the work environment. Learning objectives may include using technology, working in and managing diverse work groups, and meeting the needs of internal and external customers. In addition to enhancing individual performance and skills, employee development programs advance productivity and the quality and level of services of the University.

Registration Nomination Process

It is the responsibility of department heads and/or unit managers, in conjunction with departmental staff, to identify departmental objectives, as well as key skills needed by staff to meet those objectives. Once this has been accomplished, managers may nominate those employees whose job responsibilities directly impact relevant departmental functions. If sessions offered do not meet the perceived needs of the department, or if aid is needed in identifying training needs, a Training Consultation Form may also be submitted. Employees are sent materials describing program offerings; however, the registration nominations are submitted by department heads and unit managers.

Organizational Development

The purpose of organizational development is to help departments or work groups learn how to manage change effectively. The Employee Development Office provides consultation to groups desiring to reconceptualize their work goals, develop new work systems, or realign individual functions. As a result of an Employee Development strategy or consultation, employee groups may work together to develop training agendas, reevaluate service delivery systems, or collaborate on interdepartmental or interdivisional projects.

Employee Development publications are regularly mailed to all employees. For additional information about the various programs and services, employees should call the Office at (617) 552-8532, or visit the Employee Development web site.

Faculty/Staff Assistance Program

The Faculty/Staff Assistance Program provides professional counseling, information, and referral services to faculty, staff, and their families. The Program offers confidential consultation on a wide variety of personal, family, or work-related problems that may contribute to high levels of stress and interfere with health and work performance. Individuals are free to discuss any problem that concerns them, such as anxiety, depression, family or marital stress, substance abuse, smoking cessation, separation and divorce issues, job or career-related conflicts, financial or legal concerns, and stress management.

All Faculty/Staff Assistance Program services are free. If a referral is made to a private counselor or community agency, the individual is responsible, through health insurance or personal resources, for payment to the counselor or agency for all services rendered.

The Faculty/Staff Assistance Program also offers consultation to managers. In situations where a supervisor, manager, or department head becomes concerned about the health or work performance of a staff member, a confidential consultation with the Program Director can be arranged. Further, for purposes of team building, stress management, or staff education in matters of health or personal development, departments may schedule special group presentations.

The Faculty/Staff Assistance Program treats all contacts confidentially. Any records of contacts are kept by the Program Director and do not become part of an employee's personnel record. Appointments may be arranged by calling the Office at (617) 552-3340.

Personal Development Programs

Each year the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, together with the Benefits Office, sponsors a series of Personal Development Programs. These employee services are designed primarily to help participants acquire information and develop skills necessary for preventing or alleviating personal/work conflicts and stress. The sessions, generally in the form of informal seminars, are scheduled during the work day, usually during the noon hour, in order to afford accessibility to employees.

Program offerings are described in the Personal Development Programs brochure, which is regularly distributed to all employees. They may include discussions about health promotion, family life issues, or financial and legal concerns, as well as instruction in aerobics, skating, and self-defense.