Policy 203 - Training and Development

Policy Number: 203
Responsible Office: HR/Training and Development
Effective Date: 4/1/01
Revised: 9/1/07; 11/15/11; 8/3/17


This policy applies to regular full-time and part-time staff and administrators.

Training and Development Opportunities

The University's performance management program, Recognize Excellence and Development (RED), provides an important link to training and development activities for employees. Encouraging employees to develop new skills and providing them with opportunities for growth and development within their current job and/or a new job are part of a supervisor’s role in the performance management cycle. By coaching and providing developmental feedback, supervisors emphasize how much they value their employees. When employees are given opportunities to grow and develop, they are more likely to feel valued, leading to a higher level of job satisfaction.

Development planning is an important part of the RED process. The Professional Development Plan section is located on page 2 of the RED form. Supervisors should partner with employees to establish a plan to identify key skills, knowledge and abilities to develop or improve, and activities to build each development area (see examples of development activities below). The supervisor and the employee should agree on Action Steps and a Timeframe for the completion of each activity. Finally, the Results column of the plan is used at the end of the appraisal cycle to evaluate the employee’s progress in each area assigned for development.

Supervisors can support employee development in many ways:

  • Help employees understand why continuous improvement is important.
  • Support and guide employees in their career development.
  • Provide ongoing dialogue as employees work on their development activities.
  • Encourage development discussions with employees and support implementation of their development plans.
  • Encourage employees to take advantage of internal and external development activities. Make the time to let employees attend and/or work on projects that lead to further development.
  • Give all direct reports opportunities to take part in developmental opportunities.
  • Attempt to understand how employees learn best and present opportunities that support different learning styles and interests.

Employees, too, can get involved:

  • Communicate short and long-term career interests and discuss needs with supervisor.
  • Seek out creative development opportunities.
  • Discuss with supervisor the learning experiences achieved through the development activities in which they have been engaged.
  • Take accountability for completing development activities.

Development Activities

Development is often thought of as classroom training, but it is really much broader than just this, and can include many other activities that help employees build skills, knowledge and abilities. A good place to start is by visiting the Internal Career Development web page provided by Human Resources. Here, a career mobility toolkit will guide employees to many resources available at the University. Following are many examples of development activities that employees can explore:

  • Attend meetings or conferences of professional associations.
  • Take on stretch assignments.
  • Ask to participate on a task force, committee or project to gain new skills.
  • Read professional journals.
  • “Job shadow” an employee in another department to learn more about the job that interests you.
  • Visit the University libraries for books, articles or DVDs on the topic.
  • Volunteer outside the University to learn a new skill.
  • Make contacts with counterparts at other universities to compare job approaches and resources.
  • Teach someone else how to do something.
  • Find a mentor or role model who can coach you and provide feedback.
  • Invite someone who works in an area of interest to lunch and ask about his or her experiences.
  • Use the Internet to explore and research useful resources.
  • Look for complexity or ambiguity in situations; similarly, look for patterns and historic parallels. Use these situations to apply what you know and build your experience further.
  • Find someone with whom you can rehearse before going into a new situation.
  • Ask yourself often, “What lessons have I learned?” Analyze successes and mistakes by asking, “Why?”
  • Keep a learning journal.
  • Take a University course through the professional development component of the employee Tuition Remission benefit program (Refer to policy #608-A or #608-AA in the Human Resources Policy Manual).
  • Participate in any number of the thousands of online courses covering professional, management and technology training offered for free to all SJU employees on Lynda.com. Find out more on the Training and Development web page.
  • Matriculate in a degree program at the University.
  • Visit the internal career portal to view open positions at the University, and “Like” us on the SJU-Employment Opportunities Facebook page to receive updates about open positions as they become available.

St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual