New Year, New You

January 7, 2020

U-M offers several benefits — from professional development to wellness support — that you may want to check out to support your goals in the new year.

New Year’s resolutions aren’t particularly appealing. However, there’s something that feels promising about a fresh start.

And a calendar flip — some of us need a defined starting line — is as good a place as any for whatever goals you have. 

So we looked into what U-M offers faculty and staff when it comes to giving incentives or support for you to live your best life — professionally and personally. 

“We can’t get anything done without the people who make this place go. If we want to achieve greater things  – whether that is helping with student success or personal or professional goals – we need to have our health, well being and dreams supported. It is important to bring out the best in each other,” says UM-Dearborn Human Resources Director Rima Berry-Hung.

Throughout the month of January, Reporter will highlight development opportunities to explore in the new year so you can see if they fit into your goals.

Week 1: Honing those career skills

Professional and Career Development

If you are a staff member who’s curious on career moves within the three campuses before skill sharpening, there’s the U-M Career Path Navigator. Not that self-betterment needs a reason, but it’s sometimes nice to know what opportunities are available and what can help you get there.

• LinkedIn Learning
Let’s say time is an issue. You’d like to sharpen skills and explore development opportunities, but with your course load, busy office hours and family life, there’s not a lot of room to do so. LinkedIn Learning — online expert-led on-demand courses that you can take online and at your own pace — might work for you. LinkedIn Learning is free to all benefits-eligible active faculty and staff.

When you first access LinkedIn Learning, you’ll be asked what you’d like to learn. From there, the tool will sort through 10,000-plus online modules to recommend courses for you. You can customize to your learning level in the subject (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and set the time you are able to dedicate per week — for example 30 minutes — to learning.

There are general topics like public speaking or team goal setting. And more specified courses — maybe there’s educational software you are thinking of trying in your classroom and you’d like to know more about it. Want to know if it’s for you? Take a few minutes to check it out.

• Organizational Learning courses

Some of us like the feel of classroom learning. That’s available too. You can search the U-M course catalogue for something you are interested in — from hard skills like an introduction to data analytics to the softer ones like managing difficult conversations — there are many mostly day-long courses available to take. Many are free (although some do carry a cost — talk to your supervisor before enrolling) and all take place on the UM-Ann Arbor campus.

Leadership development and training

• UM-Dearborn Leadership Academy
Berry-Hung says a UM-Dearborn-centered Leadership Academy for supervisors is coming to campus, with more information expected during the winter 2020 semester. Previously Leadership Academy courses were taught in Ann Arbor, but the U-M leadership felt it was important to bring those courses to the Dearborn campus and have them more accurately reflect what UM-Dearborn supervisors need. Berry-Hung hopes that having the location on campus will encourage more supervisor participation. Course topics — which can be four to six sessions — will include How to Have Difficult Conversations, Manage Medical Leaves, Post a Job and Have a Positive Recruitment Process and more.

“We are building our own learning course and curriculum here. If we want to give the best information on how to lead on this campus, we felt it was important to have our campus experiences be the focus of the trainings.”  If you are interested in learning more about Leadership Academy, contact Berry-Hung.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion education and training

Maybe you’d like to have a broader perspective to better understand a student’s experience. Or know how you could intervene to help a bystander. There may be things you’ve noticed we could do to make campus more inclusive and you’d like to be a part of the solution.

To explore these areas, U-M has Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training and educational resources for both individuals and supervisors

• If you are up for going to the Ann Arbor campus, there are free classes you can take on how to communicate with people with disabilities and some etiquette pointers, how to intervene in situations that are negatively impacting people, and how to best realize your unconscious bias. Check out the offerings and available dates here.

• If going to Ann Arbor isn’t in your plans right now, there are online modules — about understanding how our social identities impact diversity, equity and inclusion here and what it means. There’s also a new Heritage Month video series that you can watch yourself or share with your team. Those resources are all here.

• For people looking to become involved as facilitators, U-M is seeking out members of the Dearborn campus for DEI education. Berry-Hung, who has experienced the training and, says U-M would like Dearborn campus representation as part of the Facilitator Engagement Program (FEP). Part of the responsibilities would be to co-facilitating small meeting discussions with departments or offices, and working with UM-Dearborn’s HR team to identify important topics to address. If your background is not in teaching or human resources, Berry-Hung says it’s okay — you’ll always have a teaching partner, accessible learning resources, and a two-day training is included. If you’re interested in participating in the FEP program and serving as a DEI facilitator, contact Berry-Hung for the details.

“It’s good for networking, developing public speaking skills and intercultural awareness.” Berry-Hung says. “You are learning while helping the people around you see the world in a different way.” 

Next week we’ll focus on U-M Health and Wellness initiatives.


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