I was pleased to participate in a graduation ceremony today for LSU employees who recently completed the University’s Business Manager and HR Contact Certification Program. Patricia Minchen, Associate Director of Training and Development, extended the invitation a few months back and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since…even though I didn’t get to wear a robe and mortar board. Dammit.
In addition to celebrating the 25 graduates, who have collectively put in 1,000+ hours to earn the certifications, there were remarks from Dawn Harris, COO of the Campus Credit Union, and myself. She and I approached the topic of career success from different angles but, despite our varying styles, we both spoke about similar things including the need to keep learning and the importance of building and nurturing a strong personal network of mentors, supporters and champions. As Dawn pointed out during her opening comments, my approach was more head-first and extroverted (her words) and hers, she explained, was more reflective and introverted. The beauty of that, as she and I agreed during further conversation, is that individuals can define their own way – and achieve success in whatever way works best for them.
This certificate program was developed to ensure that LSU employees are provided with the resources and tools that will allow them to be successful in their current job…or a future job. Although an employee could, conceivably, complete the entire program in a 12 month period, most take about two years to finish all the requisite courses.
While many organizations claim they’re all about staff development, LSU (and by extension the employees in the HR Department) appears to put it in action; it’s not just lip service when they say it’s “crucial to engage employees, provide professional development opportunities AND provide appropriate recognition.”
As Patricia pointed out, “we do this because we know that engaged employees do better work, provide better service and help us attract more talented individuals to work here at the University.”
I met a lot of excited and energized LSU employees this morning; they were proud (and rightly so) of their individual achievements and appreciate that their employer has provided this development opportunity so they can be successful.
So thanks to Patricia for inviting me and to Chynsia Jenkins who did a super job coordinating today’s event.