Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reaffirming that Staff Development is truly a ‘Return on Investment”

Now more than ever, is the urgency and importance of ensuring that staff are trained, to cope with challenging workload and workplace changes, and growing demands of the customer/ client base or business needs.   The Non-Profit Staff Development Coalition (NPSDC) is committed to supporting the belief that investing in workforce / staff training and development yields direct and beneficial “returns on investment” to the sustainability and continued growth of any organization in any workforce sector.

It may take creativity or innovation or collaboration and certainly even prioritization of addressing specific training needs, but nonetheless, it continues to require the unwavering focus of ensuring that an organization’s most valuable resource, its staff, are effectively trained and equipped with skills to do, perform their jobs with the optimum results.

Now in its 13th year of operation, the NPSDC evolved as a community collaborative partnership of non profit organizations in the Greater Seattle area, which recognized the  role of the changing economy and workplace, and committed to being responsive to the needs of their staff’s critical skill building needs and increasing knowledge. The adage “Find a Need and fill it” underscores the three Coalition Initiatives which support the mission and drive the work of the NPSDC.  Developing and administering an Annual Staff training Needs Survey across staff levels to identify high priority training needs (Coalition Initiative #1); proactive learning transfer and skill application post workshop (Coalition Initiative #2) and ongoing efforts to strengthen the learning culture within member organizations, changing them to ‘learning organizations’(Coalition Initiative #3) consistently create the pathway for non profit staff to build capacity in their professional development and job performance and in turn, builds capacity for their organizations in strengthening productivity, staff engagement and retention, encouraging the spirit of innovation, and very effectively being responsive to the needs of their customers/clients.

NPSDC Committee members, who are staff representatives of the member organizations, participate in six Coalition meetings annually and collaboratively work on the three Coalition Initiatives to develop responsive and relevant staff development activities.   As a result, since its launch in 2003, NPSDC has developed and delivered 148 workshops and over 3,000 staff of member and non member organizations have participated. 

The NPSDC Committee also works closely with selected trainers of each workshop to develop customized curriculum that effectively addresses focused skill building needs of their staff participants. Almost consistently with the majority of the NPSDC workshops, participants’ evaluations are very positive indicating value added learning, with the ‘know how’ to apply skills gained.

The NPSDC model has garnered the attention of other workforce development sectors not just in the Greater Seattle area, but in King and other counties of the state, and in some other states nationwide. It is viewed as both an innovative, respected and effective collaboration of non profits to provide quality professional development of staff.

In the dynamic, intricate growing web of changing social and economic structures that impact and infiltrate the way we work and do business, nonprofits and other organizations recognize and understand the importance of being stable, innovative and even competitive.  Our customers and clients are not going away and even more so, their needs are changing, intensifying and increasing.   That is why, now 13 years later, NPSDC will continue its unwavering focus in helping non profit organizations keep ‘top of mind’ their commitment on developing their organization’s most important resource – their people, their employees, their staff.

If you would like to know more about NPSDC membership, the NPSDC workshops, contact Anna McCain, Project Manager, at the Center for Learning Connections, Edmonds Community College. anna.mccain@edcc.edu, 425-640-1424.