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Staff Development



The skills and knowledge of the workforce are now at the heart of both organizational and national strategies for economic success in a competitive global economy. Facilities organizations in particular are challenged by changes in technological, legal, and environmental issues as well as workforce demographic shifts that can lead to shortages of skilled workers. This environment might be why the top actions that organizations are taking or planning to take in response to economic and employment trends involve education, learning, and training initiatives.1

The process of identifying  organizational objectives and consequently the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by the employees of the organization to carry out those objectives is at the heart of the organizational and staff development discipline. Specifically, "organizational and staff development includes the process of enhancing the effectiveness of an organization and the well-being of its members through planned activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the necessary skills to meet current and future job demands and unite and advance the business objectives of an organization."2 The scope of the organizational and staff development discipline encompasses education, learning, and training components, including organizational effectiveness and process improvement, organizational structure and job design, ongoing performance and productivity initiatives, and organizational learning. However, the primary focus of this chapter is on staff development, or how facilities organizations can provide staff members with the necessary skills to meet current and future job demands and support organizational outcomes.   

Specifically, this chapter explores the what, when, where, why, and how of staff development:    

  1. How are staff development needs identified?
  2. What types of staff development interventions are available?
  3. When is training not appropriate as a staff development intervention? 
  4. Where should organizations focus future staff development efforts?
  5. Why make the business case for staff development?
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