News Release

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A Miami Moment with ... Becky Dysart and Kerri Dabbs

01/17/2013

Kerri Dabbs and Becky Dysart plan numerous staff development workshops and training sessions each semester as staff members within the department of human resources. "Education to application" is their mantra and they are prepared to provide employees with tool kits to succeed in their jobs.

Becky Dysart
Becky Dysart
Q: How do you select the workshops and courses for employees?

A: We pretty much hit the pavement. We talk to supervisors, staff and faculty. We conduct a verbal cultural assessment to learn what programs we should develop. There’s been rapid change in the last 10 years as many employees find themselves doing more with technology and different duties than what they were hired to do originally. We assess these needs and connect them to Miami’s mission.

Q: What areas are you concentrating on the most?
Kerri Dabbs
Kerri Dabbs


A: We were asked to develop a standardized process for supervision. Through numerous conversations with directors, managers and supervisors we discovered many were facing similar challenges created by similar issues. We looked at industry standards and developed the Supervisor Development Series. It’s a curriculum-based program that has many different topics – some courses include conflict management, communication, change management, and micro-inequities. It’s all about communication and we provide the supervisor with the tools to help foster relationships with their employees. If you expect your employees to be accountable, you have to model what you expect.

Q: How difficult is this training?

A: It can be painful. We work with employees on providing the proper tools based on their personality type as indicated through their MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) assessment. Leaders have a variety of preferences, so we give him or her the tools to be successful. If you take the time now and invest in the knowledge, it will save you time in the future. Reaction takes more time and energy then preparation. We build that tool kit to help the individual. We actually have frequent flyers – employees who call us for advice, or what we like to say, ‘reflective inquiry.’ They talk through their issues with us, self reflect and usually come up with their own solutions.

Q: What is your focus for those employees not in supervisory roles?

A: Simple, two words: leadership development. Employees may not have people who they manage, but their actions reflect and impact all those around them, including our students. At the request of Dr. (David) Creamer (vice president of finance and business services), we now offer Lean training. Lean looks at departmental systems and processes and empowers employees to analyze if what they are doing makes sense to Miami’s mission. Are those functions necessary? Do they meet the customers’ needs? What gaps are there in our system? The big question – how do we eliminate waste? At this point, we have 400+ employees who have received some type of Lean training.

Q: What are you working on for the future?

A: We are working on dynamic programming and curriculum-based programs that provide professional development for all employees. Not only is Miami creating future leaders amongst our students, Miami as an employer, is creating future leaders who can motivate the people around them no matter what their job title.

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