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Q&A with Tacy Trowbridge, UCOP’s Development & Training Coordinator

Given the nature of our work, it’s apparent that UC values learning. But the learning isn’t just for students—it’s for our faculty and staff, too.

Supporting our philosophy of knowledge, UCOP welcomed Tacy Trowbridge as UCOP Development and Training Coordinator in September. Trowbridge, who has been with the UCSF Development and Training team for two years, joins UCOP through our partnership with UCSF Human Resources.

With a master’s degree from Stanford’s School of Education and twenty years of learning and development experience under her belt, Trowbridge believes that the ongoing development of employee skills and knowledge is central to an organization’s success.

Why is there a need for a training and development program at UCOP?

UCOP has seen significant change and reinvention over the last few years. When organizations go through this type of change, it is critical to develop employees who play a role in making the new organization successful. By providing learning and development programs, UCOP is investing in its staff and its future.

What value do you hope the new training and development initiatives will bring to UCOP?

Our initiatives will help employees and the organization excel. Our focus is to improve employee performance, build engagement, and aid in moving the organization forward. We’ll have tailored training for UCOP staff, no matter if you’re a manager, supervisor, analyst or support staff. By providing this type of professional development, we’ll make an important contribution to the organization.

What resources are available to help departments train their staff?

While it’s important for employees to take responsibility for their own personal development, managers, supervisors and departments can support that growth. Supervisors and managers should work with each team member to set short- and long-term goals and plan how to reach them. These goals should be highlighted in the new performance reviews at UCOP. As appropriate, managers and supervisors can encourage  participation in training courses, provide on-the-job training, delegate stretch assignments, and look for task force or committee assignments that will help employees reach development goals.

Another way for managers and departments to develop their staff is through mentoring.  Whether this is a formal or informal relationship, mentoring is a powerful way to provide opportunities for learning, to increase morale, and to support career development.

I have also been working with several UCOP departments and teams to help create development plans for their staff and look forward to continuing this work over the next year.

Will there be training and development specific to each department?

Yes. Each department has different needs and a different culture, which is why we will work with managers to provide development tailored to their department goals. For example, we recently worked with the Office of General Counsel at UCOP on performance management and alignment. We want to be able to meet the needs of each department in UCOP.

Have there been any trainings held at UCOP since your arrival?

There has been quite a bit of training activity this fall! I was pleased to launch our first performance management series of 4 classes for supervisors and managers in late September; the second series will wrap up on December 4th.

The rest of the HR team and I have been conducting brown bag sessions on the performance review process initiated earlier this year. Departments have hosted these brown bags as an opportunity for supervisors and managers to learn more and to have an opportunity to ask questions.

In order to help UCOP supervisors and managers prepare for performance appraisals over the next two months, we are offering six sessions of a class called, Conducting Performance Appraisals. In a small group setting, participants learn to prepare, write appraisals, and conduct the appraisal conversation through discussion, case studies and practice scenarios.

On December 2nd, we will launch a class on Time Management for UCOP staff.

UCOP employees have also begun to take advantage of online and classroom-based technology training offered at a reduced rate through Academy X.

Finally, for teams at other locations, I lead a webinar, Introduction to Performance Management.

What is Academy X Computer Training?

Academy X offers over 100 online and classroom-based courses focusing on technology training. There are courses on everything from Excel and Photoshop to HTML and Flash.

Where can staff find out about training opportunities?

You can learn about training programs and register for classes on the UC Learning Center website. It contains information on supervisory training, skill building, compliance training, Academy X Computer training and a wide variety of other classes and online resources. You simply need to login with your UCOP user name and password. A search for “UCOP” will show you all of the classes available in Oakland. Browse the catalog to find online resources, classes in San Francisco and technology training.

I also post all of our training information on the UCOP calendar and announce it in HR Update.

Are you at UCOP full-time?

I am available to UCOP employees full-time. I am at UCOP offices Tuesday through Friday. On Monday’s, I’m at UCSF, where I collaborate with the rest of the learning and development team.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with UCOP?

I’m excited to have a chance to work with you all and to provide opportunities to help you excel individually and as an organization.

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