Reaching Out for Organizational Support

While it is your responsibility to take charge of your own learning and development, the library also has responsibilities.  In addition to securing the funding for a training and development budget, the CEO and managers need to attend to individualised staff development of all employees, while also cultivating a learning environment across the organization.   In organizations where learning is valued, there are ample opportunities to engage in conversations, share information and ideas, and learn together and from each other.  

Your manager or supervisor should have a good sense of your abilities and believe in your potential.  He or she should be able to recommend or suggest areas where you need to develop.  This is often done as part of an annual performance review, but may also occur at other times of change for the organization, such as with a new strategic plan or the introduction of a new service.

You may or may not need help in mapping your learning path, but regardless, you do need your manager’s blessing and agreement to provide the necessary resources.  This includes funding for training events, support for informal learning, and adequate time to learn and apply what you’ve learned. 

To maximize training’s effectiveness, good managers require the individual to teach the main points, key concepts, or critical techniques to a group of colleagues immediately upon return.  Sharing the learning maximises the investment that the organization makes in the individual.  More important, anyone who attends a training program knowing that he’s going to have to sift the wheat from the chaff and then serve the wheat to a group of colleagues will be a far more active participant in the learning process. 

 - Dick Grote, Creating Development Plans That Actually Work

Ultimately, the best way your manager or supervisor will help you grow and develop is by creating learning opportunities that provide you with challenging work, coaching you through problem situations, providing the formal training you need, giving you ongoing feedback on your performance, and recognising your improvements and accomplishments.

As well, you should have access to other people in the organization who can help you grow and develop.  This is an important discussion to have with your manager or supervisor.

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