Program Delivery Logistics & Mechanics:
CLP ran for two consecutive years with 50 participants taking part, representing nearly one-half of the total staff members. At the end of the second year, it became apparent that it was time to revamp the program to meet the changing needs of the agency. An important point to remember in delivering any type of program is that it should always strive to meet the current needs of the participants–even if you believe you have designed the most perfect program ever! Do not be reluctant to make changes or to give up pieces that might be your favorite if they are no longer relevant or needed! Any organization undergoing major change (which includes most organizations today) has to be able to respond to those changes, and that certainly includes staff development. Adaptive leaders need to be adaptive!
Before going into the changes made in the third year of the program, here are some points concerning logistics and mechanics that were important during the first two years:
· Recruitment was done through distributing flyers in the agency into each person’s mailbox and through having the manager of quality assurance be the contact person inside the agency to answer questions and help publicize the program. Through this overall distribution, it was assured that each person was aware of the program without having to rely on a supervisor or manager to distribute the information.
· Applications were developed and, when completed, mailed directly to the PSI office (to insure confidentiality of information). Again, through sending the applications to PSI, no person had to rely on another level in the organization to make sure the application was forwarded.
· During the first year of CLP, class sessions were held twice a month for one-half day each session. This was changed during the second year to having a whole day for classes once a month. Participants felt that the half-day sessions did not give enough time to delve into the subject. In addition, it was easier for participants to be away from the office once a month (even if it was for an entire day) than twice a month.
· In the first year, participants were not interested in planning a field trip, so this was deleted in the second year.
· While not every session was delivered by the educational facilitator from PSI (although many of them were), the facilitator was present at each session to insure continuity.
· Sessions were held primarily at the community college, insuring participants space and time away from the demands of the office.
· It is important to allow participants time to trust the process and their coworkers. Do not be dismayed if this does not happen during the first one or two sessions. In addition, it is not unusual to have about 10% of the original class members decide to quit the program, often for reasons such as time constraints or the program simply does not fit them. This does not indicate something is wrong or “bad” about the person or the program.
· During the year, evaluations were conducted after each day-long session. These evaluations allowed for fine-tuning of remaining sessions and for making some changes in the second class.