My supervisor mentioned to me during my first few weeks that if we finish this main project ahead of time I’ll lend a hand in developing a training program for maintenance staff, where the Policy and Procedures Manual that I developed will be very valuable. The Policy Manual development is progressing; however there are moments that I feel that I can do more with my time. As a result, we decided to start working on that to fill up my quiet hours even if the Policy Manual is not yet finished. I was quite relieved since I really miss multitasking several projects, as opposed to working on just one.
It’s a bit unsettling because I have never taken any HR courses before. I have limited knowledge on how to assess an employee’s skills and evaluate their progress in their position. Therefore my biggest ally here is my experiences as an employee-in-training. I remember from the previous co-op, my supervisor there asked for my feedback on the training that I received. I identified the gaps that I perceived and received the good news that they are implementing a lot of it in the new and improved training program that my successor will have. On top of that, I really don’t know much about those activities involving maintaining a building that require technical skills. What helped me with that are the previous interviews that I had for the Policy Manual development. Oddly enough, I remember hearing some side comments on hoping some things will be changed on how maintenance is done. It really made this project very timely as there is definitely a need for it. I definitely still don’t know how to change a toilet, fix a tap or spot building leaks and damaged paint. But the policies and guidelines that we aim to develop, on top of the stories that I hear from staff in a variety of positions gave me a good idea on the ultimate goal of the project. It is to make sure that the buildings are well taken care off and the staff feels that they are improving their skill set in accomplishing that. For the sake of our senior residents and our staff, I think this is really important.
Here’s another statement that I heard so many times from my supervisor: “Google is my friend.” There is a lot of truth in that. I have been searching all over the internet on templates, tips and guidelines on developing this program. There’s a lot, sometimes too much information and options and I hope that I can filter and customize the program to what works best for GEF.
I got a really clear picture of what this project will accomplish in terms of maintaining good building conditions, efficiency of staff and employee retention. I made a draft of the first part of the program and sent it to my supervisor, who in turn sent it to our HR Director. I heard she was really excited about the project. After my first brainstorming sessions with the trades technicians here at Central Office, I can feel that they are really on board with this project. Oh my, do I really want to finish this project too!
I’m also taking SMO 412 right now and I learned that my professor is a really great HR expert. I requested if I can send a couple questions for advice while I go through this project and she agreed. I just hope that I don’t bombard her with too many questions.
Did you have to do tasks or projects that are totally out of your major or field of expertise? How did you find that experience?