|Below is a description of the most commonly used learning and development activities. The list is not all-inclusive. Any activity is useful if it meets the individual development goals and objectives.
- Classroom training such as job specific training (e.g. Federal Budgeting, Statistics, Management Analysis) or general skills training (e.g. Effective Writing, Interpersonal Communication Skills). Usually more cost involved but more effective than self-paced training for more complex subjects or those that require group interaction. See Appendix 2 for training resources.
- On-line training, correspondence course, or other distance learning in which the individual proceeds at their own pace (sometimes within a specified time period). Normally less cost than classroom training but may not be appropriate for all situations. Individual must be able to manage time to complete the training on schedule while meeting all job requirements. Supervisor must be able to give the individual time to complete the training on the job. See Appendix 2 for training resources.
Job Rotation or Shadow Assignment
- The individual temporarily moves into another work unit or another position to gain additional knowledge, skills, or abilities. In a job rotation, the individual actually learns and performs the work of another position. Job rotations may be in the form of details or temporary reassignments. In a shadow assignment, the individual observes an expert and discusses what they observe. Useful if the individual needs to have a broad understanding of other functions to perform their duties, to cross-train members of a team, or to support career development goals. Requires the individual to suspend performance of current duties; supervisor must be able to get that work done in other ways.
Special Project or Collateral Duties
- A special project is a temporary additional assignment of short duration, such as to lead or participate on an ad-hoc cross-functional team, conduct research and prepare a report, or learn a topic and then present it to others. Project can be tailored not only to meet the individual's development needs, but also to share what is learned with others in the work unit. Collateral duties are a more permanent assignment of duties outside an individual’s normal range of responsibilities that provide a broadening experience. For example, a person may be assigned space planning responsibilities in order to enhance analytical and reporting skills. Unlike job rotation, an individual with special projects or collateral duties usually continues to perform regular duties.
Committee/Task Force Participation
- Involvement in workforce groups or special emphasis groups. Participation during work hours would require supervisory approval and would need to be balanced against work requirements and priorities.
- Learning technique that involves observing an individual at work and providing feedback to enhance performance or correct deficiencies. Can be used to develop needed skills and abilities in either the person assigned as coach or the individual being coached, or both.
- Gatherings of individuals who meet to focus on their own learning and development in a particular interest area, usually over lunchtime or early morning meetings that don't interfere with daily work schedules. It could be a local chapter of an established organization such as Toastmasters, or a more informal lunchtime learning group centered around certain competencies or skills, with members taking turns researching and presenting a topic or sharing lessons learned with one another.
Off Duty Self-Development
- Such activities might include taking evening or weekend courses at local schools, using correspondence and other individualized courses, reading books and other publications or journals, or attending and actively participating in professional or technical societies, civic activities, or advisory boards.