Tracking Professional Standards Means Order

No one likes the last minute checker and you do not want to be stuck at the end of the year realizing either you or your staff has failed to meet the requirements set in place. Regardless of who it is that’s fallen behind, this reflects on you as much as them.

This means keeping yourself organized first and foremost must be a priority, or even reigning in those above you who may lack organization.

A light press and small pressures from multiple people tends to be effective in making a superior in any program take notice of something that may have fallen off their to-do list.

Make employees feel a part of the team and empower them in their own career through smart planning guidelines like the ones below.

If you follow nothing else on this series, follow these points, or make sure someone above you does!

Directors and Managers must:

  • Plan training well in advance.

  • Offer as many choices as possible.

  • Target training to the needs of their program based on feedback at all levels.

  • Post the training calendar and descriptions.

  • Provide reminder notices to those who signed up for training.

  • Have a solid tracking system to make audits easy during administrative reviews.

Once that is done, staff at all levels also have the obligation to take advantage of this order, and you will find human psychology will show most people not only prefer and thrive under order (not to be confused with micromanaging), but also ultimately follow its lead.

The ultimate purpose of USDA establishing professional standards training  is to ensure the quality of school meals, reduce errors, and enhance program integrity, so don’t lose sight of that! 

Creating a Team Environment

Getting everyone on board with your goals and meeting them is all a matter of tracking in an interactive way. Having an organized way to track training is only the first step to making this process more self-manageable for staff.

Getting everyone involved just takes a few interactive steps that may be easy to delegate if you don’t find yourself with the time to execute them all.

Your individual cafeterias can create boards within the back offices so that staff have constant access to records about their training.

Prepare ahead of time by creating a calendar of all the semester or year’s professional training you will be offering. Your inability to prepare as a leader will lead to the inability of your staff to succeed and take accountability for themselves.

Gage your staff to know what it is that interests them to learn what training topics within their relevant roles will interest them most to learn about.

Foster a community atmosphere if you have a big staff and section off groups of those who have similar requirements to compete with others.

This is going to lessen the amount of time you have to spend tracking every hour and micro managing which employees are planning to go to which training.

Simultaneously another option is to simply choose what training your program is in need of and require attendance at these. Just remember to keep it interesting and take into consideration the skills you already have within your program. There is nothing worse for morale than having to attend a training that adds absolutely no value to your professional development.

Most importantly, for those in direct or overseeing positions, attending a wide variety of training at all levels will ensure they have a thorough understanding of all levels and roles in their program and can therefore better consider options, strategies, and plans going forward with a much deeper understanding of the process and actual day-to-day for those at all levels of the operation.

Directors have the unique ability to take a wider assortment of training given they have higher hour requirements.

Likewise, make additional training available to your employees.

Remember that even if they earn additional hours of training than is necessary, these hours can roll over to either cover the previous or upcoming year.

Let your staff feel your investment in their professional development as genuine- communicate through this that your goal is not simply to meet basic requirements.

Instead, it’s to foster a program that is successful, and individuals with the knowledge, ability, and opportunity to move up within it.

Preserving the enthusiasm and willingness of all the professionals in your organization may not always be possible, but showing them you care about the quality of the time they spend with you, may aid in that.

The best example to take would be from Virgin Founder and CEO Richard Branson who is famous for the notion of putting the customer second. We aren’t playboy billionaires, but we can take a cue from this one: when you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of the rest for you.

Although a hierarchy should be respected, never forget that no pyramid can last without a strong foundation. So prioritize those below you as much as you do those above.

For more solutions to your concerns and to ease the process of tracking your state or district, check out  our FREE software Team Work.

Don’t forget to comment below any questions or anecdotes you have for our readers about how the updated professional standards impacted your program, yourself, or even just your opinion on them!