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Spring 2015 Professional Development Calendar available!

HR Professional and Organization Development Resource Center

In-person Training Opportunities

These learning opportunities provide staff, faculty and student employees with helpful tools and training for job success. Please refer to the Professional Development Calendar for a list of workshops available now and registration instructions.

Online Training Opportunities


SkillSoft courses are easy to navigate and keep the learner engaged through interactivity, simulated dialog, case studies and animation. Staff and faculty can access SkillSoft online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Effective Manager Certification Program

Human Resources is pleased to offer this online certificate program for new and aspiring managers. This program offers managers the opportunity to acquire and develop knowledge, skills and competencies essential to supervision and management. To achieve certification, managers are required to complete specific courses in the following categories:

  • Best Practices for Managers (2 courses)
  • Communicating Effectively (3 courses)
  • Relationship Building and Conflict Resolution (3 courses)
  • Strategic Thinking (1 course)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (2 courses)

The Effective Manager Certificate will be issued upon the successful completion of all 11 courses. The average completion time to complete all courses is approximately 10.5 hours.

Below are course descriptions of the required courses, a complete list of Skillsoft courses, and Skillsoft access instructions. If you experience any technical issues as you complete this program, please contact SkillSoft directly. For general questions on this program, please contact Michele Centrella at mcentrella@usfca.edu or by phone at x2833.

Best Practices For Managers

First Time Managers: Understanding a Manager's Role
SkillSoft course ID: mgmt_16_a01_bs_enus
New managers frequently believe the skills and methods that helped them get into management, will help them succeed in management. Often, however, the skills needed for success as a manager are very different. This course describes common myths about management, what managers really do, and ways to overcome first-time manager mistakes. Managers are given the opportunity to grow professionally by learning how to effectively create and maintain partnerships with their superiors.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Establishing Goals, Roles, and Guidelines
SkillSoft course ID: team_03_a02_bs_enin
Successful teams are characterized by having a clear direction, trust among team members and effective communication. In the early stages of team development, managers can foster these qualities by laying a proper foundation of goals, roles, and guidelines. In this course, managers will learn how to lay this foundation. They will be instructed on how to actively collaborate with team members in creating results-focused goals, assign team roles through matching skills to task requirements and define specific guidelines that minimize conflict and optimize performance.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Communicating Effectively

Setting and Managing Priorities within an Organization: Communication
SkillSoft course ID: lead_11_a04_bs_enus
Managers are responsible for ensuring that their teams are focused on the organization's mission and goals. However, in order to engage employees, managers must know how to effectively communicate what the priorities are and why they are priorities. This course explains communication techniques specific to organizational priorities. It gives guidelines for listening and how to prepare and develop a message that will resonate with the entire team.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Fostering Effective Communication and Collaboration
SkillSoft course ID: team_03_a05_bs_enus
After bringing the team together, new managers need to ensure their team members will communicate effectively. This course outlines the manager's role in facilitating successful team communication and collaboration. It covers techniques and favorable communication styles, and introduces managers to collaboration strategies centered on shared ownership and team orientation.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Business Writing: How to Write Clearly and Concisely
SkillSoft course ID: comm_19_a02_bs_enus
The ability to write clearly and concisely is a skill that requires great effort to master. Yet, learning how to write well is one of the best investments managers can make, especially when writing for readers, who have little time and patience for wordy e-mails and reports. This course aims to sharpen managers' writing skills. Specifically, it covers the importance of using short, familiar words, concrete and specific language and transitional words. It also explains best practices for organizing content and using active/passive voice.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Relationship Building & Conflict Resolution

Creating and Maintaining a Positive Work Environment
SkillSoft course ID: lead_07_a04_bs_enus
Managers play a key role in fostering a positive work environment. Managers can help counteract negativity through honest and respectful communication, and through maintaining an uplifting attitude. This course introduces some best practices for creating a positive work environment. Managers learn about a positive work environment's attributes, concrete steps they can take to establish one, the signs of negativity and how to take corrective action when they appear. Lastly, managers will be able to practice through a simulated scenario.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Receiving Feedback and Criticism
SkillSoft course ID: comm_29_a03_bs_enus
Good managers must be able to receive feedback and criticism appropriately. Feedback can help managers better understand their colleagues' concerns, calm potentially heated exchanges, and solve issues efficiently. This course starts by exploring the reactions that typically occur when a person receives corrective feedback or criticism. It then provides approaches that help people receive feedback in a productive manner. Finally, managers are given a chance to practice receiving feedback via simulation.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Dealing with Conflict
SkillSoft course ID: team_03_a07_bs_enus
Team conflict may frequently occur during the early stages of team development. For this reason, it is vital for new mangers to understand how to quickly recognize conflict, diagnose its cause, and use strategies to resolve the issues. This course presents on the causes of team conflict, best practice for resolving conflicts and facilitating negotiation. By learning these principles and strategies, managers will have the skills needed to steer their teams away from destructive patterns of conflict and keep them on track to achieve their goals.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Strategic Thinking

Developing the Strategic Thinking Skill of Seeing the Big Picture
SkillSoft course ID: stgy_08_a02_bs_enus
Big-picture thinking generates ideas and possibilities, and helps managers make decisions based upon how anticipated outcomes will impact the organization as a whole. This course illustrates systems thinking and how it can elevate a manager's perspective. It explains how to develop big-picture thinking through aligning department goals with those of the organization, considering how decisions may affect a variety of stakeholders, and identifying and analyzing external factors.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity on the Job: The Importance of Diversity and the Changing Workplace
SkillSoft course ID: pd_07_a01_bs_enus
Without diversity in the workplace, organizations run the risk of becoming a monoculture and viewing things from a very limited perspective. This course dispels some common myths that surround the topic of diversity and discusses barriers and challenges that must be overcome to create a diversified and inclusive working environment.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Management Essentials: Managing a Diverse Team
SkillSoft course ID: mgmt_15_a05_bs_enus
The population as a whole is becoming ever more diverse. Naturally, these societal changes are mirrored in the workplace. The most forward-looking organizations recognize the importance of managing a diverse workforce effectively. In turn, those managers who have the skills to lead a diverse team successfully are highly valued. This course describes what diversity is, including its benefits. It also covers how to prepare to manage a diverse team by understanding key diversity issues and setting ground rules. Finally, it delineates techniques for managing a diverse team. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Average Completion Time: 1.0 hr

Complete List of Available SkillSoft Courses

Faculty and staff have access to 100 SkillSoft online courses that can be taken from any computer with Internet access, at any time of day or night. These online courses are designed to supplement traditional training methods and provide additional opportunity for skill development or enhancement. These courses cover a variety of subject matter ranging from management/leadership skills development to communication and customer service. Some scenarios and examples portrayed in the course material are from the private sector; however, the developmental areas and core-competencies targeted for training and enhancement are universal. Course information can be used as reference tools to help on the job or as part of career development.

Click this link for a list of the 100 available courses by topic. This list also shows the intended audience level (i.e., individual, manager, executive) and average completion time.

How to Access SkillSoft Training

To access SkillSoft courses, please:

  1. Go to the website: http://is002.skillport.com
  2. Enter your User Name, which is your USF email address
  3. Enter your password, which is: usf
  4. Click on the Catalog tab to the left, and you will see the USF course folder
  5. To see the courses, expand the folder by clicking on the little plus sign
  6. If a course interests you, please place your cursor on that line, and click on “Show Details” to see a full explanation of the course
  7. If you decide to take the course, using your mouse, drag and drop the course into the “My Plan” box
  8. In “My Plan” you can set timing goals and send yourself reminders; your progress will be recorded in the box called “My Progress”
  9. To begin the course, place your cursor on the line, and click on “Launch”
  10. You can leave the course at any time and return via “Launch.” The spot you left off will be bookmarked for you (“Return to Bookmark”)

If you experience any technical issues, please directly contact the SkillSoft Customer Service Department by phone at: (866) 754-5435, or via their website: http://livehelp.skillsoft.com.


This online resource provides Preventing Sexual Harassment training, and fulfills the USF Sexual Harassment training that is required of all full-time staff and faculty every two years. To appropriately access this interactive training, the computer you use must have at least Version 9 of Adobe Flash Player and a recent version of Adobe Reader. Your computer settings should also allow audio. Without the software noted, you may experience issues that prevent you from moving smoothly through this training program. If you do experience any issues, please contact the LawRoom member services technicians directly at (800) 652-9546. LawRoom also offers other courses for USF supervisors/managers, faculty and staff.

Available LawRoom Courses

To be assigned a course through LawRoom, please email Michele Centrella and include the name of the course you wish to take. Below are the available Law Room courses:

Supervisor/Manager Courses

  • Accommodating Workers with Disabilities
  • Anti-Harrassment, -Discrimination, & -Retaliation
  • Duty to Prevent Violence
  • Employment Law Bootcamp
  • Hiring I - Identifying Candidates
  • Hiring II - Interviewing & Selecting
  • Leaves and Absence Management
  • Wage and Hour Training
  • Workplace Investigations

General Courses

  • Bullying in the Workplace
  • Diversity: Skills for Collaboration
  • Ethics & Code of Conduct
  • Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act
  • HIPAA Basics
  • Illness & Injury Prevention Program
  • Prevent Workplace Violence
  • Red Flags: Identity Theft
  • Social Media & Your Job


HR Professional Development Recorded Workshops

Hitting a Retirement Fund Home Run with Joe Crowley: August 2, 2012 (run time: 55:17)

View video

Here is a scenario that's only too familiar in recent years: your retirement plan's quarterly report arrives by e- or snail-mail. You note with concern that the performance of financial markets has driven down your account balance. Your reaction may be to: (a) ignore the bad news, do nothing and stay happy; (b) do nothing and mope; (c) give in to gloom and shift all invested positions to a money market fund, and then mope; or (d) resolve somehow to take advantage of the situation.

For you action-takers who picked (d), and for anyone else who wants to get more confident in this arena, this workshop will provide practical examples of a system to help your contributions become reliable generators of fund growth during your working years. Hear Joe Crowley explain the how and the why of a method he calls a: “10-minute tweak that puts your nest egg on a higher peak.”

PowerPoint Modules

Supervisors and managers may want to review these additional resources or use them to facilitate a workshop or discussion with staff members. Facilitator instructions to do a workshop are included on the PowerPoint “Notes” pages. Also, in document #3 shown below, you will find a variety of activities to help with building trust and high-performing teams. Should you have any questions, please contact Michele Centrella at mcentrella@usfca.edu or x2833.

Tips and Other Resources

In our research, we sometimes come across useful tools for supervisors and managers. If there is a special topic about which you would like some information, please contact us so that we may assist you. We look forward to serving your needs.