By Brittanie Paquette

The Leadership Development Program asked for feedback on employee needs from a professional development perspective, and employees were more than happy to provide it! With nearly 300 responses, Leadership Development was able to collect and analyze a large amount of helpful data. 

Evaluating these responses, the program determined that the top three reported needs across WAPA were effective communication; conflict management; and influencing and negotiation. The team was able to break this down further; within effective communication,

for instance, employees cited presenting and facilitation skills as the top needs, followed by a tie between public speaking and active listening.

So, what is Leadership Development doing with this information? Well, after holding several focus groups and analyzing the results, Leadership Development has begun the process of fine tuning and selecting open-enrollment courses that will fit the training needs expressed by

WAPA’s employees. 

We will roll out these courses as soon as we can. Additionally, Leadership Development has many current options for learning and development, so employees may be able to meet many of their needs ahead of the upcoming courses.

For instance, employees can attend the monthly Leadership Essentials Webinar. Each webinar is one hour long and each month focuses on a competency within the WAPA Leadership Competency Model. Recordings of past webinars are available on the Leadership Development 

myWAPA page. 

Another offering is the “Line by Line” non-book-club book club. This group meets every month to discuss selected podcasts, articles, videos or books. During these meetings, participants break into groups to discuss various topics, including how the selection touches on leadership, how this type of leadership is seen at WAPA and so on. These meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month from 2-3 p.m. Mountain Time. 

Specific to supervisors, the Leadership Development Program offers the 20:20:20 Forum. This is an opportunity for any supervisor to meet with colleagues, share ideas, discuss leadership topics and more. This monthly opportunity is held via WebEx.

The mission of the Leadership Development Program is to make WAPA an even better place to work by expanding leadership acumen. It provides innovative developmental opportunities to increase competencies, behaviors and attributes needed for current and aspiring leaders.

Within the next two years, Leadership Development has plans to roll out new opportunities, expand the open-enrollment course offerings, have all supervisors complete the WAPA-specific 360-degree assessment tool and more, all on top of continuing the current monthly offerings.

Note: Paquette is a Leadership Development Program manager. Troy Steadman contributed to this story.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023