Category Archives: Risk Mgmt

Professional Development as a Tool to Connect With and Retain Your Employees

Professional development, when properly utilized, helps organizations attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement and satisfaction, and boost innovation within the team.  When a manager supports and encourages professional development, employees are more likely to translate their knowledge into team success.

What can you do to ensure your employees are growing in the ways that support your team’s goals?

1. Make professional development part of your regular conversations

manageManagers should include professional development as part of their regular goal setting conversations to ensure any gaps in hard (the “what” they do) or soft skills (“how” they do it) are identified and managed before they become an issue.   Asking the employee to look for ways to close the gap (through workshops, readings, job shadowing, cross functional teams, etc..) encourages employee ownership of the learning.  Additionally assessing a team’s needs and having the team identify ways to fill the gap encourages employees supporting each other toward success.

2. Create opportunities for your employees to share and learn from others

team5People enjoy learning from others. Finding ways to allow those with expertise share their knowledge or skill with others fosters collaborative environments and strong connections. This can be as simple as bringing the team together to hear what a team member learned in a workshop or conference session or to discuss a book they just read.

3. Share your own experiences about your professional growth

team4Help your team understand how you got to your current role and where you hope to be in the future. Your team will learn that you value growth and development and, if you are candid, will be more likely to discuss their own concerns and take advantage of opportunities to get better.

Regular conversations about personal goals and professional development shows your employees that you care, that you support them, and that you encourage their personal success.

Professional Development resources available at SMU:

HR Professional Development Workshops: open to all employees, free of charge

HR Manager Lunch and Learn Series:  pop up sessions on topics that matter in the moment

SMU Manager Orientation Program:  open to all newly hired, current, and aspiring managers; also free of charge

Total Orientation Process for New Employees:  supporting new employees during their probationary period of employment

Tuition Benefits Program: available for regular benefits-eligible employees, their spouse, and dependents

IT Training:  open to all employees, free of charge  online learning offered via SMU OIT and available for all employees

SMU Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE):  offering an SMU employee discount.  Call or email for specifics.

SMU Cox Executive Education Professional Development: Friends and Family Discount of 50% off all Programs for Individuals, including  the Summer Business Institute.

Manager Orientation Training – What’s In It for You!

Know the Resources Available to You

Businessman taking file from co-worker
SMU knows that managers play a key role in living out the mission and achieving the goals of the University. The primary objective of this orientation program is to support a new manager’s successful transition to a supervisory role within the University.  It’s important to note, however, that the training is not just for new managers!

Manager Orientation is designed to provide anyone who supervises staff with essential skills and key information needed to successfully manage both employee performance and organizational initiatives. All managers can benefit from understanding University policies and procedures, knowing the right people to contact for assistance, and learning critical skills that support successful working relationships.

The Program consists of 3 required and 3 elective workshops.

Who Should Attend?

  • Newly hired and newly promoted managers are required to complete the program within their first year of hire or status change.
  • All managers can benefit from a refresher on these topics — especially the three required workshops covering SMU policy, practices and work culture.
  • Employees aspiring to a manager role in the future —  help them get a jump start on the program by encouraging them to start the training before the promotion.  Having the information ahead of time helps the employee know what to expect in the future and may help them develop the needed skills more quickly.

Upcoming workshops include (* indicates a required workshop to complete the program):

Project Management Essentials for the
Unofficial Project Manager
Jan 26 8:30 am-5:00 pm
*Legal and Risk Management for Managers Feb 2 3-5:00 pm
Coaching – Power of Questions Feb 16 1-5:00 pm
*Workplace Diversity Issues for Managers Feb 18 10:00 am-noon
Presentation Advantage March 1 8:30 am-5:00 pm
*Introduction to Human Resources  March 2 2 – 4:00 pm
Managing and Coaching for  High Performance March 22 1-5:00 pm
Speed of Trust March 29 1-5:00 pm
*Legal and Risk Management for Managers March 31 10:00 am-noon
5 Choices April 6 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Employee Relations Essentials April 7 9:-11:00 am
*Workplace Diversity Issues for Managers April 12 3-5:00 pm

Enroll via my.SMUat and navigate to Self Service>Learning and Development> Request Training Enrollment.  Follow the on-screen directions to select and submit an enrollment request.


Questions?  Email us at

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Managing Others Who Coordinate or Host Camps for Minors at SMU

SMU seeks to provide a healthy environment for all who interact with the University whether they are students, employees, parents, or visitors.  For those who interact with minors, this is especially important as Texas state law and SMU Policy outline specific requirements for training and reporting abuse when it is known or suspected.

Do you know that according to Texas state law, it is everyone’s responsibility to report known or suspected abuse of a minor?

Are you aware of SMU Policy with regard to state mandated training and state reporting requirements?

Does your team understand their role and responsibility in ensuring a safe environment for minors participating in events on campus?

Are you following SMU practice for camps and events involving minors?

should have regular conversations with Camp Operators and Program Coordinators to check for understanding and awareness around the following role responsibilities and then follow up to ensure all requirements have been fulfilled.

Camp Operators: 
those who supervisor or host a camp for minors utilizing SMU facilities:

  1. camp operatorensure that their own training is up to date
  2. manage the training completion process with all employees, volunteers and any others working with minors during the camp time frame
  3. follow Texas state guidelines in submitting all required state forms
  4. provide a copy of the state form to the SMU Program Coordinator.

Program Coordinators: those who coordinate with Camp Operators whether or not they are utilizing SMU facilities:

  1. program coordinatorsensure that their own training is up to date
  2. keep accurate and complete camp records
  3. communicate with Camp Operators regarding SMU training requirements and their responsibility to submit the state form
  4. require a copy of the state reporting form from the Camp Operator for SMU camp records and keep these records for a minimum                                           of seven years.In addition.
    Program Coordinators may be asked to coordinate the enrollment of non-SMU employees in the DCAC on-line training when the camp operator is unable to obtain or afford the training for their employees.  Please view the Program’s webpage or email

Learn more on the Program for Protection of Minors webpage.

Read SMU Policy 9.31:  Duty to Report Suspected Child Abuse  and Mandatory Training and Examination Program for Employees of Campus Programs for  Minors on Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse and Child Molestation.

Questions regarding who should complete the state mandated training and other compliance questions should be directed to the Office of Risk Management at

Questions regarding training enrollment for SMU employees as well as non-SMU employees and training completion should be directed to SMU HR at


SMU Program for the Protection of Minors: The Manager’s Role

Do you, or your direct report, host camps either on or off campus and do your and your employees understand SMU practice with regard to state reporting and SMU record-keeping?
Are you and/or your direct report aware of the state requirement to be trained on recognizing and reporting abuse while working at these camps (SMU employees , non-SMU camp employees, and volunteers)?

SMU seeks to provide a healthy environment for all who visit SMU and/or interact with employees.  In support of this goal, SMU goes above and beyond state law by asking all employees to complete a training program on protecting minors from abuse.

In addition to the one time training for all SMU employees, those who host camps or are employed by these camps are required by the State of Texas to complete the state mandated training every two years.  Additionally, SMU asks Program Coordinators, those who coordinate camps on behalf of others, to also re-train every two years.  Learn more on the Program for the Protection of Minors webpage.

Each year the Office of Risk Management and SMU HR host a seminar to help Camp Operators and and Program Coordinators understand their role and responsibilities with regard to  the duty to report, state reporting and record keeping,  and healthy camp environments.

Camp Operators and Program Coordinators are strongly urged to attend this seminar:


2015 Seminar
Monday April 6, 2105
3:00-4:30 pm
HTSC Forum 

Facilitated by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, ORM and HR.

As a manager, what can you do to support your employee in understanding their responsibilities?

All identified SMU Camp Operators and Program Coordinators recently received an email regarding the training on April 6 with information on how to enroll.  You can support your employee by:

  • Asking if they have received and reviewed the information in the email and if not, to self report to the Office of Risk Management via email to
  • Allow time for employees to attend the training
  • Ensure employees understand the importance of being compliant with state law and SMU Policy 9.31: Duty to Report
  • Review your employee’s plan to meet the state requirements and SMU expectations for record-keeping and reporting abuse, should it occur

With manager support, SMU can meet its’ goal of a healthy environment!


Email Risk Management for questions regarding the role of a Camp Operator and Program Coordinator at

HR-Icons-QuestionsEmail HR for questions regarding the state mandated training and access to SMU Blackboard at