YMCA leads the way in staff development

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” John Buchan
And that’s just what YMCA Calgary hopes to achieve with the launch of a new program aimed at leadership education and development of the directors and managers supervisors.

Twelve applicants from the staff are preparing to be the first to sharpen their leadership skills as the class of 2012/13, learning to understand the main principle of what it means to be a leader in the YMCA and giving them the tools to affect this.

General Manager, Training and Development Joann Hook,  and  Vice President, Human Resources Joan Fanstone have been busy working on the Leadership, Education And Development course which the candidates will undergo for seven months beginning in September.

“This is exciting for us. This is really defining what leadership means for us at the Y. We will have better supervisors, better leaders and better staff. We are developing them in order to develop others,” says Joan.

Candidates will learn about a variety of topics, primarily to help them become leaders to look up to and how to ‘live the Y’.  These include helping them to develop their own personal leadership style as well as giving them a leadership toolkit of financial management, strategic planning, coaching and feedback skills, funds development and risk management.

The leadership program has been developed following feedback from staff, generated by an employee survey. Employees wanted to have career succession/career advancement dialogues with their supervisors and wanted to know how they could have a future at YMCA Calgary.  In response to those findings, Human Resources began the initial steps to introduce a Leadership Development Plan in 2011.

Ultimately by investing in their directors and supervisors the YMCA is hoping they will pay this investment forward into their staff.