DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: IMPROVE SECTION 8 STAFF SKILLS; DEVELOP STAFF TRAINING PLAN

 

10-D
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: IMPROVE SECTION 8 STAFF SKILLS; DEVELOP STAFF TRAINING PLAN
Problem Identification:
Developing a customer-service orientation is critical to improving the image and the credibility of the Section 8 program among its participants and in the broader community. Because this will be a new focus for the Section 8 program, customer service training should be required for all Section 8 staff.Section 8 staff also lack basic and advanced computer skills. While numerous training opportunities and tuition reimbursement plan are available, HABC has not been proactive in helping staff identify training needed for full performance of current duties or for career development.

Recommended Actions:
Require development of individual annual training plans for all Section 8 staff. This should include using the upcoming training for inspections staff required by new lead paint regulations (effective 9/15/2000) as an opportunity to provide more general training for inspectors. Additionally, consideration should be given to enhancing incentives to staff to participate in more advanced computer training. Tie evaluations and performance bonuses to acquisition of computer skills.

Classification:
Organizational, Service Improvement

Function/Operational Area:
HABC/Section 8

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
Cost, but implementation can be tailored to prioritization of needs and availability of resources.

Projected Implementation:
1 year

Next Steps:
Survey Section 8 staff to identify self-perceived training needs and preferences in these areas:

– Computer skills
– Program skills
– Career skills

Analysis:
The annual development of individual staff training plans requires that supervisory staff meet annually with all staff members to identify training needs, identify appropriate training opportunities, and encourage employees to pursue training opportunities that will help them achieve short-term and long-term career goals. In several Section 8 program turn-arounds elsewhere in the country, the development and implementation of training plans has proved to be a valuable tool both for improving employee skills and motivating employees to accept the agency’s improvement efforts.