The Value of Continuing Education

Shortly after completing my graduate education, I pondered how I would gain knowledge in the future, assuming it would come from my routine work activities. Surely just "doing my job" would keep me updated on issues affecting my environment and prepare me to meet challenges and accomplish goals. Well, not quite. Entering a tightly regulated industry that is highly reliant on technology and the ability to touch peoples' hearts and minds left much to learn that could not be provided by on-the-job training alone. I am grateful that ABC invests in staff education and development to familiarize me with blood banking and association management - at the core of what we do.

With the development of the ABC Professional Institute (API), we aim to afford the same opportunities to ABC member blood center staff. Despite apprehension of some employers, continuing education benefits employers too. Training and enhancing job skills boosts productivity, and employees appreciate the benefit of becoming more marketable. While companies tend to cut benefits like education when economic turmoil hits, knowledge and skill acquisition are critical to solving tough issues. Employers may fear that investing in employee development will lead more skilled staff to seek employment elsewhere. However, a survey by staffing firm, Spherion, found that 61 percent of those receiving continuing education were very likely to remain with their companies for the following five years or more.

Touching on this point, I recently read a quote online, which allegedly comes from a conversation between a chief financial officer and a CEO: "What happens if we invest in our staff's education and then they leave?" asked the CFO. The CEO replied, "What happens if we don't and they stay?" ABC CEOs asking that same question can look to API for solutions. This year alone, we plan to hold more than 20 webinars, develop self-directed learning units on "Blood Banking 101" for onboarding new blood center staff, and offer leadership education on generational diversity and change management. We are also developing a joint blood center board of directors and C-suite seminar. 

We have brought our regular workshops into the API fold, focusing on issues reflecting the current blood center landscape, with clearly defined objectives following adult learning principles. I urge you to review the programs and sign up your staff. Coming up in June is the Fund Development, Communications, and Donor Management Workshop (register by May 22!). Registration for the Medical Directors Workshop held in conjunction with the Summer Meeting will open next week. Finally, I hope you join us for the Financial Management Workshop in September. With the hard work of ABC staff, volunteer consultants, and the ABC API Development Committee, ABC is set to provide high-quality, affordable, and relevant continuing education that meets member needs. Your participation and feedback are essential to its success.

Matt Granato, MBA, Chief Operating Officer;mgranato@americasblood.org

Posted: 05/08/2015 | By: Matt Granato; Chief Operating Officer | Permalink
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