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CU Boulder Facilities staff uses LinkedIn Learning to foster skilled leadership

Kelsey Draper takes supporting leaders seriously. It’s a crucial component of managing any large organization. 

That’s why Draper, a senior HR professional with Infrastructure and Sustainability, uses LinkedIn Learning’s collection feature in his efforts to support new and existing leaders at CU Boulder’s Facilities Management. The platform enables users to curate a collection of learning resources, with both LinkedIn content and links to external resources.

Using this tool, Draper created two learning pathways to curate the foundational knowledge and skills that would empower new and existing leaders.

The first collection, called the Flatirons Pathway, is designed for brand-new supervisors or those with fewer than three years’ experience. It prepares new leaders for their new responsibilities and challenges.

This pathway includes some technical components, such as Microsoft Teams training, a Skillsoft course designed to familiarize supervisors with CU’s performance management process, and a link to mandatory in-person training required for all new facilities department supervisors.

Another notable inclusion is the Supervisor’s Toolkit resource from APPA, a professional organization for facilities professionals in educational organizations. This toolkit is designed to support the individual growth and unique user goals with courses on communication, motivating employees, maintaining professional relationships and more.

The Flatirons pathway also includes “electives,” such as the CliftonStrengths Assessment, CU Boulder’s own Conference on World Affairs, as well as capstone projects that ask users to apply what they’ve learned to example scenarios. Those capstone projects have an added purpose — they mirror a common component of higher education.

“One thing I’m pretty passionate about here at CU is getting more use of our [Tuition Assistance Benefit] for staff,” said Draper, a learning and development specialist. “So right here, we have some capstone projects to kind of get them used to the idea of a capstone, speaking that higher ed language.”

The second collection, the Longs Peak Pathway, builds on the foundations established through previous trainings to foster the continued growth of supervisors through mentorship opportunities, accountability training, conference and training opportunities with the Colorado chapter of APPA and more. Like the Flatirons Pathway, Longs Peak features electives, including Toastmasters and CU Boulder’s own Infrastructure and Sustainability Inclusive Excellence Committee, alongside three capstone projects.

This ability to bring together LinkedIn Learning’s training content along with external courses, trainings, mentorship and conference opportunities has proven to be a useful tool in organizing and sharing crucial development tasks.

Draper looks forward to curating a third pathway for executive leadership.

In addition to his leadership development pathways, Draper sees an additional core workforce need LinkedIn Learning could potentially fill.

He facilitates the department’s computer literacy program, which introduces their staff to core technology skills like typing, using the Microsoft Office suite of programs and more. The availability of Spanish-language courses for these core skills has been incredibly beneficial to his staff. If they could access these foundational courses in more languages — such as Lao, Mandarin, and Hmong — it would better support CU Boulder’s immigrant community and could tangibly further the campus’s DEI goals.

“People are just looking for that opportunity to grow and advance,” he said.

Create learning paths

If your department would like to use LinkedIn Learning tools to bolster training opportunities for your staff or students, visit the Employee Services website for details on becoming a course curator or reach to the Employee Learning and Development team at system.training@cu.edu.

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