The inaugural class of the Start Strong Strengths Academy was recognized during the February staff meeting at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. Sara Weixelman, human resources generalist, and Deb Eisloeffel, human resources manager, presented 19 staff and graduate students with their Strengths Mentor certificates.
The academy offers a total of five modules in two different certificate tracks, including one to become a mentor and the other to become a leader. Earning a mentor certificate required participating in three modules: CliftonStrengths Basics, Understanding Your Talents and Strengths and Strengths-Based Coaching Introduction.
Weixelman, one of the academy’s facilitators, enjoys the positive collaboration of the program. She believed the participants in the class learned how to productively use their talents and strengths.
“Our overall goal for the program is to embed strengths into the college. We have been pleasantly surprised by the response to the academy, as people were very enthusiastic to participate. This first class of mentors did a great job embracing their own strengths and learning to use them effectively with other people’s strengths,” she said.
Lauren Stehlik, advisor and engagement coordinator for the college’s graduate programs, received her strengths mentor certificate. She plans to use what she learned when working with studentsin the highly-ranked MBA program.
“The academy gave me the opportunity to learn more about my peers in the college and how they use their strengths. It helped me understand my strengths better when I could hear examples of how others use them in their roles,” she said. “I look forward to having future mentoring conversations with our students about utilizing their strengths as they think about their career goals.”
The strengths mentors can choose to pursue the next designation of a strengths leader by completing two additional modules on strengths-based teams and management. Participants will learn how to engage with a team using their signature themes, which are their top five strengths based off of their CliftonStrengths assessment results.
“It’s not just knowing what your talents are, it’s becoming that talented person. Understanding what those talents are and learning how to apply them in the most effective way to get something done. The whole idea is to apply your talents productively, and that’s what makes them strengths,” said Weixelman.
The Start Strong Strengths Academy is a part of the Start Strong Talent Management initiative at the College of Business.
The initiative creates a workplace culture of excellence, professionalism and respect. Start Strong encourages and utilizes the strengths of each employee to maximize their job satisfaction, connectedness to coworkers and career goals for the success of the individual and the college. Start Strong contributes to the vibrancy of the college by promoting the growth, engagement and development of its staff.
The 2017-18 Start Strong Strengths Academy class includes:
Business Career Center: Paula Caldwell; Janessa Hageman; Rachel Larson; Katie Sewell; Soo Won Shim
College of Journalism and Mass Communications: Chelsea Hampton
Communications, Marketing and External Relations: Sheri Irwin-Gish; Laura Niles; Kimberly Smith
Department of Finance: Kathy Mellick
Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics: Lori Sorto
Graduate Programs: Kerri Hiatt; Lauren Stehlik
Office of the Dean: Mark Barrera; Emily Bergen; Susan Berke; Tyrell Ross
International Business Program: Chandra Schwab
Teaching and Learning Center: Kate McCown