The Public Entity Saba continues to invest in its personnel. Several training projects are testimony to that: the management development program PEP and the project management training WISP. Civil servants who participated are satisfied with these trainings. “The PEP training gave me different strategies and ways how to carry out my duties on a higher level,” said Head of the Finance Department Maureen Hassell.
A group of about 20 civil servants have been participating in the extensive PEP training since February this year. The training was spread over nine months in five sections of one week each. After the first one in February, there were trainings in April, May, June and September 2019.
The PEP, which stands for Personal Effectivity Program, has several objectives. Participants learned developing insight into leadership qualities, developing skills for effective communication, developing insight into how leaders inspire others, engaging people in the organization and in achieving management goals.
The PEP has a lot to do with people management, empowerment, teamwork and strengthening communication. Participants for example learned about core qualities of people, the different leadership styles and the ability to apply them, how to handle difficult conversations and conflict situations, and how to improve confidence and the performance of team members.
But the training also provided important insight in oneself. “It entailed a lot of self-reflection. It taught us to better understand others, how they act, by in the first place understanding yourself,” said policy advisor Nicole Johnson. “I learned you have to work on yourself first, empower yourself, before you can work with others. PEP learns you more about yourself and your job,” said policy advisor Rosa Johnson. “It helped me to self-reflect. The changes that you can make as a manager. We can only control ourselves, not others,” said Maureen Hassell.
Head of the Human Resources Department Miguela Gumbs, who initiated the PEP, explained that it is important to work on the development of people within the government organization. “Investing in your people is important so government can continue to provide high-level services to the Saba community, and to also fulfill the requirements of good governance,” she said.
“The PEP has been an intensive course that gave managers the tools that they need to further develop their leadership skills in this ever-changing world, where you continuously need to develop yourself not only as a person, but also a manager,” said Gumbs, who added that she was very content with the results of the PEP. “You can see it as a Personal Evolution Program. It was a most informative, inspirational training. During those five intensive weeks, participants learned a lot about working effectively and efficiently.”
The PEP training consisted of different modules covering themes such as leadership styles, effective communication, working with teams, time management, managing behavior and results, coaching of employees, operational change management, personal leadership.
“It was one of the most effective trainings that I ever did. I can actually practice what I learned and I see the difference. I now have more confidence as a manager,” said Head of the Day Care Tessa Alexander.
“It had value for my daily work, most definitely. We learned different mechanisms how to deal with difficult situations, how to motivate people, and even more important, how to keep them motivated. It is all about understanding and managing people. As Public Entity Saba, we are here for the people, and by better understanding ourselves and others, we are better able to perform our jobs,” said Nicole Johnson.
“The training taught me many skills. One of the things I learned was how to manage when things are urgent. I discovered new skills,” said Rosa Johnson. “This training broadens your mind, helps you to think outside the box. It shows you different approaches,” said Maureen Hassell.
The PEP training was provided by Willem Jan Stokhof of the training bureau Smart Solutions in Curaçao. Participants were enthusiastic about the trainer. “He did a very good job with guiding us through the process,” said Rosa Johnson.
Stokhof said that the PEP training was intensive for both the participants and the trainer. “I Iook back at it with a lot satisfaction because I saw so many positive changes in the participants.”