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Best Practices: SRAPPA Leverages Training to Strengthen Membership

Supervisor Toolkit, Conference Discounts Provide Outreach to Existing and New Members

Dan Wooten has two main objectives for the SRAPPA Board during his term as 2016-17 SRAPPA President: invest in SRAPPA members through training incentives; and reach out to additional institutions that may not have been involved in APPA activities previously.

True to this vision, the region heavily subsidizes the Supervisor’s Toolkit training and development program. SRAPPA pays half the tuition fee per attendee, cutting the cost from $995 to $499 for the weeklong training – for all attendees, whether they are APPA members, non-members, or attendees from other APPA regions.

Supervisor’s Toolkit is a week-long structured, open-ended, and pragmatic approach designed to help supervisors realize both personal and professional growth.  Designed specifically for facilities managers, Toolkit courses delve into the roles and responsibilities of supervisors; setting and following policies and procedures; communication; relationship building; motivation; customer service; and leadership tools.

SRAPPA has eight Supervisor Toolkit training sessions on the calendar in 2017, with the possibility of adding more later in the year.

“I was one of five Auburn employees that attended a Supervisor’s Toolkit in early 2016,” said Michael Large of Auburn University.  “It was such a tremendous experience that we arranged for Auburn to host a Toolkit for 48 attendees in late 2016.  We have another scheduled for June 2017.”

In addition to subsidizing the fees, SRAPPA is offering host institutions a $2,495 incentive to cover the fees for five employees of the host institution to attend the Supervisor’s Toolkit.

Personal outreach has been key to spreading the word about Toolkits to new institutions, said Toolkit trainer Casey Charepoo.  “An in-person visit or phone call gives a better opportunity to express the value of the program than just sending an email.  We’ve seen an increase in attendees from K-12 organizations and vendors at our Supervisor’s Toolkit, and now we have Clarke County (Georgia) School District hosting a Supervisor’s Toolkit in May 2017.”

Supervisor’s Toolkits also have been an excellent outreach tool to engage facilities staff from HBCUs and introduce them to the programs APPA offers.  Tennessee State University and Spelman College, both HBCUs, have hosted Supervisor’s Toolkit sessions in early 2017.

The Long Game

In addition to the Supervisor’s Toolkit, SRAPPA is leveraging other professional development programs to reach out to new intuitions and introduce them to APPA’s offerings.

SRAPPA has secured commitments from institutions to host the SRAPPA annual conference as far out as 2019.  “Planning this far in advance allows us to come up with creative outreach,” Wooten said.  SRAPPA is challenging its host institutions – UNC-Charlotte in 2017, Clemson University it 2018, and Northern Kentucky University in 2019 – to build relationships and offer incentives to K-12, HBCUs, and community colleges in the surrounding area.  “We want to invite them to come experience firsthand what local, regional, and APPA international can offer,” Wooten said.  UNC-Charlotte is offering HBCUs in the surrounding area one complimentary day registration for SRAPPA 2017.

“You’ve got to believe in your members and be willing to invest your money to train them,” said Wooten.