Lab Matters Spring 2017 - Page 32

institutional research Moving Up or Moving On: Career Advancement and Workplace Satisfaction in State PHLs by Carolyn Fitzgerald, specialist, Institutional Research and Laura Siegel, specialist, National Center for Public Health Laboratory Leadership A PHL’s state public health laboratory (PHL) workforce characterization surveys* have revealed that professional development opportunities may be critical for job satisfaction and retention. While 78% of respondents in 2016 were satisfied or very satisfied with their job, after controlling for demographics, position and region, individuals who perceived that their laboratory was providing career advancement opportunities were 225% more likely to be satisfied than those who did not. In addition, those in leadership positions were 90% more likely to report being satisfied. Further analysis of the 2011 and 2016 data showed that while a third of respondents reported that they intended to leave the workforce in less than five years, those who saw career advancement opportunities were 25% less likely to report wanting to leave, after adjusting for other factors. Furthermore, those younger than 36 years old were 200% more likely to report wanting to leave the PHL workforce in the next five years, compared to those between ages 36 and 50. Low retention rates among professionals who are early in their career could leave labs struggling with succession plans. PHLs should consider strengthening their professional development offerings by utilizing some of these APHL programs and resources: DIGITAL EXTRA: click here to access free APHL webinars on coaching and mentoring. • Nominate staff for APHL’s Emerging Leader Program (ELP) Link staff to leadership and management training opportunities to help them advance to managerial positions. “I am fortunate to have recently hired another graduate from the ELP and now have three ELP graduates among the laboratory's senior staff. Being a graduate of the ELP was an important factor in my decision to hire this person,” Dan Rice, acting associate director, US FDA and former director, New York State Food Laboratory. • Encourage participation in APHL Join an APHL committee, sub-committee or work group. “Being engaged provides one with a significant amount of professional fulfillment,” Burton Wilcke, Jr., Workforce Development Committee member, associate professor and chair at the University of Vermont • Establish a formal coaching or mentoring program Find free webinars on coaching on APHL.org • Establish clear career paths and ladders Refer to the APHL Model Career Ladder Plan. • Encourage staff to seek technical training opportunities Review training opportunities on APHL.org. *2016 APHL Laboratorian Workforce Survey, n=1338; 2011 APHL Laboratorian Workforce Survey, n= 1416 Amplify Your Voice and Become Involved with the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) Today • Suggest a project • Give feedback on tools • Use and share CIFOR resources • Contribute to the next edition of the Guidelines • GA Email foodsafety@aphl.org to get involved. 30 LAB MATTERS Spring 2017 Check out the www.cifor.us website for the 2nd Edition of CIFOR Guidelines and Toolkit, Outbreaks of Undetermined Etiology Guidelines, and much more! Visit the CIFOR website at www.cifor.us. PublicHealthLabs @APHL APHL.org