The Division of International Services (DIS) welcomed the fall season with its Annual Staff Training on October 30 and October 31. The two-day event was a valuable opportunity for staff members to participate in holistic office training that covered a range of topics as diverse as the scientific community DIS serves.
Staff members representing the three DIS teams - FTE, Non-FTE, and Customer Service (CST) - provided yearly reports of their progress in efforts to promote office knowledge of team duties and accomplishments. For instance, the non-FTE team processed a total of 3,650 foreign national cases in FY2018, while CST answered over 10,000 e-mails sent to the DIS inbox requesting a vast array of advising, check-in, work authorization, and travel information.
Moreover, the presentation of these reports and subsequent discussions allowed staff members to quantitatively tie individual team accomplishments to the greater NIH mission and evaluate the DIS impact on the NIH community. A discussion of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) provided the office with a self-assessment of its areas for improvement. This allowed DIS to use staff brainstorming sessions, with these assessments as a base, to delineate how DIS may more precisely and effectively provide resources for their various constituents.
The two-day training also allowed staff members to hone the conversational, technological, and creative skills necessary to achieve this mission. Staff members engaged in discussions on best practices for maximizing workplace communication and, following a Microsoft Office "Tips and Tricks" presentation, learned to combine their intercultural talents with tech-savvy efficiency.
The DIS Annual Staff Training was an autumnal success. Staff members were able to both reflect on the past year and plan towards maximizing their office's ability to deliver informative and timely immigration services in 2019.
If you wish to learn more about DIS's resources and impact on the NIH research community, please visit the DIS website.