For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division of International Services (DIS) hosted its annual DIS Staff Training in person. For years, the Staff Training has served as a time for DIS staff to briefly step away from the everyday hustle to focus on professional development and strategize on improvements to DIS services. In 2020, DIS suspended the event while navigating the pandemic, and in 2021 the event was shorter and fully virtual.
This year, the DIS Staff Training consisted of one day of in-person professional development followed by one day of virtual workshops on DIS processes. The two-day training was a showcase of how DIS has been able to pivot to a new working system and embrace the “now" of work. As with all workplaces, DIS has navigated the challenge of optimizing working together and maintaining a high level of service to the NIH community in a remote/hybrid environment. The “now" of work was a large focus of the DIS training. Staff came together to brainstorm how to ensure in-office and at-home days are used for maximum efficiency. Additionally, DIS staff focused on updating and improving Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for core functions.
In 2022 alone, DIS onboarded nine new employees (over 33% of its workforce)! This event provided an opportunity for many staff members to meet in-person for the first time and others to strengthen relationships. Overall, the DIS Staff Training moved the division forward in embracing the new reality of the modern workplace while continuing to meet customer demands.