From the Desk: John Whelan shares updates about HR2020 initiative

As the new school year gets into full swing, the human resources function at IU continues working on our HR2020 initiative. A lot has been accomplished in 2017, and I am pleased to share some behind-the-scenes progress on our strategic priorities to increase employee engagement, improve HR customer service, and retain and recruit talented employees.

IU is committed to ensuring employees are valued, thriving in their work and feeling that their contributions matter. To better understand our current environment, we are excited to have launched the first universitywide staff engagement survey with the Gallup Organization, a third-party survey administrator.

MyVoice@IU is a quick, anonymous, online survey to collect feedback from staff employees about their work environment, the level of pride they have in IU and their overall engagement with their work. The results will help the university understand the needs of employees, what IU is doing well and where there are opportunities to improve. We plan to share the survey results in early 2018 and work with leaders and staff across the university to create action plans to help enhance the work environment at IU.

All staff hired on or before July 1, 2017, received an email invitation to take the survey this week. It will be open through midnight Oct. 10. I encourage all staff employees who received an invitation to take the survey; your participation is important.

Compensation review

One of the top priorities we have heard from the staff at IU since launching HR2020 is the need to review our existing compensation processes and structure. To help with this work, I am happy to share that we recently hired Betsy Larson as director of compensation.

A double IU alum, Betsy was most recently the vice president of compensation at Mass Mutual Insurance Co. She will lead the effort to develop a new compensation philosophy and approach for staff employees at all levels across all campuses.

Betsy and her compensation team are gathering feedback and insights from individuals and groups across the university about existing programs, the challenges of current processes and where opportunities exist to change. A redesigned compensation program will be more transparent and intuitive while providing a framework and tools for staff employees to more easily map out their careers at IU. We will share more information on this important topic in the near future.

Recruitment and hiring process

A simplified recruitment and hiring process for staff employees is another top priority we heard about since launching HR2020. Over the past nine months, we have taken many steps to improve this process.

  • First, we expanded our talent acquisition staff and created dedicated resources for using online recruitment tools, like LinkedIn, more extensively. This allows us to proactively source and identify passive and diverse candidates for critical and difficult-to-fill jobs universitywide.
  • Secondly, we took the feedback from a three-day Talent Acquisition Rapid Redesign Workshop in May and began to streamline the hiring process. For example, the talent acquisition team is working with IU finance and budget teams to develop a posting approval process that will speed up the time it takes to hire a new employee. We hope to roll this out soon.
  • Finally, we are preparing to launch new, innovative tools that make hiring people more efficient, less time-consuming and more consistent across the university. In October, we will pilot with several large units, including Residential Programs and Services in Bloomington and UITS, a paperless background check process that also enhances protection of sensitive data. We believe the pilot will be successful, and we hope to roll this out to the entire university later in the year.

New employee orientation program

We continue to improve and refine the New Employee Orientation Program on the Bloomington campus. Our team recently expanded the staff session from a half day to three-quarters of a day to cover additional topics and allow for more time to answer employee questions. Furthermore, we worked with the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to launch faculty-specific orientations.

HR is in the process of building a consistent orientation program across all campuses. We will be collaborating and exploring best practices from every IU campus to build a best in class onboarding process.

New customer service model

Finally, in my last article, I mentioned our redesigned delivery model for customer service in HR. Our goal is to increase the quality of service to employees and streamline HR transactions across the university. We created an HR Operations team to focus on providing high-quality service in a simple and efficient manner. This team has worked hard to implement new processes and systems that will help our staff provide a high level of service.

While the phone and ticketing systems are up and running now, employees will begin to see and feel changes in October when we officially introduce the new customer service model. Look for information in your open enrollment materials about our how to contact HR through our customer care team.

This is only the beginning of our efforts in HR; there is much more to be done. We will continue to provide updates and welcome feedback on our work as we continue our journey to support you.

John Whelan is associate vice president for human resources.