Human Resources


The Human Resources Key Operational Plan outlines five major goals for calendar years 2014-2015. The goals involve University employees across all employee categories and include: increased depth of understanding for the Human Resources staff of the Human Resource Information System (HRS); commitment to increased understanding among employees of pay and benefits, professional development and succession planning, the University’s wellness program, and Inclusive Excellence. The descriptions of goals beginning on page 4 include action steps and assessment opportunities.

Guidelines provided in Part Four of this Key Operational Plan help govern Human Resources and enable Human Resources staff members to choose the most effective methods of conducting business. Those guidelines emphasize such practices as timely communication, active listening, consistently courteous and professional conduct, openness and flexibility to change, management of multiple tasks for maximum productivity, a supportive and nurturing attitude toward others, open and understandable business processes, and a collaborative work ethic.

Major Issues

The Human Resources staff have been leaders in the implementation of HRS across the UW System and are viewed as successful change managers among leadership in the UW System Administration Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity and the UW Service Center. UW Oshkosh Human Resources staff are routinely contacted by members of the organizations mentioned above and by human resources professionals from other UW institutions for consultation. Nonetheless, increased understanding and expertise in HRS among the Human Resources staff is important to bring about greater stability for all employees in the aspects of their professional lives that are touched by HRS. This includes the business processes of employee hire, transfer, benefits administration, compensation and leave accounting. As the Human Resources staff gain enhanced knowledge of HRS, they will be able to more effectively work with all UW Oshkosh employees in understanding their pay and benefits.

Communication regarding professional development and succession planning must be well-developed, honest and understandable to the full spectrum of University employees. In an aging workforce, expert succession planning is critical to the long-term success of each unit. Such planning may be misconstrued as “handpicking” select employees for “advancement” and such is not the case and certainly never the intent of Human Resources. Open and frequent communication about employee development and succession planning is important to the future success of the University.

The Plan

Part One – Introduction and Purpose

The State of Wisconsin operates public higher education using a statewide approach through appointments to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. The Board of Regents consists of seventeen members appointed by the Governor. The Regents are responsible for overseeing 13 universities, 13 two-year colleges, a statewide extension and UW System (UWS) Administration. The Board of Regents uses UWS Administration to manage the affairs of these institutions, including allocation of financial and human resources, approval of academic programs, and development of policies for public higher education.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (hereafter the University) Office of Human Resources serves the human resources, payroll, and benefits needs of the entire University community. Assigned to the Division of Administrative Services and integral partners in the University, Human Resources staff members regard exceptional service as their foremost objective. They place a high value on professional and collaborative work relationships while recognizing the importance of individual contributions, and they are responsive to the diverse needs of all University employees.

The Human Resources Key Operational Plan (KOP) is developed and updated by the Vice Chancellor for the Division of Administrative Services in response to the University’s strategic directions. Strategic direction #5 of the Governing Ideas states in part “…We will be broad, open and inclusive in governance processes and will align our human, physical and financial resources to meet our established priorities.”

The purpose of the Human Resources KOP is to: 1) communicate strategic direction to Human Resources functions in determining Human Resources goals; 2) communicate strategic direction in prioritizing Human Resources goals; and 3) allow Human Resources to evaluate accomplishment of established goals and periodically update the KOP to allow for the development of new goals.

Part Two – Working Assumptions

Any Human Resources KOP must assume that the system of attracting, retaining and developing human talent is important and valued. At the University, employees are recruited utilizing the principles and abiding by laws, rules and regulations established by Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Law, State of Wisconsin Law, and policies of the State of Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations (OSER).

Retaining employees and developing them to their fullest potential involve creating an environment in which employees

  • feel satisfaction in the work they do,
  • are welcomed and safe,
  • are given resources to successfully fulfill their responsibilities,
  • are permitted to question status quo and initiate change,
  • are given opportunities to develop their skills,
  • feel recognized and appreciated, and
  •  are fairly compensated.

These standards are critical to engendering feelings of loyalty from employees, and to creating conditions in which employees are motivated and through which leaders may surface.

What follow are realistic goals, both immediate and long-term, designed to assist the University in accomplishing its mission and reaching its vision by empowering employees.
Part Three – Goals and Action Steps

University goals and associated action steps dealing with the Human Resources of the institution include:

Goal
1. Ensure successful completion of Human Resources business practices through Human Resources staff possessing in-depth knowledge of state-of-the-art technology and best practices.

Action Steps
A. Enhance staff knowledge of the PeopleSoft Human Resource Information System (HRS) in the modules of payroll, benefits administration, human resources and absence management.

(1) Have all staff complete any credentialing programs offered by the UW Service Center.
(2) Have all staff complete appropriate training offered by the UW Service Center.
(3) Have all staff visit a best practice institution to gain first-hand knowledge and establish a reliable counterpart during fiscal 2014.

Assessment: The UW Service Center is planning to roll out a credentialing program for institutional human resources professionals to complete. This is intended to be comprehensive, end-to-end training with the human resources professional providing evidence of proficiency at the conclusion of the process. We will be able to measure who among the Human Resources staff has completed the credentialing program.

While the UW Oshkosh Human Resources staff are viewed as proficient in the use of HRS by professionals from the UW System Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity, the UW Service Center and other UW institutions, there is always opportunity to conduct business more effectively and efficiently. As such, each Human Resources staff member is expected to identify a counterpart at another UW institution who they believe can offer the potential for improvement and visit that professional in their work place. Visits and impacts will be assessed at the conclusion of the summer of 2014.

Goal
2. Ensure the process utilized to determine University employees’ pay and benefits is transparent, understandable and equitable.

Action Step
A. The University’s practices for enabling faculty to gain a wage increase are viewed as best practices. Continue to research and evaluate practices utilized at other institutions (both internal and external to UW System) to ensure faculty compensation opportunities are among the best available.
B. Using appropriate University governance groups, review the academic staff salary equity process recently completed and recommend revisions to the process as the review outcomes predict.
C. Using appropriate governance groups, review the discretionary merit compensation (DMC) adjustment process recently completed and recommend revisions to the process as the review outcomes predict.
D. Continue to offer comprehensive benefits information sessions for new and continuing employees so they may align their benefits with their personal needs and goals.
E. Continue to provide individual benefits consultation to employees so they may align their benefits with their personal needs and goals

Assessment: Through the completion of periodic studies examining pay equity for employment groups over time, fewer employees will be identified as being paid inequitably. Periodic review of the University’s salary structure, and providing tools for salary analysis, will both be necessary to achieve this goal.

Goal
3. Provide employees with premier on-boarding programs and professional development and growth programs. Professional Administrative Academic Staff and Classified Staff

Action Step
A. Identify new employees in all employee categories and help them to become welcomed, engaged, and successful UW Oshkosh employees.
B. Working with University administrators, identify specific areas of need for the institution, then plan and implement development programming to meet those needs.
C. Considering succession planning, identify competencies necessary for employees to accomplish duties and responsibilities for positions throughout the University.
D. Through performance evaluations, assist employees in identifying competencies they possess and competencies they need to develop as they identify positions to which they may aspire.
E. Provide employees with opportunities to strengthen competencies they possess and to develop competencies they need through professional growth programs offered on campus and by accessing programs offered off campus.
F. Determine logical University career paths that may exist.
G. Ensure University career paths are made available in an equitable manner.
H. Develop and maintain flexibility in University career paths.
I. Make University career paths more transparent to employees, including competencies expected of employees.
J. Inform University employees that Human Resources staff members and supervisors will work with them to help them develop personal career plans.
K. Develop general succession planning strategies for identifying and developing well-qualified supervisors and administrators.

Assessment for Professional Administrative Academic Staff and Classified Staff: At the conclusion of each development program, evaluation designed to assess the impact and effectiveness of the program will be completed. Follow-up with supervisors following development programming is important to seeing a long-term increase in effectiveness of employees.

All University positions must have accurate position descriptions that include the competencies of that position. Competencies are defined by author Dick Grote in “The Performance Appraisal Question and Answer Book” as “behaviors, skills, traits, technical knowledge, proficiencies, attributes and abilities.”

Supervisors must accurately and completely evaluate employees on what they do and how they do it. This assessment provides employees with candid feedback about which competencies they possess and which are opportunities for development. When all supervisors are providing this feedback, this step will be accomplished.

The University must provide employees opportunities to strengthen competencies they possess and those which are opportunities for development. This step will be accomplished when the University (a) establishes cyclical, well-developed professional growth and development opportunities for employees to access to strengthen competencies, and (b) provides employees with a multitude of specialized professional growth and development opportunities off campus.

Logical University career paths will be identified when trends in competencies have been analyzed and experiential subject matter expertise has been considered. Employees may choose to work with Human Resources staff members to develop personal career paths. Administrators may utilize knowledge of competencies necessary to successfully identify potential future supervisors or administrators. Once logical University career paths are developed, employees are completing personal career paths, and administrators are using competencies to identify potential future supervisors and administrators, this goal will be accomplished.

Goal
4. Advance the physical and emotional health of all University employees to become a “well-university.” A. Update the current operating plan for Healthy Titans 2020.

Action Step
a. Reevaluate the vision statement to determine if Healthy Titans is attempting to accomplish what is most needed.
b. Reestablish goals using the SMART principle.
c. Establish timelines for implementing goals.
d. Determine roles and responsibilities for completion of goals.
e. Itemize the budget to determine if it is appropriate for accomplishing the goals.
f. Develop and implement appropriate marketing strategies to effectively promote the wellness plan.
g. Evaluate procedures implemented to determine if the goals have been achieved.

B. Continue the work of the Healthy Titans 2020 work group.
(1) Offer Weight Watchers at Work or some other weight management program for employees.
(2) Offer exercise programs practical for all employees.
C. Develop and implement an educational component to inform employees.
(1) Offer ergonomics and safety training.
(2) Offer nutritional programming.
D. Partner with the University Counseling Center to implement programming to help employees improve emotional health through improved understanding of work/life balance.
E. Achieve Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) designation as a well workplace employer in calendar year 2014.

Assessment: Examine progress toward completion of letter A in the action steps at the conclusion of fiscal year 2014. Assess offerings of exercise and weight loss programming at the conclusion of fiscal year 2014. Assess offerings of ergonomics, safety, nutrition, and work-life balance programming at the conclusion of fiscal year 2015.

Goal
5. Weave the principles of Inclusive Excellence (I/E) into all aspects of Human Resources, modeling the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. A. Embed I/E into position descriptions for classified and unclassified employees.

Action Step
B. Include I/E in the evaluation of employees at the Director level and up, i.e., what has the administrator done to drive I/E into the aspects of their operation?
C. Have Human Resources staff members participate in any divisional I/E training offered.

Assessment: All position descriptions written in fiscal 2014 and 2015 will include I/E language.. The new site will include components of I/E. Human Resources staff members will participate in I/E training offered in fiscal 2014 and 2015.
Part Four – Guidelines for Human Resources

The following are guidelines that help govern the University’s Human Resources operations. An essential precondition for success is the University’s ability to effectively articulate its mission, vision, values, strategic directions and associated goals to both internal and external constituencies.

Some of the major guidelines include:

1. Human Resources staff members timely communicate with styles that are approachable and respectable; they engage in active listening by holding interruptions and responding concisely.
2. Human Resources staff members engage in all job-related interactions and activities with contacts from within and outside the University in a courteous, timely and professional manner.
3. Human Resources staff members willingly anticipate, identify and adopt change.
4. Human Resources staff members manage multiple tasks and effectively organize work to be as productive as possible.
5. Human Resources staff members support and nurture others in identifying potential solutions to work-related challenges.
6. Human Resources staff members welcome and actively advocate and implement the principles of Inclusive Excellence.
7. Human Resources business processes will be open and understandable. The importance of having a transparent operational environment cannot be overstated. When individuals can see and understand the business processes, this helps to engender a sense of confidence, trust and commitment to the advancement of key purposes. It helps employees understand why actions are taken and helps them comprehend that following the process lends the best opportunity to having a successful hire.
8. Human Resources staff members work collaboratively with other units of the University to assist those units in accomplishing their mission and goals.
9. Human Resources staff members work collaboratively with the UW System Human Resources office and other campus Human Resources offices. Great advantage exists, especially in the time of PeopleSoft HRS implementation, for working collaboratively with others throughout UW System to share knowledge and learn from others.

Part Four – Guidelines for Human Resources

Following are guidelines that help govern the University’s Human Resources operations. An essential precondition for success is the University’s ability to effectively articulate its mission, vision, values, strategic directions and associated goals to both internal and external constituencies.

Some of the major guidelines include:

10. Human Resources staff members timely communicate with styles that are approachable and respectable; they engage in active listening by holding interruptions and responding concisely.
11. Human Resources staff members engage in all job-related interactions and activities with contacts from within and outside the University in a courteous, timely and professional manner.
12. Human Resources staff members willingly anticipate, identify and adopt change.
13. Human Resources staff members manage multiple tasks and effectively organize work to be as productive as possible.
14. Human Resources staff members support and nurture others in identifying potential solutions to work-related challenges.
15. Human Resources staff members welcome and actively advocate and implement the principles of Inclusive Excellence.
16. Human Resources business processes will be open and understandable. The importance of having a transparent operational environment cannot be overstated. When individuals can see and understand the business processes, this helps to engender a sense of confidence, trust and commitment to the advancement of key purposes. It helps employees understand why actions are taken and helps them comprehend that following the process lends the best opportunity to having a successful hire.
17. Human Resources staff members work collaboratively with other units of the University to assist those units in accomplishing their mission and goals.
18. Human Resources staff members work collaboratively with the UW System Human Resources office and other campus Human Resources offices. Great advantage exists, especially in the time of PeopleSoft HRS implementation, for working collaboratively with others throughout UW System to share knowledge and learn from others.

APPENDIX #1

Sample Competencies

Self-Awareness and Professional Development – The incumbent proactively looks for opportunities to develop her/his own skills and related behaviors in her/his areas of expertise in an effort to maximize performance and effectiveness.

Communication and Personal Effectiveness – The incumbent effectively communicates with internal and external stakeholders to share and express information in an ethical, forthright and timely manner.

Customer Orientation – The incumbent empathetically seeks understanding of what internal and external stakeholders require and expect, and uses available resources, policies, and opportunities in those stakeholders’ best interests without compromising institutional or unit values.

Collaboration and Partnership – The incumbent effectively develops relationships and collaborates with all stakeholders, values teamwork, and applies a variety of strategies to meet the needs of a diverse constituency.

Achievement Orientation – The incumbent has a strong sense of urgency about proactively solving problems and getting work done; gains support for ideas, proposals, projects and solutions; and takes initiative.

Leadership – The incumbent demonstrates responsibility and skill in guiding others; a commitment to and a vision for the University’s public service in “…engaging people and ideas for common good….”; and an ability to achieve positive outcomes by encouraging, supporting, coaching, developing and mentoring others.

Teamwork – The incumbent supports the unit’s teams, participating fully in team activities and work, remaining flexible and responsive to other team members’ ideas and needs, proactively offering advice in her/his own areas of expertise, and relating to team members with courtesy and respect.

APPENDIX #2

PeopleSoft HRS

What is HRS?
With employees located at 13 four-year universities, 13 two-year colleges, 72 county extension offices, and several other locations, the University of Wisconsin System is the largest employer in the state. In any given month, the University issues paychecks to more than 70,000 faculty, academic staff, classified staff, and student employees. Allowing for normal turnover, the UW System issues approximately 100,000 tax forms to employees every year.
The Human Resources Information System (HRS) is the software by which the UW’s 70,000 employees are hired, paid, their benefits are administered and their leave is accounted. HRS is designed to serve institutions and employees for decades to come and ensure full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements related to personnel information and recordkeeping.

APPENDIX #3

Healthy Titans 2020
Mission
We are dedicated to educating, motivating and empowering UW Oshkosh employees, their family members and students to make healthy lifestyle choices that provide for optimal health and overall quality of life.
Our Vision
UW Oshkosh will be a role model among higher education institutions and employers in our community in providing innovative, collaborative and energizing programs for holistic growth in healthy lifestyles for the members of our campus community.
Guiding Principles
We will be admired and recognized for:
1. Integration of all seven dimensions of wellness (emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, occupational, spiritual) into our programs;
2. Administrative leadership, support and participation in health promotion efforts;
3. Commitment to maintaining strict confidentiality parameters for personal data;
4. Encouraging participation in activities, both voluntary and on work time;
5. Inclusivity of participation by all employees and students;
6. Promoting collaboration between the campus community and community resources, such as health care providers, wellness programs, fitness facilities;
7. Continually improving the quality of services and sharing our knowledge and learning with others; and
8. Measurably increasing the health status of our campus community.