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Office of Human Resources                                                            April 2012 

 

 HR REVIEW

 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information

Upcoming Events

Become a More Effective Project Leader

April 24, Chicago Campus 

Looking for a chance to learn more about project management in an engaging, interactive setting? Plan to attend the Project Management Essentials Workshop. For information and registration, click here.

    

Work/Life Balance Workshop

Chicago: April 18, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lurie Center, Gray Room

Evanston: April 19, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Norris Center, Evans Room 

These workshops will provide help in managing the pressures and demands of modern living. A member of the consulting team from Perspectives (Northwestern Faculty Staff Assistance Program) will offer useful information about how to set boundaries and dispose of clutter in your life.  Learn about techniques for bringing your work and personal lives into balance. 

For more information and to reserve your space, please email Carly McLaughlin or call 7-3631. 

 

Communications Workshop

Chicago: May 14, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lurie Center, Gray Room

Have you ever wondered how what you said to a colleague could be interpreted so differently than you intended? How we communicate influences the quality of our personal and work relationships. Join us for a discussion about the four types of communication styles, the possible motivation behind each style and the most comfortable and effective way of interacting with others. This seminar will help participants define and compare basicR communication styles, identify the importance of nonverbal communication, and identify effective communication techniques.

For more information, or to reserve your space, please email Carly McLaughlin or call 7-3631.  

 

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work - April 26, 2012 

Build Opportunity: 20 Years of Education, Opportunity, Experience
This is a great opportunity to get involved in the Northwestern community! This program goes far beyond "shadowing" an adult for the work day, and gives children an opportunity to learn about many types of work activities that take place at a university like Northwestern. Not only do they learn about what goes into work, but the value of their own education is reinforced. Participants get a chance to experience hands on activities that help empower them to begin planning for their own futures. It takes many volunteers to help make this enriching day possible. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Women's Center at 1-7360. 

 

Inside This Issue
Upcoming Events
NU Senior Care Connections
Compensation
Benefits Briefs
Staffing
Work/Life Resources
FASIS Updates
Learning and Organization Development
HR Services
Quick Links

New Northwestern Senior Care Connections Program
Navigating the complex world of senior care can be a challenge, but Care.com is here to help.  Thanks to Northwestern, faculty and staff now have access to NU Senior Care Connections. Through this program you can connect with experienced Senior Care Advisors who will provide personal support and guidance, provider options matched to your needs, and peace of mind as you care for your loved ones.  Join us for launch seminars on campus to learn more about the Care.com benefit and to meet with a Senior Care Advisor! 
 
How to put the "Share" in Family Caregiving
A Brown Bag, Co-Sponsored by NUSAC 
Chicago: May 23, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Lurie, Baldwin Auditorium

Given the significant financial, emotional, and physical demands of caregiving, complicated family dynamics can be one of the most challenging aspects of caring for an aging family member.  Conflicts can arise over many issues: disagreements over an elder's condition and capabilities; financial and legal matters; plus caregiving roles and responsibilities. Sibling rivalries dating back to childhood are often exacerbated under the strain of caregiving.  In addition, the burden of care often falls to one family member, and unequal responsibilities can lead to increased frustration and discord.

 

This seminar will look at the challenges families frequently face when caring for an elder. We will explore strategies that enable siblings and other family members to minimize conflicts and approach caregiving in a more mutually collaborative and supportive manner.

 

R.S.V.P. to Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460.

 

A Proactive Approach to Caregiving: Preparing for the Unexpected

A Brown Bag, Co-Sponsored by NUSAC

Evanston: May 24, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Norris, Rock Room 

Many people find themselves unprepared when faced with the complex issues associated with providing care for an aging loved one. The process of caregiving often requires ongoing assessment, flexibility, and knowledge of the health care delivery system. Caregivers may suddenly find themselves trying to sort out the different options for care, without a clear understanding of quality and cost.  Planning can assist families to prepare more effectively for the care of an aging family member, mitigate an unexpected crisis, and ultimately result in better choices and outcomes.

 

This seminar addresses the following questions:

 

  • How can adult children effectively and proactively manage caregiving responsibilities?
  • What are the challenges faced by caregivers and the resources available to meet those challenges?
  • How can adult children mitigate the stress of caregiving and enlist family and community supports?

R.S.V.P. to Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460.

Compensation

Comp Time  

Compensatory time off (commonly referred to as  "comp time") is a limited provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which provides covered organizations with the ability to compensate employees for overtime (i.e. hours worked above 40 in a work week) with paid time off in lieu of cash. Only under certain prescribed conditions may employees of state or local government agencies receive comp time (at the same rate as regular overtime) instead of cash payments. Law enforcement, fire protection, and emergency response personnel and employees engaged in seasonal activities are such examples.

 

It is NOT permissible for private employers (including Northwestern) to use comp time as a means of payment in lieu of cash for overtime.  Employees who are eligible for overtime (i.e. nonexempt or hourly employees) must be paid at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked.  

 

We understand that at times a budget shortfall can arise for a number of reasons or unanticipated overtime pay occurs due to an employee staying late or coming in early to complete assignments.  It can be tempting to implement informal comp time practices within a school or department to offset unforeseen cost.  However, the law requires that non-exempt employees who work beyond 40 hours in a week -whether or not approved by the supervisor - must be paid overtime for the applicable hours. Failure to adhere to the Department of Labor regulations may have negative consequences.  Noncompliance may result in criminal prosecution and up to a $10,000 fine for first time offenders (Fair p27).

As a reminder, all hours worked by a non-exempt employee must be recorded in the Kronos time tracking system to ensure appropriate handling of regular and overtime pay.

 

For more information or answers to specific questions, contact your HR Services Consultant.

Benefits Briefs

Walking Works

You have been challenged to start walking toward better health by participating in WalkingWorks-a program designated to help you start moving toward better health and fitness! Participating is easy! During the ten-week program you will track your daily walking (either by counting steps with a pedometer or keeping track of the amount of time you spend walking) and record your steps or time each week in the WalkingWorks Online Tracking Tool. Instructions are available in the Online Tracking Tool Guide. For additional information review the Participant Guide.

 

Northwestern University will compete against Loyola University and DePaul University to see who can walk the most. The winner gets bragging rights and the respect of our colleagues.

A kick-off event will be held on both campuses on April 25 - National Walk @ Lunch Day - so faculty and staff can register for the program, and grab maps of the local walking paths and other goodies. 

Additional information coming soon!

Staffing

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Tips When Applying for Staff Positions at Northwestern

 

There are a number of considerations when applying for staff positions at Northwestern that can help to facilitate a productive and successful job search process. In fact, the job search process begins long before you click the "submit" button to apply for an open position. Giving thought to the job search process both before and after you apply can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Following are some helpful tips when applying for open staff positions:

 

Before you Apply...

  • Review Northwestern's career page to determine the type(s) of positions that interest you. Consider what type of environment you like to work in and what you've done in the past that you have enjoyed.
  • Carefully review the job summary, specific responsibilities, and minimum qualifications for the position. Consider whether you have experience in this area. Have you performed similar or comparable duties in the past? Do you minimally qualify for the position? Identify those positions which best map to your experience and qualifications.
  • Note on which campus the position resides. Identify which campus is most ideal for you as a work location and is most conducive to your schedule. As part of this, consider daily travel and family needs.
  • Note the required hours and work schedule for the position. Consider whether this is conducive with your schedule and commitments outside of work. If this position is part-time or temporary, consider how this fits with your needs.
  • Be appropriately selective when considering the positions to which you will apply. Since all resumes are screened by a Staffing Consultant based on the minimum qualifications, applying to an extensive number of open positions does not automatically increase the likelihood that your application will move to the next step in the process. And when your application does move on, you'll want to be sure it's a position in which you are truly interested.

When you Apply...

  • Submit a resume along with your application, as this allows the Staffing Consultant to assess your relevant skills to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
  • Include your work experience, education, and references in your online application.
  • It is highly recommended that you include a cover letter with your application. Many hiring managers expect a cover letter and it may even be used to initially assess writing skills, such as when applying for a communications-related position. Your cover letter should address the specific position to which you are applying and explain how you qualify for the role.

After you Apply...

  • Once you have successfully submitted your application, allow time for a Staffing Consultant to review it.
  • If your application is routed to a hiring manager, it is up to the manager to extend an interview. If you are selected for an interview, someone from the hiring department or the Office of Human Resources will contact you to schedule a date and time.
  • If you have not received a response in reference to your application, you may inquire at 847-491-7507 (Evanston) or 312-503-8481 (Chicago)

Additional resources to assist you in your job search can also be found in the Job Search Resource Guide on the Office of Human Resources web site. For staffing-related questions, please contact your Staffing Consultant. If you do not know your assigned Staffing Consultant, you may contact the numbers listed just above for assistance in identifying this contact.

Work/Life Resources 

Striving for a Healthy Balance:

The Northwestern University Office of Work/Life Resources provides programs, services and consultation to enable staff and faculty to effectively balance the competing demands of work and home.

 

Summer Camps

If you have not yet registered your child for summer camp, you may want to visit this on-line resource for local summer camps.  

 

New Chicago Cubs Camp

The Cubs are bringing the brand new Chicago Cubs Baseball Summer Camps to young Cubs fans this summer. 2012 Cubs Camps (for boys and girls ages 5 - 13) will run for 8 one-week sessions in different locations across the Chicago area. One of those one-week sessions will be close to Northwestern University:

  • Monday, August 13 - Friday, August 17 - Evanston Township High School
  • A $35 discount will be offered to Northwestern families.

All campers at Cubs Baseball Summer Camps have the opportunity to:

  • Receive professional instruction for all skill levels during a full week of Cubs baseball camp (Monday - Friday; 9am - 3pm; Extended care available)
  • Take an exclusive VIP tour of Wrigley Field during one day of the camp week (with transportation  on a Major League-style charter bus)
  • Receive his or her own full Cubs uniform including a hat, jersey, pants, socks & belt
  • Meet a current Cubs Major League player or tour the Cubs Clubhouse and run the bases at Wrigley Field
  • Take home an autographed photo of a current Cubs player
  • Receive a special invitation to participate in the annual on-field Camper Parade at a Camper Reunion game during a home game at the end of the summer.  

On-Going Programs - New Participants Are Welcome!  

 
Elder Caregiving Support Group
If you are a caregiver for a relative or close friend, you may want to consider joining this group. These monthly brown bag sessions provide an opportunity to exchange information about care-related issues, such as legal, financial and medical questions. For further information, contact Phyllis Ellis or 7-1460.  
 

Work/Life Balance Discussion Group   

Friday, April 27 at noon

For those who are looking for more balance in their work and personal lives. This group meets monthly during the lunch hour. For further information, contact Phyllis Ellis or 7-1460.

 

Bright Horizons Updates

The Bright Horizons child care center planned to open September 2012 is accepting registration applications. Northwestern University rates are also available. For additional information, visit the new website or email Bright Horizons or contact the Office of Work/Life Resources at 1-3612 or email Lori Anne Henderson.

 

McGaw YMCA Children's Center  - Summer Camp Spots Available. Fall registration is also open for Northwestern families. If you are interested in registering your child for the early childhood education programs, contact Rebecca Schroeder at 847-475-8580 X311. 

 

Fee Assistance
Faculty, staff and students can apply for childcare fee assistance if they are receiving childcare at the University Children's Center or the McGaw YMCA Children's Center. Applications are available online, and can be submitted now for the 2012-13 school year. The applications are processed on a first come, first served basis, so it is important to submit an application as early as possible. If you are interested in additional information, contact Lori Anne Henderson at 1-3612 (University Children's Center) or Rebecca Slenk at 847-475-8580 (McGaw YMCA Children's Center).

FASIS Updates 

Tax Filing Deadline April 17

 

Don't forget!  The tax filing deadline for U.S.-sourced income is Tuesday, April 17, 2012; non-resident students that received only scholarship/fellowship income in 2011 have until June 15, 2012, to file.

 

All Northwestern employees and students should have received tax forms required for filing their 2011 federal and state tax returns.  If you have not received your W-2 and are a current employee, you can access and print it yourself at any time via Self Service. Simply log in, navigate to Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View W-2 Forms, and choose the "Year End Form" link.  An official copy of your 2011 W-2 will open, which can be printed on regular paper.  If you are not a current employee and need a W-2 reprint, please contact payroll. Non-residents that are expecting Form 1042-S and have not received it should also contact payroll.

Learning & Organization Development

The Northwestern University Learning & Organization Development (L&OD) team collaborates with faculty and staff who want to develop their talent and advance their workplace outcomes, processes and engagement. L&OD provides consulting, coaching, workshops, retreats and tools for individuals, groups and organizations.

 

Become a More Effective Project Leader

Looking for a chance to learn more about project management in an engaging, interactive setting? Plan to attend the Project Management Essentials workshop on April 24 (Chicago campus).

 

At this workshop, you'll have the opportunity to engage in real-world project planning from start to finish. You'll also gain valuable project management skills including:

  •          identifying the necessary project participants (and when they should be included)
  •          ensuring that critical project tasks are not forgotten
  •          completing your project on time and within budget

Once you've completed Project Management Essentials, round out your project management expertise, and attend the one-day Microsoft Project 2010 workshop on May 18 (Evanston campus).

 

Enhanced Workshop Searching Now Available

Have you checked out the new Course Listing page on the newly redesigned HR website? Use the filter options on the left side of the page to hone your search by selecting your desired campus, quarter, category or intended audience.

 

L&OD offers a variety of workshops and opportunities to help improve workplace performance. Check them out!

 

Questions? Comments? Contact the L&OD team via email or 847-467-5081.

 

HR Services

Preparing for Annual Performance Evaluations


With the annual performance review process just around the corner, it is a good time for managers and staff to think about their formal performance conversations. Here are some questions to consider as you prepare to talk with your manager: 

  • Looking back over the year, what were my significant accomplishments?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • What new activities or projects was I responsible for? What were the outcomes related to those initiatives?

It may be a good idea to review your job description so that you can link your daily activities and special projects to the major responsibilities of your position.  If you previously set goals for this fiscal year as part of the Performance Excellence process, review your progress against those goals. For example, if one of your responsibilities was to lead a system implementation in your department, did you meet the project deadlines? Did the implementation go smoothly for users? If you didn't meet one or more of your goals, identify the reasons why. Think about them in terms of those issues that were under your control and those that weren't. For example, if you didn't meet the system implementation deadline in the illustration above, was it due to a lack of effective planning on your part, or was it something less controllable, such as a hold-up with the vendor with whom you were partnering?

 

Think about what skills are important for you to further develop in order to enhance your professional growth. Identify one or two growth areas that will capitalize on your strengths or that may be important for your career development. For example, if you improved your public speaking skills, would this strengthen your overall performance? Or, would you benefit from the mentorship of someone more senior in their career within your field of work? With preparation on your part, the annual performance review can give you valuable information about yourself and your contributions to Northwestern.

 

If you're a manager looking to learn more about the Performance Excellence process, attend one of the upcoming workshops:

 

Performance Excellence for Managers I:  Initiating the Process

May 8, 9am - 4pm Chicago

May 17, 9am - 4pm Evanston

 

Performance Excellence for Managers II:  Completing the Process

April 10, 9am - 12:30pm Chicago

April 19, 9am - 12:30pm Evanston

 

Employees can look for Performance Excellence: What, Why and How in June, 2012.