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Office of Human Resources                                                       February  2013

 

 HR REVIEW

 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information
Payroll

W-2s for Tax Year 2012

 

If you opted in to receive an electronic W-2 this year, your 2012 W-2 became available to view and print in FASIS Self Service on Tuesday, January 22.  If you are a current employee but did not opt in, a traditional paper W-2 was sent to your University check address on Thursday, January 24.  Paper W-2s were also sent to the home address for all inactive (terminated) employees, temporary employees (including work-study) and for any graduate student that has not been paid in the last 30 days.

 

Need to reprint your W-2?  All current employees can easily access and reprint an electronic W-2 at any time, by logging into Self Service with your NetID and password.  Simply navigate to Self Service  > Payroll and Compensation > View W-2 Forms, and select "Year End Form" to download and print an official copy of your 2012 W-2. Reprint requests for inactive employees should be directed to the Payroll Office.

 

In order to allow sufficient time for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the forms, requests for replacement W-2s will not be accepted until February 18.

 

Inside This Issue
Payroll
Upcoming Events
Benefits
Staffing
Learning and Organization Development
Work/Life Resources
Compensation
Service Recognition
Announcements
Quick Links
Upcoming Events

On The Road to Financial Success   

Evanston: Tuesday, February 5th, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Norris Center, Chicago Room

Chicago: Wednesday, February 6th, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Lurie Center, Gray Room

   

Northwestern University Office of Work/Life Resources and First Northern Credit Union are co-hosting a financial education seminar. First Northern Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that serves the faculty, staff and students of Northwestern University. First Northern has developed a specialized CreditSense program in partnership with GreenPath, a non-profit company that focuses on partnering with clients to help them achieve their financial goals. In addition, GreenPath provides a debt-consolidation service. 

 

At this workshop, participants will learn:

  • Money management tips
  • Debt repayment strategies
  •  Ideas for rebuilding and protecting your credit

If you are interested in attending, please R.S.V.P. to Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460.


Weight Watchers @ Work
Meetings are held every Thursday from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. at the Searle Health Services Building, 3rd floor, room 220. New members can sign up through the NU Employee Portal at Weight Watcher's @ Work, ( employer ID:8908; employer passcode: WW8908 ). For more information, contact Tamara Rosner at t-rosner@northwestern.edu or 1-2209.
Benefits  

Generics Preferred Program through Express Scripts

 

You may recall that effective January 1, 2013, we introduced the Generics Preferred program through Express Scripts, our pharmacy benefits manager (PBM). With an eye toward cost savings for all of us, generic drugs are the preferred formula when filling a prescription.  

 

In choosing the generic brand versus the brand name, you simply pay the co-payment of $10 for a 30 day supply. Should you choose the brand name drug when a generic is available, your out of pocket cost will be considerably more because you will pay the brand co-pay plus 50% of the difference in cost between the generic and brand.    

 

What are generic drugs?

 

Generic drugs have the same chemical makeup as the original brand-name drug. More people are choosing them because:
  • Safe generics have the same active ingredients and work in the body the same way as their original brand-name drugs. They're also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), just like brand-name drugs.
  • Effective - they're just as strong and deliver the same medical benefits as the brand-name drugs.
  • Less expensive - they aren't advertised like brand names, and they cost less to produce, so the savings are passed along to you in the form of a lower co -payment.

How does the generics preferred program work?

 

The next time you refill a prescription, you may be able to choose either a generic or the brand name drug. Here are your options:  

 

  • If you choose the generic, your co-payment will be lower than for a brand name drug.
  • If you choose the brand name, you'll pay your co -payment plus 50% of the difference in cost between the generic and the brand name drug.
  • If there is not a generic available for the brand, there will be no change in your co-payment.
Staffing and Consulting 

Internal Transfer Requirements

 

If you are a staff member of the University and are thinking about transferring to a new position, it is important that you understand the requirements for transfer before applying. To be eligible for a transfer or promotion, a staff member must meet the following requirements:

  • Be in your current position for at least one year.*
  • Have an overall rating of "satisfactory" or "effective" (that is, a rating of "3" or higher) on your most recent performance review.
  • Have not received any disciplinary action for 6 months prior to the transfer request.
  • Meet the minimum qualifications of the position(s) to which you are applying.

* Please note that no specified service period is required for a transfer or promotion within a department, although a department may reasonably limit such transfers or promotions.

 

In addition, a background investigation is conducted for all transfers and promotions, prior to commencement of the transfer or promotion.

 

For more information regarding these requirements, please contact your Staffing Consultant or Human Resources Consultant.

 

Civility in the Workplace

 

As members of the Northwestern community, individuals are expected to interact with each other with civility, respect and consideration. A respectful work environment is important for a number of reasons and can positively impact morale, teamwork, and productivity.  

 

Here are several tips to promote a healthy and respectful work environment:

  • Be open-minded. Consider there may be viewpoints other than yours, or that you could be wrong.
  • Pay attention to your tone and volume. Be mindful not only of what you say, but also how it comes across.
  • Depersonalize your comments. For example, rather than say "You always get this wrong," say "This report was incorrect again. Let me help you understand the errors."
  • Be aware of your own defensiveness.
  • Avoid accusations and ask questions instead. For example, rather than say "You're being hysterical," ask "Can you help me understand where you're coming from?"
  • Don't interrupt. Allow others an opportunity to respond and give them your attention.
  • Address conflicts in private when possible.
  • Remember pleasantries.
  • Don't assume that others will always tell you if they are uncomfortable.

It is important to acknowledge that each person sees the world through his or her own lens. Your colleague's perception may be different than your own. Therefore, as you consider your own words and actions, try to take others' viewpoints and reflect upon how the situation will be interpreted.

 

For additional information, please access Northwestern University's Guidance on Civility and Violence or contact your Human Resources Consultant.

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.

   

Registration Now Open for Spring Workshops 

Registration is now open for workshops offered in March, April and May. Check your mailbox for our spring catalog or look online to see what's coming up. 

 

Spring workshop highlights include:

  • Connecting with NU Collaboration Services on March 6 - Learn More.
  • Crucial Conversations� on March 13 & 20, April 9 & 16 - Learn More.
  • Getting Things Done� on March 19 and April 18 - Learn More.  

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

Follow our Twitter feed to get L&OD's best picks of upcoming events and learning resources.

Questions? Comments? Contact the L&OD team at workplace-learning@northwestern.edu or 847-467-5081.

Work/Life Resources

Financial Fitness

 

It's a new year, and many of us are reviewing our finances, reassessing our spending habits and resolving to make changes. Here are a few tips from the experts:

  • Go on a fiscal fast: do your essential shopping; then try to go a week without spending any additional money. You may be surprised at the places where you don't feel the pinch. Expert advice from Jeff Yeager, author of "How to Retire the Cheapskate Way". For more tips on saving money. 
  • Find out where your money is going: know what you spend: track your expenses for a month. Write it down or save receipts. 
  • Many banks now have software to help you track your expenses. There are also sites like mint.com that can link directly with your accounts to help you track expenses.
  • Many new apps help save money: GasBuddy helps locate gas stations near you to compare costs and find the least expensive price. Apples2Oranges helps you compare price and quantity in the store.
  • Review and reduce your debt:
    • Pay off your highest interest cards first.
    • Keep only one or two major credit cards.
    • Stop credit offers from arriving in your mail by calling 1-888-5OPT-OUT or 888-567-8688.
  • Stop leaks: According to CNN Money Magazine, here are the most common leaks:
    • Not using the data you pay for
    • Paying for a storage unit
    • Renting a modem from your cable company

Interested in learning more? Join us for the upcoming workshop:  

 

On The Road to Financial Success   

Evanston: Tuesday, February 5th, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Norris Center, Chicago Room

Chicago: Wednesday, February 6th, Noon - 1:00 p.m. Lurie Center, Gray Room

  

Northwestern University Office of Work/Life Resources and First Northern Credit Union are co-hosting a financial education seminar. First Northern Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that serves the faculty, staff and students of Northwestern University. First Northern has developed a specialized CreditSense program in partnership with GreenPath, a non-profit company that focuses on partnering with clients to help them achieve their financial goals. In addition, GreenPath provides a debt-consolidation service.

 

At this workshop, participants will learn:

-   Money management tips

-   Debt repayment strategies

-   Ideas for rebuilding and protecting your credit

 

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460.

   

Real Estate Workshop

Chicago: Wednesday, March 13th Noon - 1:00 p.m. Lurie Center, Gray Room 

Evanston: Thursday, March 14th Noon - 1:00 p.m. Norris Center, Chicago Room

 

Are you a first time home buyer? Maybe you own your home and are considering a refinance or wondering about what is happening with today's real estate market. Join this experienced panel that includes: an attorney, real estate agents and mortgage brokers. They will provide a comprehensive overview of the local real estate landscape. Participants will learn about: selecting a real estate broker; general mortgage information and finding current financing; and the legal issues involved in real estate transactions.To register, please contact Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460.

 

On-Going Programs

 

The Work/Life Balance Support Group meets monthly at noontime to discuss personal and work related problem-solving. New members of the faculty and staff are welcome.  For further information please call Phyllis Ellis 7-1460 or email.

 

The Elder Caregiving Conversation for Caregivers Group meets monthly at noontime on both campuses, and is open to all those who are providing care or anticipate providing care for their elder family members and friends. New members of the faculty and staff are welcome.  For further information, please call Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460 or email.

 

Flu Prevention Tips: click here for information provided by Perspectives to help prevent the spread of this season's flu.

Compensation

Job Families

 

Professional development is a high priority for Northwestern.   A key item defined by the 2011 Northwestern We Will Strategic Plan "encourages and enables staff to contribute to the education and research missions of the University and to learn and advance in their individual careers."    

 

Job families provide the framework to easily compare how personal career goals and objectives dovetail with professional growth opportunities within the University.   These job families assist staff in progressing through their careers by defining job hierarchies along with associated duties, responsibilities, and education and experience requirements within each level.

 

The beginning of the new year is an opportune time for staff to revisit their career aspirations. Staff members are encouraged to take the time to review the job families, compare the opportunities with their personal career goals and objectives, and in conjunction with their supervisor create a plan for continued professional growth and development.

 

We will continue to create job families in 2013 and beyond until all functional areas/disciplines are defined. In 2013, the Finance, Accounting, Audit and Budget; Program and Project; and Marketing and Communications job families will be communicated and implemented. As with all job families, these new families will:

 

  •  Provide clearer definition, differentiation, and clarification of jobs
  • Summarize career paths that provide staff with professional growth opportunities within the University

 

For more information about job families, please contact the Compensation Consultant that supports your area, or your manager.

 

Job families can be found on the HR Website.

 

 

Service Recognition

How to Nominate a Staff Member for NU Employee of the Year Awards 

 

The Office of Human Resources is accepting nominations for the NU Employee of the Year awards. The Employee of the Year awards recognize seven staff members across the University, including Qatar, as finalists for their outstanding contributions. From the seven finalists, one will be announced as the Employee of the Year winner at the annual Staff Service Recognition Luncheon.

 

All staff members who have been employed at least three years, are in good standing, and have not previously been named Employee of the Year are eligible. Finalists from past years are eligible.

 

Nominations are due by Friday, February 15, 2013.

 

Additional information, instructions and the nomination form are available at:

 

http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/hr-services/employee-recognition/index.html

 

If you have questions, please e-mail Maudell Gaines at maudell-gaines@northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7509.

 

Announcements

Milestones

Building stronger teams by recognizing important events in staff lives

 

Birthdays, babies and the passing of loved ones are important events in all of our lives. Both joyous and mournful events can have profound effects on staff at the University, and within our Northwestern community, colleagues and managers often ask what can be done to recognize these events.

 

Last October, the Northwestern Staff Advisory Council (NUSAC) asked key leaders across the University which types of events their departments and centers regularly recognize. Among the most common replies were:

  • Birthdays
  • Death - of a spouse/partner, parent, sibling, child or close friend
  • Birth/Adoption - of a child/grandchild

Other common responses included retirements/going away parties, NU service anniversary milestones, completion of a degree, or recovery/treatment from major illness.

 

No team is alike in size, composition, or character, and thus recognition of these events, or others like them, takes many forms. For example, while it may be feasible to bring a cake for birthdays to a small office, a 100-person department can't do the same! However, common responses included:

  • A card purchased and signed by department members
  • Collections for a present/memento
  • Gathering for a small meal/potluck

Recognition of life events by one's colleagues is a valuable part of building and maintaining a strong community. Still, it's important to remember that not all staff members are comfortable celebrating personal milestones in a professional setting. It is incumbent on supervisors to have a conversation with an employee before involving the larger team. Also, please remember that departmental funds cannot be used to purchase gifts or cards; review all rules and guidelines, both at the University and departmental levels, regarding use of funds for food items.

 

Additional questions about policies and guidelines for recognition of milestone events can be directed to

nusac@northwestern.edu

 

To view a summary of the Milestone Survey results, click here.