P&S Council considers strategic initiatives for 2019-20

The Professional and Scientific Council will focus on four broad priorities in the upcoming year, if it approves a set of strategic initiatives members reviewed at their Aug. 1 meeting.

The initiatives the council hopes to tackle in 2019-20 include improving employee engagement, strengthening advocacy, making pay and benefits more competitive, and creating a more supportive and welcoming work environment. The initiatives were proposed by the council's executive committee, incorporating goals members identified in small-group sessions at their July 11 meeting.

Here's the full text of the initiatives:

  • Expand efforts with university leadership to improve employee engagement, retention and satisfaction through effective supervisor training and support including hiring practices, robust employee evaluations, campus climate, as well as compensation inequities across departments and divisions.
  • Strengthen advocacy efforts and involvement in universitywide initiatives impacting P&S employees including the classification and compensation review process, improved service delivery (ISD) implementation, WorkCyte implementation, and the university budget model.
  • Advocate for competitive employee compensation and benefits as well as policies/procedures that make our workplace attractive including flexible work hours, telecommuting, professional development, and other benefits.
  • Continue to build and cultivate the P&S employee experience to create a work environment where employees are safe and feel welcomed, supported, included, and valued by the university and each other.

The council will consider approving the motion endorsing the initiatives at its Sept. 5 meeting.

Workday, ISD update

A trio of senior administrators updated the council on Workday and ISD, which both went live July 1. Much of the discussion centered on ServiceNow, the new software system used to track service requests for finance, human resources and information technology.

According to data through the morning of July 31 shared by interim vice president and chief information officer Kristen Constant, 24,125 requests had been submitted since ServiceNow launched May 19, at first just for handling IT issues. Only 11.8% of those requests remained active, meaning they are open, on hold or new. ServiceNow was expanded July 1 to human resources, finance and Workday issues, which generated 11,691 tickets, 15.1% of which remained active.

Interim senior vice president for operations and finance Pam Cain encouraged employees to be patient and avoid putting in multiple tickets for the same issue, as service team specialists have a backlog of requests. Interim vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr said HR specialists also had a significant workload in July, as they caught up with personnel changes temporarily put on hold during the transition to Workday.

"We're working through them," Cain said. "We'll get there."

If a ticket is marked as closed despite lingering concerns, reply to the email generated by the ServiceNow system and explain why the ticket shouldn't be closed, Constant said.

A running list of reported issues in progress helps track campuswide concerns with the Workday transition, which Cain said involved transferring more than 540,000 individual data points. Darr reminded employees to check their records in Workday to make sure everything is accurate, as they know the information better than anyone.

"That's really important to us," she said.

Responding to a question about reports available in Workday, Cain said staff are working to resolve security issues that have in some cases limited access. She said 30 custom reports were built in July to address specific reporting needs. In many cases, though, a report already available in Workday will provide the necessary data, Constant said.

"We have an awful lot out there. It's pretty likely one exists that would work for you. We just have to help you find it," Constant said.