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HR Bulletin | June 2021

Thank You, HR Bulletin Readers!

As previously mentioned, the HR bulletin is moving to a quarterly publication schedule which means this edition is the last monthly bulletin you’ll receive from  Human Resources.

We’d like to say thank you for your support and for using the HR Bulletin as a source of news and announcements throughout the years. Please remember that although the monthly bulletin is coming to an end, providing you with timely and relevant information still remains our top priority.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Monthly emails from hr@txstate.edu
  • In-Depth website Content
  • A quarterly bulletin starting Fall 2021
  • And more!

Please contact Human Resources at 5.2557 for more information, and once
more, thank you to all of our Bobcat readers!

Free Insulated Totes for New Parents!


Calling all new parents-to-be! Through the Mother-Friendly Worksite program, new parents and parents-to-be can receive a gift which includes a portable Medela cool ‘N carry milk insulated storage tote and an educational book on breastfeeding,while supplies last.

These totes and books were made possible through a grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services as part of a Mother-Friendly Worksite Policy Initiative.

Congratulations new parents and parents-to-be! Enjoy your free gift! The gift is
available in the HR Benefits office in JCK 360.

For additional information on the Mother-Friendly Worksite program, visit the Work Life website or call Human Resources at 5.2557.

Academic Release & Tuition Support Program

Have you ever wanted to further your education without having to worry about tuition and fees? Through our Academic Release & Tuition Support Program, employees can take college credit courses and have designated tuition & certain fees waived. Participants may even receive paid release time to attend class, if their class are scheduled to meet during their regular working hours. As long as you’re a full-time, benefits-eligible employee and have supervisory approval, you qualify to participate!


DO I NEED TO SUBMIT THE ACADEMIC RELEASE & TUITION SUPPORT FORM?

Participating employees only need to submit the Academic Release & Tuition Support form if they are either:

  • Requesting paid class release time
  • Wishing to opt out of the fee waiver
  • Requesting to have designated tuition & fees paid for by your department

WHEN IS THE FORM SUBMISSION DEADLINE?


Academic Release & Tuition Support forms must be submitted by the 12th class day for Fall and Spring semesters, or the 4th class day for Summer sessions.


Upcoming Deadlines:

  • Summer I: June 4
  • Summer II: July 8

For more information, please visit our Academic Release & Tuition Support website, or contact Elizabeth Cruz at 5.2283.

Summer Insurance Enrollment Updates

Official Dates: June 21 - July 23

Summer Insurance Enrollment is here! This is your opportunity to make changes to your insurance and TexFlex benefits without experiencing a qualifying life event. Don’t miss this opportunity to add dependents, change dental plans, drop vision plans, or whatever changes you need to make to your TXST benefits.

Visit the TXST Summer Insurance Enrollment page to learn more about rates for next year, plan changes, and how to make your summer insurance enrollment changes (if desired).  ERS will be mailing personal benefits statements and summer enrollment guides to your address on file as of May 31. If you have moved, please log in SAP Employee Self-Service to update your address so future communications are not missed.

E-mail the Benefits Office if you have follow-up questions after visiting the TXST Summer Insurance Enrollment page.

Staff Service Awards

Staff Service Awards will be held as two in-person events at the LBJ Student Center in July. 2020 Honorees will be recognized on Monday, July 12.

2021 honorees will be recognized on Monday, July 19. Invitations will be sent later this month.

Just Launched: Performance Management Toolkit!

June 1 marked the start of a new Performance Management Cycle. To help you learn the ins and outs of the Performance Management process, we’ve launched a new resource: The Performance Management Toolkit!

What You'll Find:

  • Three animated tutorial videos with screen recordings; one for each phase of the Performance Cycle.
  • A new FlippingBook user guide with detailed instructions for both employees and supervisors.
  • A revamped Performance Management Website.

Questions? Contact the Performance Management Team.

 

Tips from the Training Corner

Building A Culture of Emotional Intelligence

According to a survey by LaSalle Network, 70% of employers are planning to transition back to the workplace come fall. While some employees may be ready to return to their office, 31% of employees are not comfortable with the return (Maurer, 2021). Aside from safety concerns, employees have found working from home to be rewarding in many ways – both professionally and personally. To avoid resistance and anxiety regarding this transition, everyone must work together to build a culture of support. A major building block of a supportive culture is emotional intelligence.   

What is emotional intelligence?  

Emotional intelligence was first introduced in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer but became well known throughout the workplace after Daniel Goleman’s contribution in 1995. Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is “the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and reason with emotions” (Cherry, 2020).
 
Goleman identified the following five components that are crucial for the development of emotional intelligence.  

  • Self-awareness – ability to understanding your own emotions
  • Self-regulation – ability to control your emotions
  • Internal motivation – ability to achieve goals  
  • Empathy – ability to respond to others  
  • Social skills – ability to develop and maintain relationships  

Why does EQ matter in the workplace?  

There are many benefits to having emotional intelligence in the workplace, especially during times of stress and uncertainty.  Leaders with high EQs can effectively communicate, manage, motivate, and build relationships with their direct reports and peers. Emotional intelligence is what separates average managers from great leaders, not their technical intellect or position.

Deep dive into the following LinkedIn Learning courses to learn how you can develop your emotional intelligence.  

How can you support your team?

Here are four tips on how you can support your team throughout this transition. Leaders and teammates alike can benefit from making a habit of these tips.

Tip 1: Lead with Empathy  

Extending empathy to your team will allow them to feel understood. Although you may not agree with someone’s point of view, this small but significant gesture can help foster relationships and increase team engagement (LaSalle, 2021). Empathy may or may not be a familiar skill for you, especially in the workplace. Get to know it more by checking out these additional resources:

 

Tip 2: Frequent Temperature Checks

Check- in with your team routinely to see how they prefer to work and how they are adjusting. Each employee feels different about the transition from pandemic working conditions to today. Create an environment where employees feel safe to share their concerns. Check out these additional resources:

Tip 3: Be Flexible  

With the return to campus, employees are having to readjust their recently adopted life and work style. Allowing flexible working hours can allow your employees to slowly transition back into the workplace. Resources are available to help you and your team understand the remote work and telecommute policies. Use these policies to adjust comfort zones individually while you collectively gauge what your team’s new normal could look like.

Tip 4: Promote Bobcat Balance and Wellness Program  

Remind your team to utilize employee assistance and wellness programs. Bobcat Balance services include: child care, elder care, wellness, and counseling, to name a few. The Texas State Employee Wellness Program allows employees to participate in two and a half hours of wellness activities per week. Attend the Culture of Health course to learn more about the wellness program and how your team can help build.    

Remember, it is the individuals with high emotional intelligence that are the most successful in the workplace (Roy, 2021). Taking the time to increase your EQ will not only benefit you, but your team and organization.  

 

Sources

Cherry, Kendra. (2020, May 25.) Utilizing Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace. verywellmind. https://www.verywellmind.com/utilizing-emotional-intelligence-in-the-workplace-4164713?utm_source=emailshare&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=mobilesharebutton2

Craig, Heather. (2021, February 23.) The Theories of Emotional Intelligence Explained. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-intelligence-theories/  

Jager, Tom. (2018, September 21.) Emotional Intelligence – What is it and why is it Important for your business? VirtualSpeech. https://virtualspeech.com/blog/importance-emotional-intelligence-workplace  

 LaSalle Network. (2021, May 11.) 7 Ways to Welcome Employees Back. https://www.thelasallenetwork.com/lasalle-network-blog/return-office-welcoming-employees-back/   

Maurer, Roy. (2021, January 4.) Some Remote Workers Not Comfortable Returning to Office. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/pages/remote-workers-not-comfortable-returning-to-office.aspx

New Talent Acqusition Website

The Office of Institutional Inclusive Excellence - Faculty and Staff Initiatives is excited to announce a newly-launched Faculty and Staff Initiatives website!

What you’ll Find:

  • Hiring Manager’s Corner which includes links to PeopleAdmin User Guides and the Staff Diversity Hiring Toolkit.
  • The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Program including helpful tips on how to enroll in and complete the certificate program.
  • Other helpful resources: such as forms, employment checklists, and much more!

For more information website launch date, please contact the Talent Acquisition team.

Approved Retirement Vendors

Our Bobcat community has seen an increase in solicitation attempts from from retirement vendors who are NOT affiliated with the University. As a reminder, a list of approved ORP & TDA vendors can be found on our approved ORP vendors website.

Questions? Please contact the Benefits team at 5.2557.

Join us in welcoming our new employee Bobcats!

Employees hired between April 1 - April 31

Russell Allen, Technology Integration Specialist I, Client Solutions

Gary Anderson, Parking Services Officer, Transportation Services

Shauntia Carr, Student Development Specialist I, VP for Finance & Support Services

Victoria Clark, Senior Lab Services Technician, Athletic Academic Services

Marianne DeCarlo, Administrative Assistant II, School of Health Administration

Rosendo Garcia, Plant Mechanic II, Utility Operations

Samantha Gomez, Acadmeic Advisor I, Applied Arts Academic Advising Center

Rachel Hall, Grant Specialist, Texas School Safety Center

Erin Hamilton, Grant Specialist, Center for Archaeological Studies

Daniel Hart, Undergraduate Admissions Specialist, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Shawna Posadas, Sleep Technician, Department of Respiratory Care

Cory Pruitt, Academic Advisor I, PACE Advising Center

Brandi Scarborough, Clinical Education Placement Coordinator, St. David’s School of Nursing

 

 

We remind all new staff employees hired during the past month that N.E.W. is designed to provide useful information to new staff regarding the resources, benefits, and opportunities associated with employment at Texas State University. For more info and to connect with other new bobcats access the official new employee website.

New Employee Welcome: Friday, June 11, 2021

In accordance with CDC guidelines of social distancing, monthly N.E.W. II sessions will be held virtually via Zoom from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Visit our updated N.E.W. II website for more information.

Contact the Office of Human Resources with questions at hr_odc@txstate.edu or call 5.7899.

Bobcats On The Move

Congratulations to the following employees who were promoted or reclassified. Employees promoted or reclassified between April 1 - April 31.

Patricia Cano, Promoted to Senior Administrative Assistant, Human Resources

Sheryl Fox, Promoted to Associate Director, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Michael Guardiola, Promoted to Microcompuer Lab Coordinator, School of Art & Design

Yuan Li, Promoted to Accountant II, Accountant Office

Scott Rouse, Promoted to Associate Director, Facilities Planning & Design

Jacob Sloan, Promoted to IT Projects Coordinator, Mobile/Web Systems

Lisa Tobias, Promoted to Administrative Assistant III, College of Applied Arts

Texas State Employee Discount Program

The Texas State University Employee Discount Program is the exclusive discount marketplace for you and your fellow employees. Thank you so much for all your hard work and continued support!

  • Costco | Close to home? Receive a $30 Costco Shop Card when you join Costco as a new member.
  • AT&T | Going virtual? Save $10 per line per month on AT&T’s Unlimited Elite Plan (including HBO Max).
  • DiscountGlasses | Take in the sunny weather with 25% off any order of high-quality frames from DiscountGlasses.com

June Courses

The featured courses are coordinated through Organizational Development & Communications. Registration is available through the SAP Portal. Please visit the OD & Communications Course Calendar.

June 2 | How to Have A Difficult Conversation

June 15 | Diversity 101

June 17 | WellCats Educational Series: Addressing Burnout

June 18 | LGBTQiA Allies Training

June 24 | Culture of Health

May Employee of the Month

Julie Eckart, Assistant Director for Health Promotion Services, Student Health Center

julie eckart and dr. emilio carranco
Julie Eckart and Dr. Emilio Carranco

 

As the Assistant Director at the Student Health Center, Julie leads Health Promotion Services, directly supervises several graduate student employees, and advocates public health on campus and within the community.
Julie has always been dedicated and passionate about her work at Texas State, and has become indispensable during the COVID-19 pandemic during which she has led Bobcat Trace, the university-wide contact tracing initiative at Texas State.


Bobcat Trace is a system wherein students, faculty, and staff can either report as a COVID-19 case or a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This process requires tracing staff to call COVID-19 cases, investigate who they may have exposed, and notifying those identified contacts. However, this is particularly difficult in the university-setting due to confidentiality laws regulated by FERPA and HIPAA when working with patients who are also students.


Julie took on this intense and complicated new task with fervor, integrating her duties as the leader of this team into her duties as Assistant Director such as: hiring contact tracers, investigating thousands of reports, collaborating with Hays County Health Department, and leading an interdepartmental team of professionals to successfully complete this initiative. This meant Julie regularly worked evenings and weekends at the start of the pandemic, and continues to be available during evenings, weekends, and even holidays. COVID-19 doesn’t take a break and neither does Julie.


Julie coordinated with the Department of Housing and Residential Life to develop a protocol for notifying them of positive cases and helping prepare processes for isolation and quarantining on-campus. Julie has been personally responsible for tracking positive cases in residence halls to look for evidence of transmission beyond roommates. In addition to her own contract tracing, Julie also reviews others’ reports to ensure accuracy.


 Julie remains the point person for many departments on campus as an expert for on-campus isolation and quarantine, and as an interpreter for CDC guidelines. Throughout the pandemic, Julie has remained diligent, calm, and compassionate and has often helped anxious students, parents, faculty, and staff through these unprecedented times. The low positivity rates and lack of major outbreaks on campus are a testament to Julie’s hard work with Bobcat Trace.


Julie’s work has not been limited to this pandemic. For 25 years, Julie has promoted healthy behaviors that support personal and academic success. She has worked in alcohol and drug abuse prevention, sexual violence prevention, and health education. She established Texas State’s Men Against Violence student peer organization and has advised other student organizations like Healthy Cats.

 

Quarterly Team Award

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Team

Every ten years, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) conducts institutional reviews to reaffirm the accreditation of universities and colleges across the region. This conference is of significant interest to Texas State University’s continued success as the Rising Star of Texas.


However, like many of our institution’s functions and services, the SACSCOC conference had to be conducted primarily online this year due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. The SACSCOC Technical Support Team undertook the tremendous task of transitioning the conference into an online setting, coordinating with staff, faculty, and over 100 students to develop and test a virtual conference with over 24 breakout sessions.
In addition to the countless hours and the 26 practice sessions that they spent planning and organizing the conference, the Technical Support Team provided on-site and online technical assistance and support to presenters and conference-goers, and creatively utilized technology to showcase Texas State’s campus, traditions, and programs.


The Technical Support Team combined technical experience, professional conduct, and a strong commitment to Texas State’s continued success to create a welcoming and seamless experience which allowed conference-goers to focus on the topics necessary to review the institution’s accreditation.