As promised, The Pulse has compiled questions from recent University Updates that were relayed to appropriate departments/offices. Here are answers to the questions, provided by those who are in the know.
Update participant: When will the employee holiday schedule be updated on the NEOMED website?
Response provided by HR: The website is now updated with the holiday schedule.
Update participant: Will July 2nd be included as holiday leave?
President’s Office: July 5 will be our recognized day off.
Update participant: Will there be any information distributed about other employee concerns such as changes to the wellness plan, PFS process, and/or future plans for regular employee pay increases for inflation or merit-based purposes?
HR: We will be sending communication this month regarding changes to the wellness plan, offerings and initiatives. Karen Tomlinson and Jacy Watson are working on this with an intention towards noting the change to the wellness discount but also highlighting the new offerings/challenges, programming and prizes. Additionally, there have been some positive and much-needed changes made to the PFS process and model in response to employee and manager feedback. Training will be coming soon.
In the meantime, we will be offering SMART goals training to help employees begin entering their goals into Cornerstone. This training will include a recommendation that employees connect their goals to the four focus areas of the strategic plan: Leadership, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Developing People and Exceptional Experience. More communication about training will be forthcoming, so watch your email and The Pulse.
As for future compensation, Dr. Langell has talked in the Town Halls about reviewing positions in the fall to align pay with experience and performance. Any future increases will be determined by the budget process and administrative approval.
Update participant: With a return to normalcy, will there be increased availability of services on campus, such as food service, longer hours at the coffee shop, or options in the vending machines, which are currently empty?
Conference Services: Our intent is to expand our hours in the Bistro and Coffee Shop upon the return of the M1s, starting July 17. We will evaluate the traffic flow and interest in additional hours beyond that to consider any further expansion. We are also very excited, on all retail food service fronts, for the Summa ribbon cutting and opening (to be announced) as it will bring over 70 new Summa employees to campus in addition to all the new patients seeking Summa’s various services. We are working with Summa marketing and HR on how to best reach their employees and patients.
We have discussed the addition of some convenience store food and sundry items to save the campus community a trip across the street to Giant Eagle.
Update participant: Will the physical therapy care be offered again with reduced co-pays for employees?
President’s Office: HR will be providing an answer to this question in the near future.
Update Participant: What else might be put into the vacated area on the first floor of B [old Wasson Center location]?
President’s Office: Vice President Mary Taylor has established a space committee to address these issues.
Update participant: Will we be able to have our travel expenses reimbursed now?
Operations and Finance: Technically, we never stopped reimbursing business expenses including travel ― but we have had a prohibition against travel, due to the COVID pandemic. Dr. Zarconi is working on updating COVID guidelines, including travel, for the next fiscal year. We expect the guidelines to mostly lift the travel ban, with some exceptions for countries that are hot spots.
Please look for updated guidelines to be posted soon on the COVID webpages. We did plan for increased amounts of travel in the FY22 budget, but you should confirm that your planned business travel was included in the budget. Please let our office know if you have any additional questions or need further clarification.
University Updates Moves to the Watanakunakorn Auditorium
With our return to normalcy option in place, all future University Updates will be presented from the Watanakunakorn Auditorium, starting July 19. Those who are vaccinated may attend in-person without masks. The Zoom webinar will still be provided as an option, but we look forward to convening again and seeing all of your friendly faces.
The Pulse will continue to provide answers to questions that are relayed to the appropriate departments/offices for responses following future University Updates.