June 6, 2008 — As the next step in the two-year process of gathering employee input about how to improve the University's human resources system, on Tuesday, June 10 (2 to 6 p.m.) and Wednesday, June 11 (8 a.m. to noon), employees are invited to review and respond to draft career paths that will guide employees in their career development. The events will be held at the John Paul Jones Arena.
Employees are encouraged to give feedback anytime through June 30 on both the career paths and the new human resources policy recommendations that are currently available for comment on the human resources Web site at www.hrs.virginia.edu/restructuring/.
Employee task forces, comprised of nearly 200 employees from across Grounds, met weekly for two months this spring to identify career paths among the more than 5,500 classified employees at U.Va. They identified 73 career paths (such as contract administration, project management and database administration), grouped in 15 career fields, including finance, general administration and information technology, respectively. A single career path will often encompass positions in many different departments across the University.
Task force members drew upon their own years of employment at U.Va. and elsewhere to identify the career paths. They will be at the arena to present and discuss the career path charts they drafted (see example), and to get feedback that might make the career paths more accurate or identify any career path variations that may have been overlooked.
"We are building this new system from the ground up based on several stages of employee feedback, from the focus groups and the resulting survey to the task force recommendations and responses to them," said Susan Carkeek, vice president and chief human resources officer. "I hope that more folks will take the time to review these recommendations and give us their feedback. We want to design something that uniquely reflects the needs, issues and values of this University."
The career paths will be a linchpin of the new HR system and will guide the design of employee training and development programs, the posting of new jobs, performance planning and evaluation, and the new market- and performance-based compensation system. The career paths will serve as "a guide for employees in terms of the skills that they need to progress in a career, and an idea of what skills the University values in those careers," explained Jim Traub, the project manager for the creation of the new system.
Career paths mean "basing the system around people and where they're headed," he noted.
University Human Resources has already received more than 200 comments on the task force recommendations, said Traub, including concerns about encouraging alternate work schedules as commuting costs rise, a request for mandatory management training for academic faculty who are supervisors, and a question about whether there is a tax liability for annual leave that is cashed out.
Classified and University salaried staff who attend with supervisor permission may record their time as hours worked.