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Week 2

What are best practices for managing in challenging times?

Higher education is facing a unique set of challenges and opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to Gallup, 70% of how team members feel is influenced by their local manager. How these leaders respond is critical; managers should purpose to have engaging and continuous conversations with their teams focusing on meeting basic emotional needs. The Gallup Q12 Survey focuses on measuring 12 core items linking strongly to key institutional outcomes. While in the early stages of dealing with a disruptive event, there are four elements in particular that team members need to feel have been met in order for them to perform well:

  • Focus Me: Do team members know what is expected of them right now to keep the organization focused on the top priorities?
  • Free Me From Unnecessary Stress: Do team members have the materials and equipment they need to be free of unnecessary stress during this time?
  • Know Me: Do team members feel like managers know them, understand any unique challenges they might face at home right now and are supporting them to do what they do best during this challenging time?
  • Help Me See My Importance: Do our faculty and staff feel personally connected to the ways they are helping the organization navigate the crisis to emerge strong?

Utilize these points as a simple, research-based yes/no needs checklist to make sure team members are set up to succeed during this challenging time.

Mangers are at their best when acting as a coach.

Employees everywhere want someone to coach them through this challenging time – staff and faculty are no different.

Coaching means frequent conversations that continues even as teams become more geographically distributed and affected by factors like childcare challenges. In Gallup’s article, How Managers Can Excel by Really Coaching Their Employees, the following three actions exemplify proper manager-as-a-coach technique:

  • Establish expectations that are clear, collaborative and aligned with the organization’s goals
  • Have frequent, focused and future-oriented conversations
  • Create accountability that is fair, accurate, developmental- and achievement-oriented

Once parameters concerning these topics are introduced team-wide, one-on-one time should be devoted to understanding what team members can individually contribute through their talent. Gallup knows people are uniquely wired to respond to challenging times through their own talents and strengths. Consider how you process change personally and how your team members do it. Candidly discuss the following topics:

  • What talent do you bring to navigating this challenge? For example, a team member may have a talent to help the team develop a contingency plan to meet a specific student or internal/external partner need.
  • What do you need from the team to navigate this challenge well? For example, a team member may need regular touch points in a certain format to feel they are in the loop.

After facilitating such conversations, managers can feel confident to then empower their team members to assume responsibility for their own engagement – not forgetting to consistently have supportive conversations.  

Week 1

What do the staff/faculty you manage need right now?

Gallup has studied the needs of followers and discovered four basic requirements: trust, stability, compassion and hope.

These four needs intensify in challenging times and become guideposts for how we should interact and communicate. ­­Consider the following in relation to the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Trust: Communicate openly and authentically. Provide avenues to listen and respond.
  • Stability: Highlight what is staying the same for your team. For example, your mission to serve students/partners likely won’t change; how you deliver it might.
  • Compassion: Show you care. Make regular check-ins a priority with your team, even if they are virtual. Ask how they are doing and what they need.  
  • Hope: Provide a sense of hope. Help your team see that these challenges cause us to innovate and grow in new ways.

As team leaders and managers craft outreach strategies, these four dimensions are critical to keep in mind. They provide a useful structure to evaluate all outgoing communications, both for faculty, staff, students and partners. They are also useful to consider as a guide for one-on-one manager discussions as well as wider team discussions.

What are top considerations managers should weigh as more employees work from home?

Higher education institutions less frequently have home-based or virtual teams than other industries. For faculty and staff who are working from home for the first time, inventive management techniques are necessary.

This is a time where basic needs – which Gallup describes as expectations and materials/equipment issues – are critical. Effective communications, from the organization and reinforced and made relevant by the manager, are essential.

It is also important organizations remain focused on their values during the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to focus on values during times of disruption, not dismiss them. It is also a time for leaders to remain humble and authentic. This is new for everyone, and all organizations and leaders are adjusting as best they can, based on the latest information. Setting the expectation that the organization’s response will evolve and that we are all learning will help team members recognize that they would expect the situation to change.


Emanual George III, Associate Dean of Student Engagement & Alumni Affairs and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy, College of Pharmacy, UNTHSC, talks about creating a motivating environment in the “Leaders on Leading” audio clip series.  This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people.  Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.

 

With the recent changes to our environment with COVID-19, payroll checks will no longer be available for pick up on the UNT campus. Beginning April 1, 2020 and going forward any paper payroll checks will be mailed to your current mailing address on file. We encourage all employees to log into my.untsytem.edu and update your mailing address (under Personal Information) to ensure that your payroll check is mailed to the correct address.

If you are not interested in having your payroll check mailed to your home address and would prefer another method of payment we would encourage you to sign up for Direct Deposit or the Brinks Skylight Money Card to receive your payroll funds.

Benefits of Direct Deposit and Brinks Skylight Money Card

  • Avoid check cashing fees.
  • No paper to lose or damage.
  • Reducing paper waste is better for the environment.
  • Avoid a trip to the bank or ATM.
  • Direct deposit funds are available immediately on pay day.
  • Paychecks are deposited even if the employee is out of the office on payday.
  • Paychecks get deposited even in the case of severe weather
  • Direct deposit reduces the risk of identity theft.

What is Brinks Skylight Money Card and how does it work?

  • The payroll card is a physical MasterCard-branded card.
  • Each payday the employees pay will be deposited onto the card.
  • The card can be presented to a teller at any MasterCard Member Bank to receive up to 100% of your available balance.

Interested in signing up for Direct Deposit?

  1. Enroll in Duo multifactor authentication online at https://mfa.untsystem.edu.
  2. For questions or assistance for Duo, please contact your local department's IT support group, or the UNT System Service Desk at 940-565-4357 or ITHelp@untsystem.edu.
  3. Once securely enrolled, you will be able to update your direct deposit information at my.untsystem.edu.
  4. Once logged into my.untsystem.edu, click on "Payroll & Compensation" and then click on "Direct Deposit".
  5. Sign-in through Duo.
  6. Once completed, click "Add Account" and add banking information.
  7. Under "Deposit Type" you will want to put (Balance of Net Pay) (this option allows 100% of your check to go into your account) or list the amount or percent if you choose to split your payroll check into two accounts 
  8. Under "Deposit Order" it will be automatically filled with 999; please leave this setting as is
  9. Click "Save" once you have reviewed all of your information.

Interested in signing up for Brinks Skylight Money Card?

  1. Enroll in Duo multifactor authentication online at https://mfa.untsystem.edu.
  2. For questions or assistance for Duo, please contact your local department's IT support group, or the UNT System Service Desk at 940-565-4357 or ITHelp@untsystem.edu.
  3. Once securely enrolled, please email UNT System Payroll at payroll@untsystem.edu.
  4. Once we receive your email we will contact you about Brinks Skylight Money Card.


Donna Asher, Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer, Human Resources, UNT System, talks about how to navigate a difficult conversation in the "Leaders on Leading" audio clip series. This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people. Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.


Justin Stewart, Continuity of Operations Program Manager, Emergency Management & Safety Services, UNT, talks about the characteristics of an effective team and his role as a leader in developing effective teams in the “Leaders on Leading” audio clip series. This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people. Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.


Paula Bearden, ODE Organizational Development Consultant, Human Resources, UNT System, talks about what she has learned as a leader in the "Leaders on Leading" audio clip series. This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people. Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.

 

You can participate in the UNT World Well-Being offerings without using leave or your lunch break. UNT World’s new well-being program is about creating a culture of caring for our employees. We care about our employees’ physical, interpersonal and financial well-being and so we are highlighting and facilitating the many well-being related benefits that we and our partners (like ERS, Blue Cross Blue Shield and our retirement vendors TIAA, Voya, AIG and Fidelity) can provide. These opportunities may include health assessments, financial fitness workshops, interpersonal health workshops and many other HR-offered activities that will help you deal with stress, improve health and plan towards retirement.

These opportunities are for you, the employee, from us––your employer. You can attend these activities and trainings during your work day with supervisor approval. Supervisors are encouraged to allow employees to attend whenever possible. We hope you’ll join us as we build a better UNT World for all employees by participating in the UNT World Well-Being program “In the Green.” Come to a financial workshop, health assessment, session about well-being benefits or activity that helps you be a healthier and happier employee. These benefits are for you!


What’s it going to cost me?

One of the first questions that come to mind when we learn we need a medical procedure is how much will it cost.  As a participant in the HealthSelectSM plans you have a resource to help you find the answer. By logging into Blue Access for MembersSM, your online benefits portal, you can search Provider Finder to get estimates and compare costs for different providers.

Provider Finder also allows you to research specific procedures and their estimated costs at in-network providers.

By using Provider Finder, you’ll be able to:

  • compare costs for in-network providers and procedures,
  • compare quality ratings for those providers,
  • estimate out-of-pocket costs,
  • consider your treatment options and
  • save money and make the best use of your health care benefits.

To enroll:

Log in to Blue Access for Members and under "Quick Links."

Choose "Fitness Program." Here you can enroll, search for nearby fitness locations and learn more about the program.

Click "Enroll Now." 

Search and choose the fitness location that is best for you.

Or, you can enroll by calling (888) 762-BLUE (2583), Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT (6 a.m. and 6 p.m. MT).
After signing up, employees and enrolled family members can visit any participating fitness locations.

We are excited to announce that we are replacing our current Learning Management System (LMS), the Learning Portal, with UNT World Learning. The UNT World Learning platform will allow you to see required training assignments, register for face-to-face courses, and complete LinkedIn Learning training and/or other online courses.

Your training in UNT World Learning is easily tracked and displayed in a user-friendly dashboard format. In addition, UNT World Learning will allow users to participate in online training from their mobile devices. You can familiarize yourself with UNT World Learning through an optional course called “UNT World Learning Overview.”

UNT World Learning is now active and can be accessed through the employee portal or at: https://untworldlearning.untsystem.edu/. Should you need any training reports from the previous LMS (the Learning Portal), or if you have questions about UNT World Learning, please feel free to email us at ODE@untsystem.edu.

Important Reminder for HealthSelect of Texas® plans reset on January 1, 2020

Deductibles, coinsurance and total out-of-pocket maximums for HealthSelect of Texas® plans reset on January 1, 2020.

The coinsurance out-of-pocket maximum is the most you’ll pay in coinsurance during the year for certain health care services. The total out-of-pocket maximum is the most you’ll pay during the calendar year in coinsurance and copays for covered in-network health care services and prescription drugs. After you meet this limit, the plan will pay 100% of the allowed amount for in-network covered services. If you pay premiums for dependent coverage, those are not included in the out-of-pocket maximum amount.

Keep in mind, there are new total out-of-pocket maximums for the 2020 plan year. The 2020 total out-of-pocket maximums are $6,750 for individuals and $13,500 for families. For additional benefit details on your specific medical plan, refer to the Medical Benefits Guide.

If you’d like a refresher on more health care terms, visit this glossary of health care terms. You can also find more information by reading the Insurance 101: Understanding Your Medical Plan article. For questions, contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT.