Task Force Recommendations for Alternative Work Arrangements

AWA Themes

Increased Awareness, Communication & Education

Recommendation

Status

5.

HIRE AWA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Appoint a staff coordinator to develop communication mechanisms that increase awareness of and support implementation for alternative work arrangements.

 

Update

 

This position was posted for a period of time (fall-spring 2009) and did not yield viable candidates for a part-time position to coordinate AWA communication across campus. Given the EWLRC model of virtual communication, paired with the need of advanced program support, the resources for this position were directed to a staff coordinator that assists the department in a variety of special projects and initiatives such as staffing the Emory Hardship Fund, administering the financial education program, maintaining the Center website, etc.

Resources directed to a center support position, need to reevaluate

 

 

 

 

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Availability, Equity, & Support

Recommendation

Status

6

Promoting and Managing AWA Programs

Promote AWA information, including the awareness that not all positions will be amenable to AWAs due to job requirements, while at the same time encouraging supervisors and employees to seek creative approaches.

 

Update

Information on Alternative Work Arrangement is found on EWLRC web site. Other than the announcement of the AWA principles in summer 2009, there has been limited communication to staff and managers about the topic of workplace flexibility. The center has delivered 4 presentations on the topic for the HR rep certification program. In-depth research is required to fully understand the practices that are taking place across the Emory campus. A poll of campus HR leaders in Feb. 2011 indicated that flexibility is not a pressing concern for unit level HR management. However, the Center and leadership continues to hear stories of inflexibility and lack of support by first-line supervisors and middle management. As far as an action plan, EWLRC's immediate next steps are to: (1) determine the methodology to assess and evaluate the suitability of AWA programs of staff positions; (2) develop a series of resources targeted towards staff and managers that clearly outline the benefits of flexibility and the appropriate way/process to implement proposed solutions. Additional education and support systems for managers are needed in order to enhance flexibility across campus. In 2007, approximately 17% of staff reported participating in a formal flexible work arrangement. Based on our observations, we have seen a slight increase in the prevalence of telecommuting, although it is not part of a formal Emory program (arrangement is handled by the business unit). Finally, job sharing is considered a viable AWA option but in practice, utilization is almost nonexistent. There are administrative complexities and real barriers to job sharing that make this arrangement to implement in practice. For example, finding two staff members in the same job classification that are both looking for part-time work is very scarce.

Ongoing

6.1

INCREASING MANAGERIAL ACCEPTANCE OF AWA

Actively promote the AWA policy and encourage supervisors to identify which AWA can become an integral part of department management.

 

Update

See recommendation #6 update

Ongoing

6.2

ONGOING DISCUSSION

Provide flexible, yet realistic, and consistent discussion and assessment of AWA options across varied office environments. Identify positions within the University for which AWA’s are encouraged and already offered as primary options.

 

Update

See recommendation #6 update

Ongoing

6.3

TELECOMMUTING

Where feasible, increase telecommuting opportunities and resources in consultation with IT leaders to enhance support of technology, such as remote access, IT equipment, hardware, and confidentiality.

 

Update

See recommendation #6 update

Ongoing

6.4

JOB SHARING

Support job sharing as a means of increasing productivity, reducing absenteeism and turnover, and retaining valued employees.

 

Update

See recommendation #6 update

Ongoing

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Policy and Implementation Review, Assessment, On-Going Support

Recommendation

Status

7

AWA Policy Development & Implementation Support

Continue to seek out new and innovative alternative work arrangements and ways to implement them while eliciting input from all levels.

 

Update

EWLRC should develop a methodology for collecting the success stories and begin publishing those to the EWLRC web site no later than July 2011.

Ongoing

7.1

PROMOTE AWA SUCCESS STORIES

Provide an archive of AWA success stories to serve as role models for supervisors and employees.

 

Update

EWLRC should develop a methodology for collecting the success stories and begin publishing those to the EWLRC web site no later than July 2011.

Not Addressed

7.2

ONGOING AWA RESEARCH

Support ongoing research into AWAs adopted, with the recognition that individuals participating in AWAs may often perceive increased demands on their time.

 

Update

Feb. 2011 - EWLRC is working on developing a methodology to research the existing practices of AWA at Emory.

Ongoing

7.3

REFINE AWA POLICIES

Fine-tune AWA policies and procedures in light of input and feedback, and advances in available technology.

 

Update

See recommendation #7.2 update

Ongoing

7.4

PROVIDE AWA TRAINING FOR MANAGERS

Provide ongoing training and support for supervisors as they seek to implement AWA and/or other work-life-enhancing activities.

 

Update

Pending Review. This is a known issue and need for supervisors and managers. The main issue has been access, other than an open enrollment class.

Not Addressed

8

Support Work-Life Activities at Emory

Support the physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual well-being of faculty and staff with efforts coordinated throughout the University and support from the WorkLife Resource Center. In addition, extend programs to those employees who work evening or night shifts

 

Update

Where feasible, EWLRC will look for opportunities to promote and market existing programs on campus that may be of interest to faculty & staff (Arts, volunteerism, etc.)

As Appropriate

8.1

Increase Wellness Utilization

Encourage departments and units to support staff participation in physical exercise and other well-being activities, such as the existing PALS and Step Up Emory programs.

 

Update

Where feasible, ELWRC looks for ways to cross promote wellness programs and efforts on the main work-life web site. There is one section dedicated to "Health & Wellness" that is designed to capture the key wellness efforts.

Ongoing

8.2

Encourage Volunteerism

Promote incentives for community service work, such as work days dedicated to volunteer activities or volunteer weeks planned by entire offices.

 

Update

Where feasible, ELWRC looks for ways to cross promote volunteer programs or opportunities on the main work-life web site. In 2010, Ms. Adelson worked with Volunteer Emory to promote Emory Cares Day to faculty, staff, and their families.

Ongoing

8.3

Encourage Scheduled Time Off

Encourage employees to fully utilize vacation leave.

 

Update

Not addressed. Should discuss how to develop a resolution on WL and flexibility.

Not Addressed

8.4

Support Intellectual Life

Allow time for participation in the intellectual life of the University (ex. Lectures during work hours).

 

Update

One possible way to address this recommendation is through the flexibility initiative. The issue is quite complex; HR receives several requests and inquiries on overall flexibility for volunteerism, exercise, etc. In order to ensure equity, this topic needs to be addressed holistically.

See Flexibility

9

Develop and Pilot Staff Sabbatical Model

Based on the model of the faculty sabbatical, develop a pilot program for staff sabbaticals that can benefit staff and the institution by providing time for reflection, travel, humanitarian work, or professional development.

 

Update

In the spring of 2010, a working group led by AVP David Hanson worked over the course of several months on a comprehensive feasibility study on staff sabbaticals at Emory. Members included Amy Adelman, Wanda Hayes, Lisa Newbern,Aaronnette Jackson, John Kosky, and a representative from Employee Council. The study was presented to the WLEC in April 2010 for discussion and the proposal was temporarily tabled for further discussion.

Study Complete

10

Educate Campus on FMLA Policies

Establish clearer communication mechanisms for Emory's FMLA policy and provide FMLA training for supervisors and staff concerning FMLA policy, guidelines, and implementation.

 

Update

The ER/OD group is responsible for administering the University's FMLA programs. EWLRC briefly discussed this concept with the group in late 2009; ER has offered similar sessions in the past, but participation was low. Recommend addressing this concern in the flexibility initiative and strongly consider a recorded web-based tutorial on FMLA, from an employee and manager perspective.

Partially Addressed/Ongoing

11

Develop and Pilot Staff Sabbatical Model

Modify the short-term disability plan so that enrolled staff employees only take sick leave until the end of their selected elimination period" before short-term disability benefits begin.

 

Update

Change was implemented in January 2008

Complete

12

Develop and Pilot Staff Sabbatical Model

Charge the WorkLife Resource Center to develop a feasibility study on expanding maternity and parental paid leave options for staff. This report will draw on models provided by peer institutions.

 

Update

In the spring 2010, a working group led by EWLRC developed a feasibility study and provided a set of recommendations on enhancing this benefit for staff. In July 2010, the WLEC endorsed the recommendation, which was subsequently presented to the University Ways & Means Committee. Sick leave policy changes were approved and implemented (routine medical and adoption). The Parental Leave benefit was tabled pending follow-up work to evaluate the cost implications of implementing parental leave for staff. The adoption assistance benefit was not presented to Ways & Means as of February 1, 2011.

Complete; Pending

13

Establish Dual Career Program

Establish a dual-career program for partner hires though the WorkLife Resource Center and in consultation with the Office of the Provost that develops programs and systems to provide employment assistance for the partners of new staff and faculty.

 

Update

The Emory Search Group was assigned to design and deliver a comprehensive dual-career network model to address the need of employment assistance for trailing spouses or partners of new staff and faculty. Launched in fall 2010.

Complete

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