From the Desk: John Whelan discusses updates with HR initiative

Feb. 15, 2017

It’s been a little over a year since we launched HR2020, a comprehensive review of the entire human resources function across all of Indiana University. I am excited to report that we have made a lot of progress the past 12 months to achieve our goal of ensuring that human resources helps employees, departments and campuses accomplish their most important objectives while also creating an environment where faculty and staff members feel engaged in their work and valued by our university. Even with the progress we want to highlight below, there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

John Whelan


When we met as an HR community in December 2015, I presented the results of a university-wide survey that asked faculty and staff two questions: 

  1. How important is each HR service for you to be successful in your role?
  2. To what extent is HR currently meeting your needs with each service?  

The survey results highlighted key areas to work on, including the need to operate more consistently throughout all of IU, simplify the recruitment and hiring process, provide more training and development for managers, create more professional development opportunities for staff and review the compensation system and philosophy.

Some of the highlights of our efforts:

  • We redesigned our delivery method for customer service in HR to increase the quality of service to employees and streamline HR transactions across the university. We have also been working with UITS and others to establish a new phone system, knowledge base and ticketing system to streamline the employee experience with HR. 
  • As part of the reorganization of our services, we created new and consistent titles for HR positions within HR operations and our Centers of Expertise.
  • We established meetings twice a year for the entire HR community across the university to come together to provide professional development, continuing education and an opportunity to network with colleagues from other departments, units and campuses. Never before have all of the HR professionals come together in this type of setting.
  • We re-introduced New Employee Orientation on the Bloomington campus because we heard and understood the need for an in-person orientation session. We also created a new website with information on the Bloomington orientation sessions with links to the orientation materials. Next we will begin to explore how to standardize a New Employee Orientation program across all campuses. 
  • We hired Tom McMahon as director of talent acquisition to work with our talent acquisition team to focus on hiring and onboarding processes. This spring Tom will lead a Rapid Recruitment Redesign workshop to collaborate with key stakeholders in the recruitment process and design a process that best meets the needs of the university. 
  • We are developing an Employee Engagement Survey for fall 2017 in an effort to better understand the needs of our employees. We plan to use the results to identify additional opportunities that make IU a great place to work. 
  • We also know that a comprehensive review of the compensation process and structure is important for the university. We opened a search for a director of compensation, and we are in the final stages of the selection process. This position will be responsible for leading and guiding the review across the university. 
  • In partnership with UITS, we have adapted Canvas as a more robust learning management system for registration, tracking and delivery of HR courses. IUPUI is the first campus to migrate to the Canvas system. More information on the course catalog will be coming soon. We will continue to expand training as we migrate other campuses to this new system.

We have been busy this last year. We are excited about the changes in the year ahead as we provide greater service to all employees, and we are looking forward to continuing this transformation of HR with the help and collaboration of our HR partners in departments, units, and campuses across the university.

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