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UI officials add new faculty email program

BY LINDSEY DRILLING | SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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Incoming faculty and staff at the University of Iowa will now have the opportunity of knowing their supervisors before meeting them.

At a UI Staff Council meeting on Wednesday, officials met to discuss a new program, OnBoarding.

OnBoarding is a program for new faculty and staff members to utilize to first email with their superiors to ease them into the work setting.

This program will be recommended in addition to the New Staff Orientation Program, which is a program for new employees where they discuss a job description as well as their job requirements.

“OnBoarding [will] get people engaged and make people want to do the work,” said Diana Leventry of the UI Human Resources Department.

Because the program is operates through email, it doesn’t cost the university.

The OnBoarding program is in effect at the University of Iowa, and many supervisors and new employees have had the opportunity to use the program.

The university defines OnBoarding as a systematic and comprehensive approach to orienting a new staff to help them get on “board.”

The OnBoarding process works through a series of emails between new UI employees and their supervisors.

“We have this phase [of the program] called periodic follow up,” Leventry said. “After 30 days, the new employee and supervisor get an email about what they could talk about. This could include how to talk to your supervisor about feedback. They get these emails after 30 days, six months, nine months, and then a year.”

In addition, officials said, OnBoarding was started as a way to keep staff retention rates up.

“We have seen that new staff members are most likely to leave their job within the first year,” Leventry said.

She said that the estimated cost of losing this staff is about one to two times the annual salary. That cost includes lost productivity, overtime, hiring costs, and orientation time.

Vanessa Shelton, an adjunct professor of journalism, said she believes the program could be somewhat beneficial for new employees.

“It is always helpful to have a little more guidance,” Shelton said. “Especially, if I was fresh and new to the university and new to the state.”


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