The September 2023 issue of the HR Source newsletter is out now! Find important information on emergency responses to the August wildfires, register for the Quarter Century Club breakfast, and start planning for December holiday reduced operations. Find reminders from the Benefits unit focused on new employee, benefit, and retirement orientations; get updates from the Modernization team; and explore a wealth of learning opportunities.

In the September 2023 issue you’ll find:

August Wildfires

A firefighter fighting a wildfire.
(DOI/Neal Herbert)

Important information on response to the August Wildfires. On August 19, 2023, Governor Jay Inslee issued an Emergency proclamation – August Wildfires, #23-05, which directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to respond to and recover from the event. Should you have questions about leave related to the recent wildfires, please refer to the HRS Inclement Weather FAQs or reach out to your HR Service Teams. If you or someone you care about has been affected by the devastating fires in Eastern Washington, EAP is here to support you through this difficult time. They have provided a resource guide containing self-care tips, articles, and resources in addition to crisis support contact information.

2023 WSU Quarter Century Club Breakfast

QCC logo with the words: Celebrating 25 years.

2023 WSU Quarter Century Club Breakfast registration is open now through Sept. 19. You are invited to attend the 90th annual Quarter Century Club event in Pullman. We hope you can join us to recognize the 2023 Quarter Century Club honorees. General attendee registration for the Quarter Century Club Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 5, is now available. Registration is $18.95 per person and includes a buffet-style breakfast. The M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom doors located within the Compton Union Building (CUB) will open at 9 a.m. and the program will begin at 10 a.m. If you would like to attend, please register by Tuesday, September 19.

December Holiday Reduced Operations

Remember to begin planning for December Holiday Reduced Operations. WSU campuses will be closed Monday, December 25, 2023; Tuesday, December 26, 2023; and Monday, January 1, 2024 in observance of University Holidays. December Holiday Reduced Operations will be: Wednesday, December 27; Thursday, December 28, 2023; and Friday, December 29, 2023. Most university operations and services will be unavailable during this time. Departments are encouraged to be as flexible as possible when determining schedules during the December Holiday Reduced Operations.

Inclement Weather

Fall and winter are around the corner! Information regarding personnel processes during inclement weather and/or suspended operations are available on the Inclement Weather webpage.

Workday updates

Workday Feature Release September

Workday Feature Release coming on September 8-9, 2023. Learn more about what’s coming, and visit the Feature Release Hub in the coming weeks for more updates.

Register for the Elevating Cougs conference

Elevating Cougs conference logo of a route up a mountain.

Registration is now live for the Elevating Cougs conference, which will be held virtually October 19 & 20, 2023. Learn more about the conference, register, and explore tracks and sessions on the Elevating Cougs website.

Prepare for October Mass Salary Increase

Departments are encouraged to prepare for a Mass Salary Increase for Administrative Professional and Faculty employees, effective October 1, 2023. Prepare for these blackout dates by reviewing the October 2023 HCM Mass Action Timelines and Options reference guide.

New Time Entry Codes guide

Modernization has created a new reference guide providing information about Time Entry Codes available to WSU employees on the Time Entry Calendar in Workday.

Workday drastically reduces paper use

Read about how much paper has been saved by switching to Workday, and how going paperless helps WSU in a variety of ways.

Benefits updates

New Employee, Benefit and Retirement Orientations

A reminder that the New Employee, Benefit and Retirement Orientations are all offered on-demand. Benefit eligible employees still need to make benefit elections within the first 31-days of hire via Workday, and if they miss the deadline they will be defaulted into a medical and dental plan, with associated premiums.

Suicide Awareness Month

Join us September 12 from 2-3 PM for a training aimed at helping you understand mental
health, suicide prevention best practices, and what you can do now to care for yourself. Suicide prevention and intervention resources are available through the Employee Assistance Program and on the WSU Wellness Mental Health Services website.

In the event of an immediate or life-threatening crisis, call or text 988 to reach the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Pre-Retirement Seminars

If you are considering retiring in the coming months, join a Pre-Retirement Seminar! Held monthly, these seminars cover retiree insurance, medicare and social security, VEBA and leave payouts, retirement income/supplementation, and more.

Wellcoug logo.

Take charge of your wellness with SmartHealth!

SmartHealth is Washington State’s voluntary and confidential wellness program, available for all benefit-eligible employees to participate. Medical plan subscribers are eligible to earn a Wellness Incentive in the amount of $125, either as a reduction in your deductible or a deposit into your HSA (depending on which plan you enroll in for 2024). Points must be earned by November 30 to qualify, so head over now and get going!

Voluntary Retirement

Are you looking to increase your retirement savings? Voluntary Retirement Plans through TIAA and DRS are a great way to set more aside for your future, and starting October 1, a Roth DCP option will be available as well. For more information on this option, visit DRS News or attend a webinar.

Learning Opportunities

WSU Staff Mentoring and Professional Development Program.

WSU Staff Mentoring and Professional Development Program

This refreshed program has been updated to include more facilitated opportunities for mentors and mentees, as well as a continued partnership with Kathleen Cowin, Ed.D. and Associate Professor (Career Track) of Education Leadership at WSU and WSU Tri-Cities. Applications for both mentors and mentees are being accepted through September 15, 2023.

2023 Employee Engagement Survey Results

Thank you for your participation in the 2023 Employee Engagement Survey! WSU recognizes the value in providing employees an opportunity to share their experience of working at WSU, in addition to feedback as we continue to grow as an organization. Detailed overall results as well as comprehensive results for each college/area are now available.

National Online Learning Day: September 15

National Online Learning Day is an annual observance that celebrates the transformative power of digital education and emphasizes the accessibility and flexibility that online platforms offer. It serves as a reminder of the continuous evolution of education, of bridging geographical gaps, and providing opportunities for lifelong learning.