Benefits Support for March and April

Mallorie Nelson, UMSL’s Total Rewards Generalist, will be departing for maternity leave next week. Congratulations, Mallorie!

In -person support from 11:30 – 3:00 PM in 220 Woods Hall on March 9, April 6, and April 20th.

Phone and email support will be provided by Total Rewards Generalists from other UM campuses as follows:

03/01-03/07     Tony Redlinger, UM System            573 – 884 – 1477

03/08/-03/14    Mark Ellis, UM System                       573 – 884 – 2350

03/15-03/21     Marcia Lane, MO S&T                          573-341-6105

03/22 – 03/28  Tony Redlinger, UM System            573 – 884 – 1477

03/29 – 04/04  Ted Stahl, UMKC                                   816 – 235 – 1625

04/05 – 04/11  Tony Redlinger, UM System             573 – 884 – 1477

04/12-04/18     Marcia Lane, MO S&T                          573-341-6105

04/19-04/25     Ted Stahl, UMKC                                    816 – 235 – 1625

04/26-05/02     Mark Ellis, UM System                       573 – 884 – 2350

The HR Service Center is available Monday through Friday from 8AM – 5PM via phone (573-882-2146) or Email. 

Holiday Time Off and Winter Break Operations

All UM System Universities take a consistent approach to time off for Thanksgiving and Winter break.  This means that there will be no campus-wide early release and any time off on the day before the Thanksgiving holiday and on Christmas eve will need to be recorded as vacation or personal days.  Department managers are responsible for scheduling staff at a level appropriate for their customer demand.  

Winter break days are now governed by CRR 340.045 Winter Break Reduced Operations which specifies that Winter Break occurs “during the period starting the day after Christmas Day holiday is observed and running through the end of the day before New Year’s Day holiday is observed.”  The campus operating plan for Winter Break will be published in the next HR Update

Please call or email your HR Consultant or the HR Department if you have questions, and have a pleasant holiday season!

Merit Increases

As the performance cycle closes and the merit process begins, we wanted to update everyone on the process through September when merit increases will be effective.

With calibration meetings complete we will use the calibrated ratings to create the merit grid that will distribute our merit pool using performance ratings and compa-ratios to determine the amounts of increases.  This process will be complete by the end of July and exceptions will be considered and completed by the first week of August so that increases can be effective on September 1.

The UM merit pool this year keeps pace with increases in higher ed.  In a June 12 press release, CUPA-HR reported results from their annual Staff in Higher Education Annual Report which collected data from 857 higher education institutions with over 205,000 staff in 153 positions.

The survey shows the median salary increase for staff over the past year was 1.88 percent, a slight decline from the 1.93 percent median salary increase in 2018. The median salary increase was highest at baccalaureate institutions (1.99 percent) and lowest at associate’s institutions (1.52 percent).

Holiday Time Off and Winter Break Operations

This year all of the Universities in the UM System are taking a consistent approach to holiday time off and the Winter break.  What that means at UMSL is that any time off on the day before the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas eve will be handled like any other time during the year – with prior approval and using vacation or personal days .  Managers are responsible for scheduling time off in a way to staff appropriately for their customer demand through the end of these days.  There will not be a campus-wide early release.

Winter break days are now governed by CRR 340.045 Winter Break Reduced Operations which specifies that Winter Break occurs “during the period starting the day after Christmas Day holiday is observed and running through the end of the day before New Year’s Day holiday is observed.”  Departments may staff at minimum levels as in past years and will receive a separate email requesting their operating plan during the break.

Please call or email your HR Consultant or the HR Department if you have questions, and have a pleasant holiday season!



Wellness Incentive Tier 1 – Time is Running Out!

Complete your Personal Health Assessment and read the 2018 Healthy for Life User Guide by April 30, to be eligible for Tier 2.

A computer lab has been reserved for your convenience on Friday April 27, in Express Scripts Hall – Room 003. The computer lab will be open from 9 am to 3 pm to give everyone the opportunity to ask questions and complete Tier 1, before the April 30th deadline. Continue reading “Wellness Incentive Tier 1 – Time is Running Out!”

Help Victims During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  To show our support and bring awareness to the issues facing victims of sexual violence, HR/Title IX is sponsoring a drive to support Safe Connections, one of the region’s oldest and largest victim support organizations working to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence.

Donation of the items listed below will assist Safe Connections to help survivors of domestic and sexual assault.  Between April 9th through April 25th donation bins will be located throughout the campus including Woods Hall, Arts Administration Building, MSC (1st and 2nd floors) and Marillac Hall. Continue reading “Help Victims During Sexual Assault Awareness Month”

Live in Presence and Avoid the Drama Triangle

On the way into work one day I was listening to a story on NPR that triggered a string of thoughts to the extent that I completely missed the last part of the story.  This is especially easy to do in an age when most of our media comes with a ‘pause’ or a ‘replay’ button.  So until we are able to hit ‘pause’ and ‘replay’ on our conversations with people, our only option is to stay present.

Being present as a leader means attending to the here and now, being and moving in concert with what is happening.  It’s easy to drift away from presence – to shift into autopilot based on assumptions, to jump to conclusions or start building our response before a speaker has finished speaking.  The problem comes when those responses set us up to play one of the roles in the drama triangle.  The short video below explains each of those roles and it’s easy to think of times when we and others have been Hero, Victim or Villain.  We cannot play one of these roles and be present at the same time.

The key to Presence and avoiding the Drama Triangle is to recognize when you are drifting and to claim a more productive role (Coach, Creator, Challenger).  There are a number of ways to to shift back to Presence:

  • Adopt a beginner’s mindset:  Reverse the order you do things, take a different route to work.  This will help your mind to stay out of autopilot and help stay present in the moment of the task.
  • Use your opposite hand:  Use your mouse, brush your hair, etc. with the opposite hand. You really really have to focus on your the task (literally) at hand!
  • Reorganize your books: stack them in a spiral, or organize them by color.
  • Pay attention to the full experience of walking: Focus on the sensations, the small and large movements you make while walking, how objects seem to move past you, the temperature, the wind, etc.
  • Pay attention to the full experience of breathing: The sounds, sensations, smells, etc. (this is a great way to get into a deep meditative state).
  • Play the A-Z game:  As you walk, try to spot all the letters of the alphabet, in order, as you walk.
  • Periodically stop and smile:  Become aware of the immediate physiological response in your body. Feels great, doesn’t it?
  • Conscious breathing:  While you hold it, notice and name 5 things you can see, feel, hear.
  • Conscious listening:  Put down the phone, mute the TV, look at the speaker and listen to understand.

The result of practicing the shift to Presence is that you will be aware when you begin to drift or when you are assuming a role in the drama triangle.  When you are able to break out of the triangle and be present with those around you, you will find more possibilities, place less blame, feel freer to be you and find yourself making it to the end of more of those stories on NPR.


Moving Expenses Are Now Taxable Income

Under the recent tax changes, moving expenses are now treated as taxable income and need to be reflected as such on employee paychecks.  The UM Policy is currently under review.  In the interim we will be including the following language in employment offer letters:

“The University will reimburse you for the actual cost of eligible moving expenses up to  10% of your annual salary or $25,000, whichever is less.  A summary of eligible expenses can be found in the University’s Moving Expense Policy at note that due to 2017 federal tax law amendments, moving expense reimbursements will be treated as taxable income.”

Lousy Leaders Enjoy Swinging the Stick of Accountability

On his “Leadership Freak” Blog Dan Rockwell explores the issue of Accountability.  It’s one of those terms that sounds great but means different things to different people.  As a leader, accountability should start with the question of how you hold yourself accountable before you can expect to hold others accountable.  Until you answer the question for yourself your attempts to hold others accountable will sound to them like “How can I pressure you into doing what I want you to do and not be resistant?”.  Rockwell shares the following three thoughts on accountability:

Effective accountability:

#1. Accountability is for people who row together. If you aren’t rowing in the same direction, accountability becomes threat and punishment.

#2. Hold yourself accountable before holding others accountable. Openly develop your leadership if you expect people to develop theirs.

#3. Focus accountability on personal growth and development that adds value to self, customers, and colleagues.

Learn more about accountable growth on Leadership Freak.

Leaders are Readers: What are you reading?

Harry Truman famously said that “Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers.”

myLEARN is a rich source of thousands of books (print and audio), videos, online and instructor-led courses that are available free and on-demand to UMSL employees. Many of these resources count towards Continuing Professional Education credits to maintain professional certifications.  Need points for the wellness incentive?  myLearn courses count! Need to develop specific leadership competency?  Find myLEARN resources specific to each competency. Need a topic for a lunch and learn? You guessed it, it’s in myLEARN!  So whether you’re advancing your own leadership journey or your team’s, start with myLEARN.