A-to-Z Index

May Update

Open Enrollment for Health Benefits, Flexible Benefits, and AFLAC Ends May 16, 2011

Benefits representatives in Human Resources will be available during normal work hours and until 5:00 p.m., Monday, May 16, to assist employees with their Open Enrollment needs. Employees may also access EmployeeDirect at www.dhrm.virginia.gov to make enrollment changes through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 16.

New Benefit Offering:  AFLAC Short-Term Disability Insurance

If you are one of the following:

  • a classified employee in the old sick leave system;
  • a faculty member with peer coverage;
  • a part-time employee; or
  • a new employee in the VA Sickness and Disability Program subject to the one-year waiting period

you now have the opportunity to purchase short-term disability through AFLAC, upon qualification, which provides a source of income while off work for sickness and/or a non-work related accident disability.

Contact AFLAC representative, David Cook, by email at david_cook@us.aflac.com or by phone at 1-888-283-3323 with specific questions.

Good News! The $20 Cash Match Returns

Effective with the June 10 payroll period, the cash match for full-time state employees who participate in the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and/or the 403(b) plan will return to 50 percent of their contribution, not to exceed $20 per pay period.  For example, employees who contribute $40 per pay period to their 457 or 403(b) account will receive the full $20 per pay period cash match.

To change 457 Deferred Compensation Plan payroll deductions, go to www.varetire.org/. Select Commonwealth of Virginia Deferred Compensation Plan under the Defined Contribution Plans tab and log into your account using your password, or call the Plan Information Line, 1-877-327-5261.

To change your 403(b) payroll deduction, contact an HR benefits representative at 83970.

Recognition Leave Granted by the Governor

On Friday, April 22, Governor McDonnell granted state employees two hours recognition leave which must be used by June 30, 2011 and in the full two-hour increment. These hours appear on J-Ess under the Recog Leave heading.  Select leave type RL Taken (Recognition Leave Taken) and either the reason GL (Governor’s Leave) when requesting to use the two hours of recognition leave.

JMU Employee Self Service (J-Ess)

J-Ess gives employees access to the university's online pay, benefits information, and personal information system, where employees are able to:

  • view 1500-hour information;
  • add or edit leave requests;
  • view leave balances and history;
  • view pay advice and other compensation;
  • complete/change tax forms and direct deposit forms;
  • enroll in training;
  • view training summary;
  • include a nickname;
  • change home address;
  • update office/campus directory and emergency contact information;
  • request university emergency notification on cell phone;
  • maintain a personal record of learning and development achievements;
  • access self-service sites such as VRS, DHRM, and others.

Administrative and Professional Faculty Performance Evaluations

Supervisors of A&P faculty should conduct performance evaluations between June 1 and August 31. Visit http://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/hrsc/ap.shtml for information, an evaluation template, and related policies. Contact your HR Service Center Representative with questions or to schedule a personalized training session.

On the Move - HR, Training and Performance Unit, and Procurement Services  

Friday, June 17, Human Resources, the Training and Development Department, and our AVP’s office will say goodbye to our neighbors in the USB and JMAC 2, and relocate to new offices on the second and third floors of the Wine-Price building on North Campus. Procurement Services will join us in July when they move to the first floor of Wine-Price from Massanutten Hall.

Promoting Positivity – Providing Useful Feedback

Excerpts from Congratulations! You're the Supervisor, Now What?

Feedback is information for the consideration and benefit of the recipient. Our effectiveness at giving feedback is a powerful determinant of how others perceive and respond to us.

  • Give feedback for the right reasons. Feedback should always be helpful. Try to avoid the occasional mistake of giving feedback intended to harm the recipient or to show how perceptive or intelligent we are.
  • Give feedback at the appropriate time. Is the receiver ready to hear the feedback? Feedback about a particular event should be given promptly after the event, unless the receiver is upset or too distracted to listen.
  • Feedback must be voluntarily accepted.  The receiver always has the option to listen or ignore whatever feedback you offer.
  • Feedback begets feedback. Returning feedback is a natural reaction for many people. Because this is often a two-way conversation, it is useful to practice the art of listening while giving feedback.
  • Feedback is not the same as truth. When you provide feedback, you are presenting one perspective out of many. Recognize that you are not providing indisputable truth to the recipient – you are describing your perception and reaction to an event. Because it is subjective, feedback is more effective if it is specific and descriptive, not general and evaluative.

Test Your Nepotism and Employment of Family Members Knowledge

Question: The Nepotism Review Form needs to be completed by the hiring supervisor, prior to making a job offer, if the following exists:

  1. The applicant is related to, or residing in the same household as, anyone that works at the university.
  2. The applicant is related to, or residing in the same household as, another employee working within the same division.
  3. The applicant is related to, or residing in the same household as, the immediate supervisor or reviewer for this position.
  4. The applicant will function as the immediate supervisor or reviewer for someone to whom he/she is related, or who currently resides in the same household.

2 is the correct answer.

In accordance with JMU Policy 1301 Nepotism and Employment of Family Members, applicants will be asked on the university application through JobLink of any relationships with current employees of the university. When there is not a supervisor-subordinate relationship between the immediate supervisor and subordinate (including the reviewer and subordinate relationship), employment of a family member may be allowed with the appropriate approval. When an applicant has a family member already employed by the university in the same college or assistant or associate vice president’s area, the applicant may only be offered a position with the explicit prior written approval from the appropriate division head, associate or assistant vice president, or dean on the Nepotism Review Form. An applicant who identifies a family member currently employed by the university in another division, college, or assistant or associate vice president’s area, may be extended an offer without prior written approval.

Free Faculty/Staff Training Sessions Offered by the JMU Training and Development Department

Wednesday, May 25
Home Safe Home
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., USB 102

Thursday, May 26
Retirement 101 – Understanding Your VRS Retirement
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., USB 102

Tuesday, May 31
Understanding and Using the Grievance Procedure
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., USB 102

Friday, June 3
Performance Evaluation Information Sessions for Supervisors of Administrative and Professional Faculty
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., nTelos Room, ISAT

For additional information or to arrange customized sessions for your department, contact Suzanne Vance, Training Coordinator, at 84101 or vancesn@jmu.edu.