Responses from HR professionals across campus covered a lot of ground—recruitment and retention, culture building, career support, business intelligence, and more. Understanding how HR professionals align their work with UI missions gives each of us a chance to review how we support university-wide goals and can evolve established practices to better meet campus needs.
Following are some of the most common themes HR professionals identified in describing how their work adds value and advances UI missions.
1. We recruit, hire, and retain great people
“By recruiting, hiring, developing, and promoting the best talent, the UI is able to meet the needs of our students, constituents and customers.”
“I have the opportunity to connect with people from around the world. I strongly believe that inviting and employing international scholars diversifies and enriches our research.”
“My work is key to recruiting and retaining the best talent by advocating for competitive rewards and recognition, continuing to develop our next generation workforce, ensuring all employees feel welcome and valued, and serving as an employee advocate by consistently creating action plans with follow-through for concerns and areas of improvement.”
2. We help our faculty and staff colleagues stay engaged.
“My work directly impacts engagement and, hopefully, provides managers, supervisors and employees with tools and knowledge to be more productive and better colleagues.”
“We can learn a lot by observing how our students learn, leveraging learning communities, growth through leadership and community engagement, and breadth of experiences.”
“Students’ experience at the UI develops their expectations for the future. All employers have ‘problems,’ but I see it as our responsibility to showcase the university as an employer that strives for excellence, models the best practices, and responds to problems quickly and effectively. Students can then leave with realistic expectations and standards and hopefully apply these lessons to the world.”
3. We establish a strong working environment.
“Although I am not personally delivering on the missions of teaching, research, and service, I play in important role in enabling others to do so in the most effective and efficient way, helping cultivate an environment that UI people are happy and proud to work in.”
“Solutions to many problems involve changing human behavior. The HR perspective is incredibly valuable, provided we fully understand both the strategy and operations of our business.”
“A welcoming environment…broadcasts that the UI supports people from different backgrounds and gives our students the sense of belonging to a global community. I hope this contributes to their engagement as citizens at the state and national levels.”
4. We support educators, researchers, and clinicians.
“We provide support and resources to employees, allowing them to focus on their mission-critical work.”
“My job is to support faculty, staff, and students so they can do the best job possible, engage with colleagues in the most productive way, learn in the best environment, and foster a sense of community and support.”
“Students and employees learn better and work smarter when they know there is someone who can take care of ‘all that stuff’ that falls outside research and education.”
“We are not here to provide the best and most innovative HR practices. Rather, we are here to help create the best research, health care, and educational institution by supporting the university’s goals.”
5. We help connect others.
“HR staff help members of the university community look up and around and see the connections among all of us, for the collective good of students, patients, and customers who benefit from our collaboration.”
“HR professionals have a unique opportunity to touch nearly all levels and functions on our campus.”
“It is critical that we build relationships with our HR colleagues within the corridor, region, and nationwide. We need to encourage faculty and staff to do the same, and provide avenues and incentives to facilitate that.”
6. We anticipate what’s coming next.
“HR professionals support UI goals by observing and predicting trends in higher education, health care, and research. Through this information, HR staff collaborate with department leaders to create plans that position UI to be proactive rather than reactive.”
7. We guide change.
“HR is uniquely positioned to build change management competency to enable the whole campus to anticipate, adapt, and thrive in uncertain times.”
“Leading by example, we can encourage and enable others to reduce administrative burden and optimize their time and effort on maximum-impact activities. HR provides data to help leaders make good decisions about the workforce.”