"What I Should Know" (WISK)

Overview and Benefits

Our people make the University of Iowa successful in its four-fold mission focused on education, research and creative work, outreach, and health care. This certificate series explores the “what” and the “why” of many of the behind-the-scenes operations that impact you and keep the University functioning effectively every day. Participants will gain an understanding of these operations that support the recruitment and employee life cycle of our staff.

The WISK series constitutes a restructure of the Human Resources Fundamental series. If you previously participated in the HR Fundamentals series, you may find the WISK series to be a good refresher as it is designed around the employee life cycle and has new information specific to current or new HR initiatives.

Participants who complete all WISK series requirements will be eligible for a certificate. To be awarded a certificate, participants must complete the four core courses plus three electives of their choice, within one-year of completing the core sessions.

Benefits of Enrolling

This series is designed for people in a variety of positions and roles across the university - staff, HR professionals and administrators - who want to have a better understanding about effective workplace practices and how we support the people who operationalize the mission of the university.

Core Curriculum

To receive a “What I Should Know” (WISK) certificate, participants must complete all four core courses.

Human Resources: People Make a Difference

May 1, 2017 | 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

People are what make the University of Iowa successful in teaching, research and service. How do we attract, manage and retain the talent needed by the University? This course will begin a series for What I Should Know (WISK) about effective human resource practices. Participants will gain an understanding of both the “what” and the “why” of these functions that support the recruitment and retention of staff.

The Right Person for the Right Role: Recruit, Hire, & Retain

May 25, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

This session will focus on the philosophy of recruiting, hiring, and retaining the right person for the right role. Participants will learn more about the employee life cycle and the support and resources available to assist them in their career development at the University of Iowa.

You’re Hired! Now What?: Onboarding to Create a Successful Working Relationship

June 15, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

When a new employee joins your team, it is an opportunity to develop an environment that promotes engagement, health and wellness. This course will discuss the impact of on-boarding as it relates to individual and team culture. Interactive discussions will include: the significance of discussing individual and departmental expectations, the impact of goal setting and on-going feedback, and the value of reward and recognition programs. Participants will be encouraged to identify practices currently utilized and will have an opportunity to gather new creative thoughts in setting a collaborative path toward success.

Choosing Effort for Results

June 29, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

I know what you’re thinking . . . ‘Why should I even care?’ or ‘Why is this so difficult?’ Those are valid questions, especially if you feel like you spend most of your time ‘managing’ the people with the lowest performance. In this session, we will discuss performance and engagement and why it’s important and useful. Discussions will help you make managing and leading people more enjoyable and encourage supporting high performance which affords value for everyone.

Elective Courses

Enroll in the instructor-led elective courses in Employee Self-Service | My Training | Enroll in Courses | Available Sessions and Series as they become available. Available sessions default to alphabetical order and all elective course titles connected to this series will have the prefix "WISK."

Choose three electives from the topics below.

Your Pay, Your Benefits, Your University

May 11, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Are you getting the most out of your Payroll and Benefits? Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the University’s investment in faculty and staff,
  • Understand the basics of Payroll and Benefits at the University
  • Understand what resources are available to you, and
  • Learn what’s new in Payroll and Benefits.

Employee & Labor Relations at the University of Iowa

May 18, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

We will review and discuss Employee and Labor Relations goals, which include:

  • to demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and assure that staff know and understand the rights and resources available to them through their employment;
  • support supervisors and managers in promoting and providing a work environment consistent with the University’s mission, vision and values;
  • engage with staff through local shared governance, University Staff Council and the unions that represent University staff in collective bargaining, to establish and maintain relationships that foster effective communications and promote our mutual interests for the success of the University and its staff.

Keeping Good People: Promoting from Within

June 1, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

The intent of this course is to provide insight into use of the compensation and classification system to support recruitment, retention and career development. Participants will gain an understanding of why classifications are placed into particular pay levels and structures and why market information is used in calibration. The significance of why various employee recognition opportunities create a positive culture and, in turn, retains our talented staff.

Health and Wellness at the UI: liveWELL

June 8, 2017 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Individuals will learn about benefits of health and wellness in the workplace, both from an organizational and individual perspective. Specific emphasis will be placed on the University’s liveWELL program and opportunities to support faculty and staff health, well-being, engagement and performance in the workplace.

    Disability Can Be Life Changing

    June 21, 2017 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

    Disability can be life changing and is on the rise. Supporting persons with disabilities to be at work when medically able is a crucial component in creating a positive workplace culture. This class will discuss when disability and/leave situations exist, why it is important to respond strategically using best practices, and why disability may have an effect on department practices and peers.


      To enroll in this series, please complete the online application when available.