Thanks to everyone who attended Monday’s standing-room-only Staff Forum in the Ruben Campus Center Odeum and today’s Staff Forum via Zoom, where Theona Scola, Staff Council Chair, and Lauren Turner, SVP Talent & Inclusion and CDO shared some of the following announcements. We include additional updates here as well.

July 3rd Holiday: The university recognizes Monday, July 3, as an additional holiday for this year; there is no need to use vacation or personal time. If your responsibilities require you to work July 3, please connect with your manager/supervisor to schedule an alternate day off.

Staff Climate Survey Update: We are very close to deciding upon a survey instrument WPI can use to assess the workplace climate for staff. As one of the Strategic Plan priorities, a committee that includes representatives from Talent & Inclusion, Institutional Research, and the Staff Council spent the last year identifying instruments and has submitted a recommendation to the administration. The Committee will collaborate with the Staff Council to administer the survey in the fall. Stay tuned for updates!

Performance Management: The annual performance management process is an opportunity for you to reflect on, document, and be recognized for the contributions you have made to your department and to WPI over this past year. Please prioritize this task so your manager also has an opportunity to consider your input and provide feedback on your performance. We encourage you to consider your interests in and opportunities for professional development and identify your goals for the upcoming year.

Staff Council Nominations: If you have not already done so, please consider running for a seat on the Staff Council and/or nominating a colleague you think would be a good representative of the staff. The deadline for submitting nominations is May 31. Click here to access the nomination form.

Using Accrued Vacation: The university offers a competitive vacation package and accrual process, yet we have noticed that the use of paid time off has decreased in the last two years. While this results in a concerning increase in the university’s accrued financial liability for vacation balances, more importantly, it indicates that employees are not using their accrued time to take breaks that are essential to health, well-being, and balance. We strongly encourage you to work with your supervisor/manager and schedule some blocks of time for true rest and rejuvenation. Be sure to report usage of time in Workday.

Staff Classification and Compensation Project: We are delighted to report that we have received updated job descriptions for over 65% of staff positions across campus. We continue to work with department managers to get to 100% and are optimistic we will complete this phase of the project over the next month or so. Once we do, our consultants will use the data to conduct their comprehensive market benchmarking to inform their recommendations for salary grades and ranges that will become the foundation of our compensation system. If you recall, this is a multi-phase project: Phase one is reviewing and adjusting internal equity gaps and will be complete this fall. Phase two, assessing current staff salaries against the market and adjusting accordingly, which will likely need to be implemented over a period of years, based on budget availability.

Please consider completing the event feedback form if you attended either Staff Forums to help us gain insight for future planning. T&I and the Staff Council appreciate your feedback!

Lastly, congratulations to the winners of the WPI Board of Trustees Outstanding Staff Award: Nicole Caligiuri, Grants Specialist II in the Office of Sponsored Programs, and Matt Barry, Associate Director of Student Development & Counseling, who were recognized for their passionate pursuit of excellence, building community, and inspiring others through their actions. Special congratulations also go to all who were nominated for their dedication and hard work.

Thank you for all you do for WPI and for our students every day. Best wishes as we begin the summer season.