myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

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myHR: April 27, 2011

Get Perspective on Penn

Penn is a large and complex place with a history that goes back for centuries. Do you ever wonder what it takes to keep the University running so well for so long? Well now you can find out. We’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at how Penn operates.

Join us on June 8–9 for The Penn Perspective, a two-day event that’ll teach you all about Penn and what keeps the University going from one day to the next. Learn about sustainability, art and athletics at Penn; what student life is like on our campus; and how the Division of Safety enhances the quality of life and security in our community. You’ll even get an insider’s look at the University archives—a repository for documents and artifacts dating back to Penn’s founding in 1749.

This is also an excellent opportunity to network with fellow members of the University and get a better understanding of your role at Penn. For more details and to register, click here.

Last Call to Enroll Adult Children in Benefits

Open Enrollment—your annual opportunity to make changes to your benefit elections—is now over. Any changes made during the 2011–2012 Open Enrollment period will take effect on July 1, 2011. You’ll receive a confirmation statement at your home address shortly so you can verify your coverage for next year.

Keep in mind that you still have time to enroll your eligible adult children in benefits coverage. As a result of health care reform legislation, you have until May 4 to add or re-enroll eligible dependent children up to age 26. Here are additional details:

  • Children are eligible for coverage regardless of their student, marital or IRS dependent status.
  • Children do not have to live with you or depend on you for financial support to be eligible.
  • Children over age 19 no longer have to be full-time college students to remain on coverage.
  • Disabled children who are unable to earn a living may be covered beyond age 26, provided the disability began before age 26 and has been certified by your insurance carrier.
  • The coverage does not extend to your child’s spouse/partner or children.
  • Eligible expenses incurred by children up to age 26 can be reimbursed from your Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account. However, only expenses for children claimed as dependents on your tax return are eligible for reimbursement under the new Health Savings Account.

Outside of Open Enrollment, you can only modify your benefit elections when you experience a life event change, such as marriage or the birth of a child. For more information, click here or contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236).

Become a Top-Notch Manager

There’s a lot involved when it comes to being an effective manager. From strong leadership and communication skills to knowing the right way to motivate and evaluate your staff, being a good manager is hard work. But you can learn the tricks of the trade and hone your skills in no time.

That’s what Laurel Sweeney did by participating in Penn’s Essentials of Management program. As Office Manager for the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, Laurel was looking for a way to enhance her skills and get a sense of direction in her career. She said Essentials of Management is perfect for people who want to learn how to be a successful manager.

"As a manager, you do a lot of work on a personal level. Learning more about people is always a valuable opportunity for managers, and Essentials of Management helped me do that," Laurel said.

Not only did she learn the ins and outs of Human Resources policies and how to conduct effective interviews, Laurel also learned how to network, meet new people and better understand herself. By participating in the 360-degree feedback process—one of the most important facets of Essentials of Management—she discovered her strengths and weaknesses and gained a sense of how she could improve as a manager. "What a valuable process. It teaches you how to grow, and managers are always looking for ways to improve," Laurel said.

She also enjoyed being part of a cohort of fellow managers who provided valuable peer experience and support. This unique learning environment, which included younger and older employees, taught Laurel about different approaches to the business world.

"You learn just how diverse a place Penn is, from the types of people who work here to the kind of work that they do. And you get to know everyone in the room. It’s a true networking opportunity, and you feel more connected to the University as a whole," she said.

Want to take your management skills to the next level? The next cohort of Essentials of Management begins on May 31. Click here for complete details and to register.

Technology Tools to Enhance Your Work

Become a technical whiz without even leaving your desk. Our latest series of online workshops will teach you tips and tricks for Microsoft Office programs—right from your own desktop. You’ll learn tools and techniques that’ll make your work faster and easier.

On May 10, Microsoft Office 2007—Tips and Tricks Crash Course will show you powerful shortcuts for Microsoft programs. See how to handle your email in Outlook, build templates in PowerPoint, stylize and format text in Word and create reports in Excel.

Or get a more in-depth look at how to leverage the power of these programs:

These webinars are ideal for people who already know the basics of working with these programs. For more details, click here.