Recruitment, retention, employee well-being to key pilot program, new work initiatives
Rutgers will implement flexible work arrangements for employees as part of a new comprehensive program that draws lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the university is currently competitive in a changing work culture while serving better students, patients and the community.
The Rutgers Future of Work initiativeannounced today by President Jonathan Holloway, builds on the flexibility and innovation that kept the university successfully operating throughout the pandemic.
“Managing the university throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to be more flexible, resourceful and resilient while staying focused on what matters most to our students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve,” Holloway said. “As we launch the Future of Work initiative at Rutgers, we will make sure that our students are well-served – that they have reliable and consistent access to the people and resources they need, both in person and online; that they can benefit from the best practices of technology-enhanced teaching and learning; And that we meet their physical and mental health needs as we also support the well-being of our employees. “
The president approved all 25 of the university The Future of Work Task Force’s short- and long-term recommendations, which were crafted with input from the university community through employee and student surveys and listening sessions. Holloway commissioned the task force a year ago to explore insights gained during a pandemic that significantly changed how work is done at almost every workplace – including Rutgers, which pivoted quickly in March 2020 to remote instruction and, where possible, virtual operations.
Among the short-term recommendations are flexible work arrangements for positions and units where possible – with eligible staff who are granted permission for such arrangements to work a minimum of three days per week on campus or at Rutgers locations where employees are regularly assigned. to work. Called FlexWork @ RU, the year-long pilot program will begin Sept. 1.
Mindful of frontline workers who do not have a remote work option, the short-term recommendations include exploring emergency caregiver support programs and expanding types of authorized flexible work arrangements that include a flex workday schedule or a compressed workweek option.
Holloway acknowledges that faculty members work in a different fashion from their staff colleagues, and that it expects academic departments, centers and institutes to be able to develop flexible work options for faculty. “That said, it’s my unambiguous expectation that faculty teach, train, advise and mentor in person,” he said.
Many of the task force’s recommendations, Holloway also noted, will be discussed with labor union representatives as they are considered.
“During this pilot year, we will apply what we have learned to formally offer employees greater flexibility and develop programs to help improve their work-life balance and overall well-being and enhance workplace culture while operating with the University greater efficiency,” said Vivian Fernández, senior vice president for human resources and the task force chair. “The changes we will make will help us better meet the needs of our students and employees and keep the excellent employees we need as a leading national public research university.”
Details for employees who wish to apply flexible work arrangements will be provided by University Human Resources through various means including virtual and in-person information sessions and on Future of Work website, where you can Read the full task force reportGeneral Chat Chat Lounge Supervisor approval is required for all flexible work arrangements.
The university will implement the report’s other short-term recommendations, including developing infrastructure to support new work arrangements and establishing a Presidential Employee Excellence Recognition Program this fall. During the pilot year, the University will also assess the effectiveness of flexible work arrangements in supporting student services, patient care and other areas, including how to reduce the number of cars on the roads and related carbon emissions may help achieve Rutgers’ progress. net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050General Chat Chat Lounge
When the task force began its work, the president said that Rutgers is meant to be an in-person, face-to-face university community with campus walkways, academic buildings, libraries, dining halls and student centers busy with activity.
“In this model of returning, we also need to teach the lessons of the past two years and the creative ways in which we have taken advantage of technology to effectively work our way into the tremendous challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in his message.
Planning will begin on the fall of the task force’s long-term recommendations, which include that Rutgers maintains a robust student-centered campus environment, reimagining teaching approaches to enhance student engagement and learning, and improve the quality of technologies and faculty preparation for effective. online teaching.
“We will put together a thoughtful plan to support workplace excellence, attract and retain top talent, improve student and patient experiences, support innovation and sustainability, and foster a caring, inclusive, respectful work environment,” Holloway said.