HR Newsletter - March 2024


Welcome to the March Edition of the HR Newsletter.

As we bid farewell to the chilly days of winter and eagerly anticipate the blossoming of spring, we welcome you to our March newsletter! With the conclusion of the winter quarter on the horizon, we find ourselves reflecting on the achievements and challenges that have shaped our journey thus far. As always, your dedication and hard work have been instrumental in our collective success.

As we prepare to embark on a well-deserved spring break, we encourage you to take this opportunity to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect with loved ones. Whether you plan to explore new destinations or simply enjoy the comforts of home, we hope you return refreshed and ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

Thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to excellence. Let's continue to embrace the spirit of equity and belonging that defines us. Here's to a spring filled with growth and resilience!

Direct questions about anything in this newsletter to hr@cwu.edu


  • Welcome to the Wildcat Family!

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    • George Castro – Student Counseling Services
    • Selena Castro – College of Education & Professional Studies
    • Manuel Cruz Bernabe – High School Equivalency Program (HEP)
    • Hayden Heitz – Aviation
    • Alexandra Owen – Student Financial Services
    • Tyler Parfitt – Central Marketplace
    • Sara Seigler – Aerospace ROTC
    • Jacob Varnum – Central Marketplace
    • Perla Villasenor – College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
    • Jeremy Westgate – Aviation
  • Congratulations on Your Retirement!

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    • Nelson Pichardo| Sociology – 24+ Years of Service
    • Lois Harrison | High School Partnerships – 9+ Years of Service
  • Total Rewards Statement

    CWU values its faculty and staff. Your contributions are essential to the success of the institution and your efforts are appreciated by not only your colleagues and management, but the students we serve.

    The Total Rewards Statement provides individualized compensation and benefits information to ensure you have a complete picture of the value of being a CWU employee. Total compensation consists of more than just your take home pay, it includes university contributions to a variety of benefits including health insurance and retirement.

    Access your 2023 Total Rewards statement in MyCWU > Employee > Payroll > My Total Rewards

  • Wildcat Way - Nominate Someone Today

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    Recognize an Employee for Exemplary Service

    Consider nominating an employee for a Wildcat Way Spotlight Recognition. This is a way of thanking an employee for a job well done and sharing their story with the CWU community. All Spotlight nominees will be recognized at the end of the academic year for their Spotlight Recognition nomination.

    WILDCAT WAY NOMINATION FORM

  • Employee Engagement Survey

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    A heartfelt Thank You for Participating in the 2023 Employee Engagement Survey!
    For the third year in a row, we’ve had a 50% participation rate. Your feedback is invaluable in guiding our journey towards a better workplace.

    Our highest scores indicate a strong, positive, relationship with immediate supervisors, highlighting:

    • A significant majority feel they are treated with respect by their immediate supervisors.
    • There's an environment of openness and trust fostered by supervisors.
    • My immediate supervisor is a good leader.

    We also noted areas needing attention, particularly:

    • Opportunities for advancement.
    • The inclination to explore employment elsewhere.
    • Support during organizational changes.

    In response, this year, we plan to focus on:

    Professional Growth: Enhancing career advancement opportunities.

    Work Satisfaction: Strengthening our efforts to make our institution a preferred place to work and building upon our commitment to pro-equity and anti-racism in alignment with CWU’s core values.

    Change Management: Improving support during transitions to ensure everyone feels valued and secure.

    We're committed to transparent progress updates and continued dialogue to make our institution not just a workplace, but a community where everyone thrives. Thank you for your candid feedback and for being an integral part of our future. Full results can be found at the WA State 2023 Employee Engagement Survey webpage.

  • Meet with a Retirement Plan Representative

    Our Fidelity rep will be on the Ellensburg campus March 26 & 27, April 29 & 30, and May 29 & 30 for in-person meetings.

    Sign up online for an appointment: Meet with Us > Schedule a meeting > Enter employer name: Central Washington University.

    An in-person consultation with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant provides you:

    • Guidance to help you maximize retirement savings and achieve other goals
    • Face-to-face planning from a seasoned investment professional - at no cost
    • A convenient time and location to meet - right at work

    Fidelity is the plan administrator for the CWU Retirement Plan (CWURP) and the Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP). The CWURP is the mandatory faculty and exempt retirement plan and the VIP is an optional retirement savings plan available to all non-student employees.

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  • First Friday Leadership Talk

    April 5, 2024 | 11 AM | Shaw 115
    Sticky Cultures and Why You Want One

    Much has been said and written about why good employees leave organizations (and why bad employees stay). In this seminar, Dr. James Avey examines the opposite. Why do people stay? Further, why do they stay engaged in their work? What roles do leadership, community, and relationships have in this process? The purpose of this First Friday talk is for leaders, and aspiring leaders, to learn how to create a “sticky culture” — one where your best talent won’t leave, wants to stay, and stays engaged.

    Dr. James Avey, Professor of Research – CWU College of Business

    Before James joined the CWU faculty, he worked in engineering human resources management at The Boeing Company. His research on positive psychological capital, ethical leadership, and psychological ownership has appeared in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Leadership Quarterly. He has consulted with a range of organizations, including Boeing, Kellogg’s, Lincoln Plating, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

    For Leaders at all levels: staff, faculty, and students
    Register: MyCWU > Learning > ‘Search for Learning’ enter “First Friday”

    Direct questions to cla@cwu.edu

  • First Choice Health

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    Access Employee Assistance Program resources with username ‘CWU’ to login. Available to CWU faculty, staff, and their family members. Or call 800-777-4114 for immediate assistance.

  • 10 Ways to Show Kindness in the Workplace

    Workplaces benefit greatly from teams that develop relationships that enhance communication and collaboration. One way team members can accomplish this is by displaying workplace kindness.

    1. Smile: Smiling shows your openness to getting to know others, with a commitment to improving the workplace. Smiling is also important when working with customers.
    2. Recognize Others: If your coworker does a great job with a project or task, recognize their accomplishment during a team meeting or by informing your manager.
    3. Say Thank You: Show your appreciation to someone for their work or actions. This simple act shows recognition, which can help others feel valued for their efforts.
    4. Listen: It’s important to listen to those you work alongside because it shows that what they say matters to you. Listening lowers the chances of mistakes and helps collaboration efforts.
    5. Bring Food: Providing food to those you work with is a random act of kindness. This is usually a welcome treat and prompts an opportunity to discuss non-work-related topics.
    6. Help Coworkers: Collaboration means cooperating with others and working toward a shared goal or achievement. Recognize when someone may benefit from assistance and offering it.
    7. Give Positive Feedback: Let others know when you appreciate their contributions. Feeling appreciated can increase productivity, collaboration, creativity, and satisfaction.
    8. Be Considerate: Account for the feelings of others. This could be considering another's perspective before sharing yours, cleaning a common area, arriving to meetings on time, and meeting deadlines.
    9. Mentor a New Employee: Welcoming a new hire and introducing them to others can help them succeed in their new role and feel more comfortable early on in their employment.
    10. Remain Aware of Your Words and Tone: It’s common for teams to communicate with each other via email or online messaging platforms. Take the time to write a message that's positive and

    This article was shortened for space, but is available online: www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/workplace-kindness

  • Employment Verification

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    Need to verify your employment when renting an apartment, applying for a mortgage or auto loan, or for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program?

    Direct inquiries to: employment.verification@cwu.edu

    Webpage: Employment Verification

  • SmartHealth

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    Wellness Incentive

    SmartHealth is a voluntary wellness program that supports your journey toward living well.

    You can earn $125 off next year’s medical deductible or a $125 contribution to your Health Savings Account if enrolled in a CDHP. 

    For additional information, watch the SmartHealth experience presentation or SmartHealth overview.

  • Daylight Saving Time - March 10, 2024

    Remember Spring forward on March 10, 2024, by moving clocks ahead one hour.

  • askHR

    Q:  Where can I find past issues of the newsletter?

    A:  You can find past issues back to September 2023 on the Employee Resources page on the HR website.

  • CLA Online – March Learning Focus is Analytical Thinking

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    Analytical Thinking is the ability to analyze complex information, identify patterns, and draw insights from data to make informed decisions. It involves critical thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills to approach issues in a structured and systematic way. Analytical thinking is essential in business as it helps identify opportunities, manage risks, optimize resources, and drive innovation.  

    Assess your current proficiency level using one of our Skill Benchmark assessment or jump right into learning with the featured assets we’ve handpicked for this topic. Select one of the following recommended features: 

    WATCH:      Critical Thinking: Challenging Assumptions

    READ:          Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    ASSESS:       Critical Thinking: Skill Benchmark

    Questions? Contact Central Learning Academy at cla@cwu.edu.

  • You may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

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    As you may know, working at Central Washington University means you can join a federal program that could forgive your federal student loans. The U.S. Department of Education can forgive your student loan debt after 10 years of making 120 qualifying payments while working for a state agency or a qualifying public sector employer. To qualify, you must have Federal Direct loans. If you have Perkins or FFEL loans, you must consolidate into a Direct Consolidation. If you have Direct Parent PLUS loans, you may also need to consolidate. If you consolidate between now and April 30, 2024, you will not lose PSLF qualifying payment credit due to the IDR Account Adjustment.

    Time-sensitive tip: Certain periods you spent in forbearance, deferment or non- qualifying repayment plans may count towards PSLF due to the IDR Account Adjustment. Action MAY be needed before April 30, 2024, for you to benefit. Visit the payment adjustment page to learn more.

    Get Started: Use the PSLF Help Tool to complete a PSLF form and submit an employment certification request. Your form will be submitted to the PSLF servicer (MOHELA) for processing, which may take up to 90 business days. Create a MOHELA account to check on qualifying payment count. If MOHELA is not your current servicer, submitting a PSLF form will initiate a loan transfer from your current servicer to MOHELA, which can take an additional 90 business days.

    If you haven’t signed up for PSLF yet, you still can. One important step is working with our agency’s PSLF contact each year to submit a PSLF form. Although the path to loan forgiveness can seem complicated, you could save thousands on your student loans.

    CWU Employer Identification Number (EIN): 91-6000618
    CWU contact email: employment.verification@cwu.edu

    Submit questions about Public Service Loan Forgiveness on the Washington State Student Loan Advocate’s website.

  • Celebrate Pi Day - Chocolate Cheesecake Pie Recipe

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    Ingredients:

    • 8 oz package cream cheese – softened
    • ¼ cup butter – softened
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips – melted and cooled
    • 8 oz container frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip)
    • Graham cracker crust

    Instructions:

    • Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth
    • Beat in chocolate
    • Stir in whipped topping
    • Spoon into crust
    • Refrigerate until time to serve

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