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On November 1st 2013, UIC Human Resources sponsored its first HR Academy, a full day of learning about human resources policies, procedures, and best practices. With nearly 250 human resource professionals in attendance, this inaugural event blended speakers, workshops, panels, and discussions exploring best practices in HR service delivery.
The HR Academy was concieved as a professional development and networking opportunity for UIC HR professionals. UIC Human Resources sponsored the event in keeping with the mission of the department: to provide timely and effective support through Human Resource management expertise to the academic, administrative and clinical services units of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Internal and external experts were engaged to deliver an agenda aligned with the UIC HR mission that addressed a range of subjects essential to HR practitioners.
Robert A. Crouch, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, said of the event, "The HR Academy was a tremendous opportunity for UIC Human Resources to connect with and further support our customers. Connecting in an interactive learning environment like the HR Academy will strengthen relationships with colleagues campus-wide and position UIC Human Resources to better understand and address customer needs."
Keynote speakers discussed skills necessary for high-performance, such as the need for HR professionals to take action and be results oriented, develop leadership skills, and use emotional intelligence in the workplace.
The event’s Discovery Sessions explored nine highly-focused subject areas, ranging from civil service recruitment and hiring to conflict resolution and “Crucial Conversations.” Discovery Session facilitators and panelists engaged participants in dialogue about various human capital topics. For example, Joanne Tolbert-Wells, Director of Recruitment and Staffing and Ron Puskarits, Director of Compensation encouraged individuals attending one of their sessions to ask questions about writing job descriptions and completing the position authorization form. In a session titled, “Resolving Workplace Conflict,” Caryn Bills-Windt, Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff discussed types of dispute resolution services offered through the Office of Access and Equity.
Academy attendees also received job aids and other resources to support execution of Human Resources processes and procedures across UIC colleges and administrative units.
Post-event surveys and comments indicate that HR Academy participants were enthusiastic about the day's activities. As one participant commented: “the sessions had a wonderful balance, information that could help you better perform your job, as well as motivation with laughter to keep you engaged. If this balance is kept in future Academy events, it will be well worth attending.” As another succinctly stated, the HR Academy was “meaningful, insightful and fun.”
UIC Human Resources will continue to explore new and novel ways to partner and collaborate with colleagues campus-wide to deliver services and share information about about processes and procedures.
Colleagues interested in UIC HR business practices may access the Academy Discovery Session presentations at http://hr.uic.edu/academy/ along with a post event video and information about keynote speakers.
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