New orientation scheduling process to take effect Feb. 1

Historically, the process of scheduling an employee for orientation has been time-consuming and frustrating for the employee, department and Human Resources. During the past year, a new process has been developed that provides a more efficient method for scheduling. This new process is begins Feb. 1.

The O Team, a Human Resources Division quality management team, analyzed the orientation scheduling process to determine the causes for scheduling delays. A survey of Human Resources representatives and interviews with Human Resources staff indicated that several factors contributed to the delays, including the need for additional training on completing paperwork and the lack of knowledge concerning the 31-day benefits enrollment period. (Employees oriented after 31 days must provide proof of insurability and pay for premiums retroactive to the date of hire.)

After each factor was examined, the team developed a new process with the goal of getting employees to orientation within five days of becoming eligible for benefits. An orientation policy was developed to include the five-day requirement. It specifies that paperwork must be received in Human Resources by the orientation date. The Orientation Scheduling Guide was created to provide instruction on scheduling employees according to employment status. Further improvements within Human Resources included the creation of OTRAX, a scheduling software developed to automate the process.

Seven departments from the School of Medicine were chosen to participate in a pilot program. The pilot, begun in September, has helped the O Team make continuous improvements to the OTRAX software and improve a fax form used to schedule faculty.

According to Benefits Specialist Gloria Riley, O Team leader, data gathered during the pilot indicates that the process has become significantly more efficient and that the participating departments have a greater understanding of the orientation process.

The Human Resources representative for each area has already received an Orienta-tion Scheduling Guided in preparation for the Feb. 1 implementation.

For answers to questions about orientation, call the Training Information Line at 727-7607.

-- Julianne McCarty