How Your Best Doctors Benefit Can Help You through COVID-19

Have you had to cancel or reschedule a surgery or other medical procedure due to the current health crisis? Best Doctors is here to help by providing expert second medical opinions and access to coaching and online education tools to benefits-eligible MSU employees and retirees. With Best Doctors, those facing serious diagnoses or those who are unsure of their treatment plan can have their medical diagnosis, treatment plan and medical questions reviewed and answered by world-renowned medical experts for free. Those who utilize their Best Doctors benefit are ensured to have the right information, the right diagnosis and the right treatment going forward as they navigate through the rest of life’s uncertainties.

How Others Have Benefitted from Best Doctors

Best Doctors user testimonial quote saying, "The Best Doctors experience was thorough and easy. I received a wealth of information and interacted with people who seemed like they genuinely cared about what happens to me."

How Best Doctors Helped the Price Family:

How Best Doctors Helped Jack: Best Doctors Stopped Jack from Undergoing an Unnecessary, High-Risk Surgery

Testimonial quote from Jack saying, "I don't know how to put Best Doctors' overall concern and sincerity of caring into words."

How Best Doctors Helped Bruce: Best Doctors made sure Bruce had the information he needed to make the best decision for him

Testimonial quote from Bruce saying, "The report gave me confidence in my decision to move forward with the right solution for me."

How Does it Work?

Watch a video about how Best Doctors can help you or follow the steps below for access to Best Doctors’ services.

Visit the  Best Doctors website  and click “Create a Profile” to register. You then have the option to  use  the following services:

  1. Expert Opinion: Have a physician conduct an in-depth review of your medical case and receive  expert advice about medical treatment options.  
  1. Find a Specialist: Get help finding a specialist near you. 
  1. Treatment Decision Support: You have access to coaching and interactive, online educational tools that offer in-depth and easy-to-follow information about your specific medical condition. Use these tools to help you make more educated, confident decisions about your health. 
  1. Medical Records eSummary: With your permission, you have the option to allow Best Doctors to collect and organize your medical records for you and provide them on a USB drive. You will also receive a personal Health Alert Summary based on the records collected, giving you a total snapshot of your medical wellness. 

For any questions about Best Doctors, contact Best Doctors directly using the information below: 

  • Phone: 866-904-0910 
  • Best Doctors Website 
  • App: Download the Best Doctors app for Apple/Android by searching for “Best Doctors Member” in the Apple store or Google Play 

Communicate with Impact: Tips for Leaders

Written by Jennie Yelvington, MSW, ACSW, Program Manager for HR Organization and Professional Development.

Communicating effectively is always an important skill for leaders to demonstrate, but in this time of massive, rapid change it is more critical than ever. The basics, such as clarity, transparency, and being intentional about what you want to convey, all hold true. Authenticity, along with displaying empathy and compassion, will boost the impact of anything you communicate. Here are a few additional pointers that can make a difference:

Consider Your Audience

Executives generally get information first and the amount people know about high levels decisions tends to decrease the further down the hierarchy their position lands. Before sharing information with staff, think about what they have been briefed on so far and start from there. Remember that issues you have been dealing with for some time may be new to others, and they may need a minute to work through their reaction. Also, provide information (if able) regarding what the journey has been to get to that decision. Gaps in communication tend to fuel distrust and make it difficult for employees to take needed action; it’s hard to fix what you don’t understand.

Provide Translation

As a leader, it is important to share (nonconfidential) information you receive that would help your employees better understand the broader context of what is happening within the university. Having this understanding can help people make the sacrifices and changes needed with less resistance. Aside from being insulting, the “because I said so” approach doesn’t help people move forward. So, for example, forwarding that DDC email can be very useful; but that isn’t enough. It is also important to explain how that information relates to your employees. We have been so decentralized that often people see themselves in the vacuum of their unit or even their particular job. Drawing the lines between high-level decisions and their work helps people to understand the broader system and how their role fits. They still may not like decisions that are made, but it is easier to accept what you understand.

Once isn’t Enough

Communications specialists can affirm that if you truly want something to stick, you must repeat the message multiple times, in multiple ways. Leaders need to heed this lesson. If something is important, sending one email isn’t enough. People are inundated with information, so if you want something to stand out make sure you utilize multiple avenues. Send that email, but also weave it into staff meetings, clarify understanding in one-on-one’s, and tie it to other initiatives. Also, if it is important, make sure you utilize language that reflects that it is a priority, and why it matters.

Watch Out for Bias

Bias awareness is always important, and in this time of video conferencing, the potential pitfalls are numerous. While it is common to hear that we are “all in this together,” individual experiences during the pandemic can be vastly different. Socio-economic differences are highlighted in video (unless backgrounds are used), people may be experiencing grief due to sick or deceased loved ones, others may be completely alone and struggle when they hear coworkers discuss family fun. In a recent MSUToday article, MSU professor Amy Bonomi suggests we “approach conversations with sensitivity to differences. Instead of opening with the typical “tell us what your lives are like during shelter in place,” consider framing a question around what participants are noticing about communities around them.”  She also recommends challenging microaggressions. “This can be done by naming microaggressions on the spot or addressing them privately. It is important to share how the microaggression affected you and may have affected others and to provide tools for improving skills.”

Clarify Expectations

When you share information, be sure to clarify if action is needed, and if so by whom and when. Don’t expect people to read your mind, or that they will be clear on exactly what they are empowered to do in response to a need. Also, consider the extent of the need. Is this a simple action? Is it a full-blown project that needs to be managed? If so, what else do people need to know? Is there a budget? Are adequate resources available? Are there deadlines? Will other stakeholders potentially be impacted? Finally, think about whether your staff members currently have the skills needed to be successful. Are they experienced with project management? Are they capable and willing to handle potentially difficult conversations? Many skill-building resources are available at no cost through elevateU and you can reach out to Organization & Professional Development (prodev@hr.msu.edu) for help with development planning.

Emphasize Shared Responsibility

Leaders have a responsibility to share information and communicate effectively, and they should make it clear that employees also have a responsibility to seek information and stay informed. Most have internet access and can be expected to check email at set intervals, read updates from President Stanley and other executives, and periodically check the MSU 2019 Novel Coronovirus site for updates. This shared responsibility allows all to be more prepared for coming changes and increase the likelihood of innovative responses from every level of the organization. Never write anyone off regarding their ability to contribute meaningful options for addressing the issues we face.

There are many effective strategies that leaders and teams across campus have been using to stay on top of changes in this challenging time including things like daily huddles, weekly video conferencing, virtual coffee hours to strengthen relationships, and utilizing Spartan365 to chat, meet, and share content. Leaders are also encouraged to network across the university to share best practices and new ideas. One of the great things about working at this university is that we have many opportunities for shared learning and support. Together, we can do this.

Nominate an Employee for the 2020 Clerical-Technical Recognition Award Today!

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 Clerical-Technical Recognition Award through Mon., June 30, 2020.

This annual award is given to a Michigan State University clerical-technical support staff member by the Thomas and Concettina Gliozzo Endowment Fund. Charles Gliozzo is director emeritus of MSU’s Study Abroad program. Thomas and Concettina Gliozzo were immigrants who became U.S. citizens and valued the importance of education throughout their lives.

The award recognizes outstanding MSU clerical-technical employees who have been nominated by their peers. Individuals may be nominated by any member of the MSU community. Selection criteria includes respect and concern for all members of the campus community, diligence in daily work, significant contributions to the community or public service and innovative thinking.

The recipient of this award is selected from nominations received by the CT Recognition Award Selection Committee. The winner will be profiled in HR Source monthly newsletter and will receive a monetary award of $1,000 from the endowment fund in recognition of their outstanding service.

How to Nominate an Employee

To nominate an individual:

  1. Complete a nomination form
  2. Collect a minimum of two support letters (maximum of five) by MSU colleagues.

Please note: nominees must be part of the CT Union.

You may include additional information if it supports the applicant’s nomination.

Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m., Mon., June 30, 2020. Email the PDF nomination form with a minimum of two support letters to bracamontes@hr.msu.edu with the subject line: CT Recognition Award Selection Committee.

Mental Health Awareness: Resources to Know About for Those in Need

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and during the COVID-19 health care crisis, we want to ensure that you are aware of the various virtual mental health resources available to MSU employees during these difficult times.

MSU faculty/staff and their dependents who are currently enrolled in an MSU health care plan have access to Teladoc – an online medical care service that gives you 24/7 access to a healthcare professional via web, phone or mobile app in minutes. Eligible employees and their dependents, who must be over the age of 18, can also receive medical care for their behavioral health (depression, anxiety, grief counseling, addiction, etc.).

Watch the video below to learn more about how Teladoc works:

How Does it Work?

Visit the Teladoc website and click on “Member Login” to set up your Teladoc account. When you need medical advice, you can receive convenient, quality care from a licensed health care professional in three easy steps:

  1. Request: ask for a visit with a doctor 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by web, phone or mobile app.
  2. Visit: talk to the doctor. Take as much time as you need to explain your medical situation – there’s no limit.
  3. Resolve: if medically necessary, a prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

To learn more about Teladoc or for any questions you may have, contact Teladoc directly at 1-800-Teladoc, at the Teladoc website or by downloading the Teledoc app for Apple/Android by searching for “Teladoc” in the Apple Store or Google Play.

Motivational Monday Round-Up

Do you find yourself struggling to feel motivated? Todd Bradley, Senior Learning and Organization Development Specialist in HR Organization and Professional Development, is here to help. Designed to encourage you during a time with many stressors and unknowns, Todd’s Motivational Monday videos provide quick and easy inspiration to start your day off right or get you back on track during a mid-afternoon slump.

Motivational Monday: Positive Influence

Todd offers ideas to help you create positive influence and feel more in control. Learn how to change your perspective using the “art of thinking.”

Motivational Monday: Keep Moving for Stress Reduction

Reminding us that people do better when they feel better, Todd recommends we “keep it moving” to reduce stress.

Motivational Monday: Reflection

When facing challenges and the anxiety that can accompany them, it can be helpful to reflect on the common ground we share with those around us.

Motivational Monday: Responding to Change

Todd discusses the rapid change we’re currently experiencing and how we can better equip ourselves for being in the “hot corner.”

Visit the MSU HR YouTube channel to view additional Motivational Monday videos as they’re posted. You may also find benefit in the resources below, which expand upon the ideas featured in Todd’s videos:

HR Source blog posts

elevateU online courses

Job of the Week – Assistant Director of Annual Giving-Telemarketing

This week’s job of the week is an Assistant Director of Annual Giving-Telemarketing (Posting #650579) for the MSU Alumni Office, specifically within University Advancement. This position is seeking an individual to assist in the organization and operation of the unit’s annual giving program by supervising its year-round, student-run telemarketing program.

The responsibilities of this role include managing and monitoring the use of an automated telemarketing system, supervising student staff and managers and developing and maintaining positive relations with all internal and external customers. Additionally, the individual in this role will be responsible for researching and analyzing trends, results and new initiatives and reporting on each while developing new strategies to increase results for fundraising programs, and assisting with high-end annual gift donor solicitation.  This position also requires the ability to work evening hours and weekends.

The ideal candidate would possess knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year degree program in communications, public relations, marketing, business or related field. One to three years of related and progressively more responsible and expansive work experience in professional fundraising or public relations is also required, or a combination of both education and experience. This position additionally requires the ability to work during evening hours and weekends. See the job posting for a complete list of desired qualifications.

For more details on the responsibilities of this position, and to view all our current postings, visit careers.msu.edu. Internal applicants should access postings through the Careers @ MSU tile in the EBS Portal.

MSU Employee Special Discounts During COVID-19 Crisis

In these times of uncertainty, we want to make sure you are aware of the various discounts available to MSU benefits-eligible faculty and staff. MSU Benefits Plus has sought out new deals and discounts to help make life a little easier for you and your family as we deal with social distancing, sheltering in place, or working from home throughout the COVID-19 crisis. An At Home Resources category has recently been added to the MSU Benefits Plus website where you can find all offers currently available. From discounts on groceries and streaming services to saving you money on your mortgage payments, there is a wide range of special discounts for you to take advantage of as we work through this trying time.

Food

  • Shipt: Get groceries delivered to your home with Shipt. New users save $50 on memberships with the code  5ABFF1969DF
  • Door Dash: All new customers can enjoy free delivery on their first order from Door Dash.

Pets 

  • 1-800-PetMeds: Save up to $20 on health care items for your pet from America’s Largest Pet Pharmacy by using the code EZREFILL
  • BarkBox: Show your dog some love by ordering them a customized box of themed toys and treats. Get your first BarkBox for only $15 when you use their exclusive link. 

Financial 

  • Quicken Loans: Quicken Loans is dedicated to continue providing you with the best mortgage experience during these difficult times. Get $500 cash back when you buy or refinance with them, plus up to $1000 in closing credit. 
  • H&R Block: New and existing customers can save money on online tax prep with H&R Block through their exclusive link. 

Find all the discounts available on the MSU Benefits Plus website. For more information on discounts through MSU Benefits Plus, visit the HR website. If you have any questions about these discounts, please call MSU Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575.

Job of the Week – Information Technologist II

This week’s job of the week posting is for an Information Technologist (Posting #648494) for the Facility for Rare Isotype Beams (FRIB). FRIB is a new scientific accelerator facility for nuclear science funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan.

This position will be responsible for managing and maintaining the linux infrastructure, purchasing, deployment, security, automation, upgrades, and documentation. Research and pursual of new opportunities and technologies in areas of responsibility that add value to the laboratory will also be expected of this position.

The ideal candidate will have knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Computer Science, Information Systems, Business or a related information technology field, with coursework in an information technology specialization related to the area of employment. Three to five years of related and progressively more expansive work experience in an information technology area related to the duties to be performed is also encouraged. See job posting for a complete list of desired qualifications.

For more details on the responsibilities of this position, and to view all our current postings, visit careers.msu.edu. Internal applicants should access postings through the Careers @ MSU tile in the EBS Portal.

Rapid Change: Making Your Way Through

This is a guest post by Jennie Yelvington, Program Manager, HR Organization and Professional Development.

Prior to the pandemic, we lived in a time of rapid change. Megatrends like globalization and technological advancements have resulted in a world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA). Some find this reality to be exciting, some find it threatening, and now all are faced with the new challenges brought by COVID-19. We are called upon to navigate uncharted terrain and that isn’t easy. Leading through this time and beyond requires strong self-awareness and self-care, along with taking care of those in your charge. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Choose Where to Expend Your Energy

Worry can feel very active and spending time in that space can seem like you are working on something productive; in reality, you are just burning through energy that could be better spent. When you notice yourself worrying about what might happen or stewing about something that happened in the past, stop and ask yourself, “What can I do about it now?”

Consider your Sphere of Influence:

Graphic representing one's sphere of influence. Three circles are centered on top of each other. The smallest circle in the middle represents "control," the next biggest circle represents "possible influence but no control," and the largest circle represents "no control."
  • No Control. If there is absolutely nothing you can do to change or influence the situation, your work is to assess whether you can learn from it, then let it go and refocus on something else. This would apply to things like the weather and essentially anything that has happened in the past.
  • Possible Influence but No Control. If there is a step you can take that may influence an outcome, person, or situation, determine what action you can take to maximize that influence, follow through, and then let it go. Resist the temptation to convince yourself that worrying about it means it is within your control. Release.
  • Control. If the issue you are wrestling with is completely within your control, you are likely looking in the mirror. You have control over your decisions, attitude, and behavior. What self-care practice can you initiate? What can you learn? What can you do to support someone else?  What action can you take that you’ve been putting off?

Prioritize Work for Yourself and Your Team

The priorities you have now might be very different from what they were a month or two ago. Re-evaluate everything on your plate on a regular basis. Is it all still a priority? Are there other items that have bumped higher on the list? What changes had you planned that can now be postponed or slowed because of new priorities?

It is essential to look at time and resources to see if your goals are realistic within the timeframes set. Sometimes, particularly during a crisis, it can be difficult to do this as there are numerous essential projects that have to be done, but don’t just rely on that assumption. Think it through, engage in conversations, and problem solve ways to avoid burning out yourself and others. Consider these additional change strategies from Forbes.

Coping with Change Overload

As outlined by American Management Association, “Since all people respond differently to change, it’s also crucial to consider how to deal with change overload. This can manifest itself in many ways, including employees feeling excluded from the change process, expressing concern over unrealistic timelines, feeling overwhelmed by what they perceive as too many changes coming too quickly, poor engagement, concerns about insufficient resources, and more. Those leading change must proactively establish guidelines for dealing with change overload, and strategize new ways to gain buy-in, remove silos, communicate openly, and eliminate barriers.” Access the American Management Association’s free guide on The Manager’s Role During Change.

Learn from the Journey

As we move through this unique time, don’t lose sight of all that you’ve learned and contemplate what will be useful to bring forward. Have you or other team members learned new skills or developed a new way to collaborate? Did you create a new approach to an old problem? Did you seek input and address a new issue you hadn’t anticipated? Make sure that you document that learning and think about what will be useful as we move past this crisis. Necessity is the mother of invention, so don’t let all that important, creative work go to waste.

Approaching change in an intentional, thoughtful and strategic way can help you and others stay steady and healthy during the experience and beyond. All of us hit points of resistance at times. That is normal and something that can be learned from and worked through. As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” It will be exciting to see what we build together as MSU moves forward.

Sources:

Managing Change-How to Navigate COVID-19 and the Changes to Come. (2020, April 22). Retrieved from https://www.amanet.org/articles/managing-change-how-to-navigate-covid-19-and-the-changes-to-come/