Job of the Week: Skilled Trades Supervisors

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is a Skilled Trades Supervisor (posting 774284) in the department of Power and Water through Infrastructure Planning and Facilities. 

The Skilled Trades Supervisor will be responsible for overseeing the install, repair and maintenance of power and water controls. In addition, all Power and Water hiring, recruiting and training are assigned to this role. The supervisor will work with union representatives, manage the department budget and develop and coordinate power outage plans. This professional must also uphold IPF’s commitment to fostering an equitable, inclusive culture. For a full list of responsibilities, click here.

Applicants interested in this position should have knowledge normally acquired from at least one year of higher education and five to eight years work experience in maintenance of electrical equipment. The applicant must also possess a valid drivers license and meet MSU safe driving standards. The desired qualifications include, but are not limited to a degree in electrical, chemical or mechanical engineering, knowledge of power plant operations and experience with labor relations. Knowledge of Microsoft Office Products and Continuous or Predictive Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS, PEMS) is also desired. IPF is looking for a staff member who understands different perspectives while utilizing expert knowledge on the technical operations of the position. 

Learn more about MSU IPF at https://ipf.msu.edu/. Find more information and apply with a cover letter and resume by May 3 here. All the latest job postings can be found at careers.msu.edu

Deals and Discounts for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day (May 8), show the mom in your life that you appreciate them with a thoughtful gift – whether that’s your mom, mother to your kiddos, stepmom, or mother-in-law. MSU benefits-eligible employees have access to many discounts and savings through MSU Benefits Plus.

To access all the discounts, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign-up for a free account using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge), or you can find the number in EBS.

Check out some of these deals that you can find through MSU Benefits Plus:

Flowers

  • Rose Farmers is committed to providing luxury roses for every special occasion. Get 35% off luxury long stem roses delivered from the farm to your doorstep.
  • Want to send a bouquet of fresh flowers? Enjoy 20% off from 1-800 Flowers, including Fruit Bouquets!
  • From You Flowers is perfect for any occasion and every sentiment. Save 25% all year!

Gifts

  • Give the gift of a great show at Wharton Center and enjoy up to 15% off through MSU Benefits Plus.
  • Lavish the mom on your list with pearly gifts that are sure to be remembered, and save 60% on available jewelry with free shipping from Pacific Pearls.
  • Gift a great getaway to the beach, theme park, or a golf excursion with up to 40% through HVN, the exclusive provider of professionally serviced apartments, homes, villas, and vacation rentals.

Food

  • Go with a gift that’s sure to be a hit and save 15% off chocolate-covered strawberries, one of the most popular gifts from Shari’s Berries.
  • Enjoy a home-cooked meal without the hassle of cooking. Get $60 off your first five orders from Freshly.
  • Save 20% on “the very best treat you don’t have to bake yourself” from David’s Cookies.

Find these discounts and many more by visiting the MSU Benefits Plus portal. Sign-up for a free account using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge), or you can find the number in EBS.

Job of the Week: WorkLife Consultant/Life Span & Family Services Coordinator

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is a WorkLife Consultant/Life Span and Family Services Coordinator (Job Posting 771494). 

The WorkLife Consultant provides administrative and coordination of child and family care assistance programs, including advocating for family support and workplace wellness policies for faculty and staff. Responsibilities include conceptualizing, developing, implementing, and administering university-wide work-life programs and activities. The person chosen for this will be responsible for programming, reports, promotion, and one-on-one and group consultations in family care, workplace assistance/wellness, campus/community connections, relocation, and career.

The selected candidate for this role will refer faculty and staff inquiries about family assistance, workplace assistance and wellness, community connections, relocation, and career to appropriate agencies, offices, or information sources. They will also serve as a liaison between University offices, campus governmental units, committees, constituents, and external employers and governing bodies. They will utilize knowledge of organizational conditions and evolving trends in the field to advise stakeholders on the quality of work-life issues through advocacy, presentations, consultations, and more. Find the complete list of duties and responsibilities here

Applicants interested in this position should have a four-year degree in Psychology, Social Work, Human Resources, or Public Administration. A Master’s degree is preferred but not required. They should also have at least one year of experience in dependent care support, family services program planning, coordination, and evaluation. It is helpful if the candidate has knowledge of local community resources for employees, families, newcomers, aging employees/families, wellbeing, and dependent care. The best candidates will also have excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills, be able to manage multiple tasks, and excellent writing skills. They would also be comfortable learning and using new technology such as MS Teams, Qualtrics, SharePoint, social media, Zoom, MediaSpace, and Microsoft 362 Suite. 

MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon. Learn more about MSU WorkLife Office at worklife.msu.edu. To apply, submit your resume and cover letter here by April 26. Find all the latest job postings at careers.msu.edu

Time Management Blog Series: Eat the Frog

Time management is an area where most of us could use additional practice and skills. Over a series of posts, we’ll highlight time management techniques to give you different tools to utilize depending on your needs, preferences and work style. The reality is that the best productivity technique is the one you’ll actually use and stick with, so give different approaches a try and see what works best for you.

We’ll focus here on leveling up your time management skills with the Eat the Frog method.

Eat the Frog: What It Is

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Inspired by a quote commonly attributed to Mark Twain, Eat the Frog isn’t just a catchy phrase but also a powerful approach to help you reach high levels of performance and productivity. Deceptively simple, Eat the Frog comes down to one simple activity: identify the Most Important Task (MIT) or “frog” for your day and complete it first.

How It Works

  1. Identify Your Frog/MIT. Just one—pick your most challenging, most important task for the day.
  2. Eat the Frog. Complete this task first thing in the morning.
  3. Repeat Every Day. Observe how consistently “eating a frog” every day adds up to large results over time.

It really is that simple! Eat the Frog can be combined with other productivity methods — for example, the Pomodoro Technique — but is also a powerful tool in and of itself.

Who Will It Benefit?

While the Eat the Frog approach can work well for just about anyone, it may be an especially good fit for you if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You struggle with procrastination.
  • You have trouble deciding what to work on.
  • You feel overwhelmed by your to-do list.
  • You have a hard time sticking to a productivity/time management system.
  • You complete a lot of work but aren’t making progress on important projects.

Why It’s Effective

Eat the Frog is a powerful time management tool for a number of reasons.

  • It’s simple, straightforward and flexible. Maintaining a complex, multi-step productivity method can feel overwhelming. Eat the Frog is a simple approach you can fall back on at any time with almost zero prep work.
  • It sets you up for an easy “win” at the start of your day. Any day you “eat your frog” is a good day. Tackle a difficult, important task first thing to gain momentum and motivation for the remainder of your day.
  • It allows you to set your own agenda. Rather than beginning your day in a reactive mode — responding to emails and addressing the needs of others — put your highest-priority task first on your daily agenda before other requests take you in other directions.
  • It provides space for deep work. Eat the Frog forces you to push back against external and internal distractions and focus on one task at a time while prioritizing actions that will bring you closer to your goals.

Additional Considerations

Here are tips to help you consistently and successfully apply this simple time management technique.

  • When choosing your frog/MIT, consider that these are typically tasks that are important but not urgent—the type of task that creates mental resistance and leads to procrastination if you don’t intentionally create space for it.
  • Choose a task you’ll be able to complete in 1-4 hours. A frog should be clearly defined and realistic, only requiring a few hours, tops. If the task can’t be completed in 1-4 hours, it needs to be broken down into smaller steps.

Below are additional resources that may help you establish a time management approach that works for you. Keep an eye out for additional posts in the Time Management Blog Series that dive into the Eisenhower Matrix, time blocking and more. Do you have other time management tips? Share in the comments section — your ideas may be just the thing another person needs to succeed with time management.

Additional Resources

Determining Your Time Management Style (6-minute elevateU video)

Managing Your Time So It Doesn’t Manage You (19-minute elevateU course)

Time Management Blog Series: Pomodoro Technique (SourceLive blog post)

The Power of Habit (OPD Instructor-Led Course)

Sources

Kane, Becky. Eat the Frog. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from https://todoist.com/productivity-methods/eat-the-frog.

Tracy, Bryan. Eat That Frog: Brian Tracy Explains the Truth About Frogs. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from https://www.briantracy.com/blog/time-management/the-truth-about-frogs/.

Spring Event Roundup

There isn’t a better time than Spring to explore, improve, and enjoy everything MSU has to offer as the weather warms up and the sun peeks through the clouds.

Looking for a reason to get outside? MSU Horticulture and Gardens is taking advantage of the April showers and May flowers. You should too!

  • Check out the 2022 garden displays in the Beal Gardens on the East Lansing campus, and learn from MSU Horticulture expert and garden manager Daedre McGrath about what was planted and why by reading this article.
  • Dive into even more about the flora in the Beal Gardens with an MSU Libraries event in May called Wild Foods and the Salad Bar of Spring. Bring your family and friends to a stroll through the dos and don’ts of growing your own vegetables.
  • If you love what you saw in the gardens, mark your calendar for the annual Horticulture Gardens Plant Sale on May 14 at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building. You can even become a Garden Member to shop the sale early and receive 10% off. 

After a day of Spring cleaning, grab a well deserved break at one of the many offerings this season at Wharton Center:

  • MSU’s Music Department is celebrating 150 years of bands with a grand performance on April 30. Purchase tickets and view the seating map here.
  • The Wharton is hosting two Broadway caliber touring shows in the next few months so make sure to pick up your tickets for Dear Evan Hanson and Ain’t Too Proud before they sell out.

No matter the season, prioritizing your health and wellness is always important, and MSU has the tools to help faculty and staff year round:

  • For the first time in two years, Rest with Music at the Abrams Planetarium is back. Discover the healing properties of music once a month in person or on Health4U’s Facebook Live. 
  • MSU’s IM facilities are great places to start preparing for a summer hike, swim or bike ride and offer discounted rates for staff. Visit their website for rates, capacity trackers, and up to date hours, which change after the conclusion of the Spring Semester. 

As always, if you are looking to improve some of your soft work skills or discover a new passion for work, professional development is for you.

Go out and explore this spring, but don’t forget your allergy pills!

Job of the Week – Internal Postings with MSU Human Resources

This week, MSU Human Resources is excited to feature two internal openings in our unit—an MAU Financial Officer (internal posting 772310) and a Management Analyst (internal posting 772312). These openings are available to current MSU employees.

The MAU Financial Officer (Internal Posting 772310) is a newly created position that will support budget and financial operations for all areas within Human Resources, as well as the university’s benefits budget. Reporting directly to the Vice President of Human Resources, the position’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, providing strategic oversight and direction for the benefits budget as well as HR’s day-to-day financial operations, financial forecasts, strategic planning, and trends analysis. The selected candidate will identify financial needs and develop standards, procedures, processes, and internal controls to maximize financial performance and integrity. They will represent HR in financial interactions with all MSU units and prepare all necessary budget/finance/accounting reports for university and HR executive management. The complete list of duties and responsibilities is available within the internal posting.

The MAU Financial Officer should have a four-year degree in Business or a related field and at least eight years of experience in education, government, or industry experience in planning, finance, budgeting processes, development, and analysis. They should also possess knowledge of economics, business administration, and quantitative methods, including statistics using computer analytical models and systems analysis. Ideally, the chosen candidate will be registered as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or have equivalent education and experience.

The Management Analyst (Internal Posting 772312) for Human Resources will support benefits and human resource budgeting, financial analysis, and reporting. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, statistical and financial analysis of the university employee benefits programs, providing statistical and analytical support for the employee benefits budget, and collective bargaining as it relates to benefits. They will produce decision support tools and analysis for short- and long-range employee benefits and human resource budget strategic planning and assist the Financial Analysis Office with fiscal year-end financial close. The complete list of duties and responsibilities is available within the internal posting.

The Management Analyst should have a four-year degree in Accounting or Finance with relevant coursework in Computer Science. Work experience should include three to five years in professional statement preparation, cost accounting, or auditing. The chosen candidate should be experienced in word processing, spreadsheet, and accounting software and ideally be registered as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or have equivalent education and experience.

Employees interested in either of these positions should be adaptable, quick-learning, deadline-oriented, and self-motivated. Proficiency in written and verbal communication, organization, and experience in SAP/EBS and KFS is preferred. Though not required, the ideal candidate should have a proven track record of budget development and experience working in a financial role with human resources and/or university settings.

These job postings are available to current MSU employees through the EBS portal, under My Career & Training, using the Careers @ MSU tile. Use the search bar on the right and enter the posting number and apply with your resume and cover letter by April 26. Learn more about HR at https://hr.msu.edu/about/index.html.

Answers to Your Top Questions on Preparing for Retirement

Have you worked at MSU for at least 25 years in a benefit-eligible position? Or are you at least 62 years old and worked at MSU for at least 15 years in a benefit-eligible position? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be thinking about retiring from MSU someday (or even soon).

To help you prepare for retirement, we’ve compiled a list of the top questions we receive as employees think about transitioning to retirement:

Q1: What will be the retiree health care plan?

A1: This depends on whether you, your spouse/other eligible individual (OEI) or any covered dependents are eligible to enroll in Medicare when you retire. Review the Effect of Retirement on Benefits for details about your situation and the applicable year Open Enrollment Guide for Retirees for health plan information.

Q2: How much will retiree health care cost?

A2: Most retirees are eligible to receive the full university contribution level towards retiree health and dental benefits. To determine your level of university contribution, please review the Retiree Benefits Policy to understand your “Retirement Calculation Date” and your level of “FTE Service Months” (both can be viewed in your Personal Profile tile in the EBS Portal), and how they will affect the amounts that you pay in retirement. Then check the appropriate health care Monthly Plan Premiums chart in the applicable year Open Enrollment Guide for Retirees to determine the cost.

Q3: Am I eligible to cover my spouse/OEI or dependents on my retiree health care plan?

A3: Your “Retirement Calculation Date” (which can be viewed in your Personal Profile tile in the EBS Portal) will determine the university’s contribution for your spouse/OEI and dependents toward retiree health and dental coverage based on university policy. To see which contribution you will qualify for, please review the Retiree Benefits Policy. Even if you’re not eligible to receive a university contribution toward retiree health care for your spouse/OEI or other dependents, you can still enroll them in the university’s group retiree health care plan by paying the full premium cost.

Q4: How is retiree health care different from my current coverage?

A4: Please review the Health Plan Coverage Summary in the applicable year’s Open Enrollment Guide for active employees (faculty or support staff) and retirees to compare the benefits offered.

Q5: What does retiree health care cover?

A5: Please review the Retiree Open Enrollment Guide to view the Health Plan Coverage Summary for benefits offered.

Q6: Does the retiree health care plan include prescription drug coverage?

A6: Yes. Your retiree health care plan and prescription drug coverage is bundled together in one plan. To learn more about the prescription drug coverage, please review the Summary of Health and Prescription Plan Provisions in the Retiree Open Enrollment Guide.

Q7: Is Medicare necessary?

A7: Yes. If you, your spouse/OEI, or any other covered dependent are eligible for Medicare by being age 65 or older, or due to disability (SSDI), the eligible individual must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (please do NOT enroll in Part D). Please review this Medicare and Social Security Information for more details about enrolling. Once you’re enrolled, you will need to send MSU Human Resources your MBI number from your Medicare card to enroll in MSU’s retiree health care plan.

Q8: Which parts of Medicare do I need?

A8: You must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (please do NOT enroll in Part D). Please review this Medicare and Social Security Information for more details about enrolling. Once you’re enrolled, you will need to send MSU Human Resources your MBI number from your Medicare card to enroll in MSU’s retiree health care plan.

Q9: When should I sign up for Medicare?

A9: You should enroll in Medicare Parts A & B at least 2-3 months in advance of the effective date, as it will take time for Medicare to process your application and send you your Medicare card (which you will need in order to send MSU Human Resources your MBI number to enroll in the MSU retiree health care plan). If you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period with Medicare, contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434 to complete the required form.

Q10: How early do I have to request retirement from MSU?

A10: We suggest you submit your MSU Retirement Form at least 90 days prior to your planned retirement date so we can ensure your enrollment in Medicare and/or the MSU retiree health care plan is completed smoothly and timely. You can submit your completed form up to 120 days in advance of your planned last day of work (for support staff positions) and up to 365 days in advance of your planned retirement date (for faculty, academic staff and executive management positions). You will submit your Retirement Form in the EBS Portal. Instructions to complete and submit the form are available.

Q11: How do you request retirement?

A11: You will submit the MSU Retirement Form via the EBS Portal. Instructions to complete and submit the form are available for your assistance.

Q12: As a support staff employee, what are my options regarding my unused vacation, personal and compensatory time?

A12: There are 3 options:

  1. Receive payment after your retirement date.
  2. Use all your time before your retirement date. After you indicate your last day worked on the Retirement Form, Human Resources will review your form and your available unused vacation, personal and compensatory time to determine your official retirement date.
  3. Combination of the options listed above: On the Retirement Form, please fill in the Notes section with the number of hours and type of hours (vacation, personal, and/or compensatory time) that you would like to use after your last day worked.

For more information on preparing to retire from MSU, please review the retirement resources on the HR website. These include a Roadmap to Retirement webinar, the effect of retirement on your benefits, information about Medicare and Social Security, a retirement checklist and much more. If you’re ready to take the next step, we recently made updates to the Retirement Form in the EBS Portal to make it more user-friendly.

Go Green this Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22, so let’s celebrate because helping the planet is not only recycling but so much more! Here are some ways you can help our Spartan community go green! Whether you are working from home, heading into the office or any combination, use these great tips and resources to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

MSU Recycling Center always leads the charge for reusable materials at MSU. The center is open seven days a week for dropping off materials. These materials can be anything and everything from books, cardboard, glass, plastics and more! Find their hours along with what and how to drop things off at the MSU Recycling Center website

If you do spend some or all of your workday away from home, consider looking into clean commuting options. You can try biking, CATA or even Spin Scooters. MSU Bikes can give 1-on-1 bike commuter assistance, helping you find the safest, lowest-stress route from your home to campus. MSU also offers secure covered bike parking and repair and air stations for your convenience. Information can be found on their website

Capital Area Transportation Authority offers multiple clean commute options with travel modes that fit your work hours and location. CATA also offers a commute cost calculator by examining how much money you spend driving and how much you can save by using the bus and other CATA services. Visit the CATA website to learn how to add CATA to your sustainable daily routine. 

Spin electric scooters are the newest addition to clean, affordable, convenient and fun ways to get around campus. These scooters are dockless, so no need to find a charger to pick them up or drop them off. They operate seven days a week during all daylight hours. To ride these electric scooters that travel up to 14 miles per hour, just download the Spin App and scan the unique QR code on the scooter you want to ride. Get ready to ride on and around campus by going to MSU’s Spin Scooter landing page

Are you looking for some new accessories to improve your work from home space? Do you need something different as you transition back to the office? The MSU Surplus Store is worth checking out! Finding items second hand is a great way to make a pledge to go green, especially when everything is at such great prices. Read MSU HR’s feature on the Surplus Store to learn more about the great services and items they offer!

This Earth Day, it has never been easier to make a pledge and go green! Reduce your carbon footprint with a clean commute, reuse and shop second hand at the MSU Surplus Store, and of course, recycle at the MSU Recycling Center. Putting in the effort this Earth Day and every day after that will make a difference for our planet!

Celebrate National Pet Day with MSU Vet Clinic and Pet Insurance

April 11 is National Pet Day! Pet lovers already know, and the Center for Disease Control confirms, that there are many benefits to owning pets. Pets increase opportunities for exercise, enjoying the outdoors, and socializing. These health benefits can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. The companionship of pets makes us less lonely, reducing the effects of depression. 

Owning pets comes with responsibility, and Michigan State University offers services and resources to assist in those responsibilities. First, the MSU Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) can provide for all the health needs of your entire animal family. They provide health care for cats, dogs, equine, pigs, cows, camelids, sheep, goats, pocket pets, zoo animals, and wildlife. Their services include cardiology, oncology, primary care, and more. 

The VMC uses the most advanced technology combined with cutting-edge research to provide optimal care for all animals. Similar to specialists in human medicine, veterinarians pursue additional education and certification beyond veterinary school. That training allows the Hospital to offer 20 specialty services with clinicians who supervise and teach our senior veterinary students, interns, residents, and veterinary technology students to fulfill the Hospital’s commitment to educating future professionals. 

Maintaining optimal health for your pets is a financial investment, and emergency care can be costly. Keep those expenses manageable with preferred pricing from Nationwide pet insurance offered through MSU Benefits Plus, where you can choose from 50% or 70% reimbursement for services from any vet. You’ll also receive additional benefits for services such as emergency boarding, lost pet advertising, and more. Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website to learn more and enroll. Locate the Nationwide Pet Insurance tile under Featured Benefits and click Visit Site to request a free quote. 

Job of the Week: Events Worker

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is a temporary/on-call Events Worker with the Department of Police and Public Safety (posting 771329). 

If you or someone you know enjoys the events at Michigan State University such as concerts, sporting events, outdoor functions, and other university special events, this temporary/on-call support staff position might be just right! If selected for this position, you would work at an assigned station in a concession stand helping with food preparation and operating a cash drawer. You may also be assigned to parking enforcement, ushering, or other event-related responsibilities as needed. 

This role is important in ensuring the safety and success of MSU events by performing regular rounds of the complex, monitoring secured areas, leading and directing in emergencies, reporting crimes, and more. Successful applicants will be available to work in this job capacity for a minimum of one year. The hours available for this position currently include nighttime hours, primarily over weekends, at a rate of approximately 8-15 hours per week. 

If you are interested in this position, you should have great communication and interpersonal skills and a high standard of ethical conduct. The physical demands include being able to stand or walk for an entire shift. Additionally, applicants will be expected to become Red Cross certified if they are not already, and pass radiation safety worker training. 

Learn more about MSU Police at police.msu.edu. To apply, submit your resume and cover letter here by April 14. All the latest job postings can be found at careers.msu.edu.