By Golly, Be Jolly this Holiday Season with Deals and Discounts for MSU Employees!

Although this year’s holiday celebrations will no doubt look different than usual, there are still ways to make it feel special, whether your loved ones are together or apart. As a benefit-eligible MSU employee, you have access to various discounts and savings that can help you find the perfect holiday gifts this year thanks to MSU Benefits Plus. Through MSU Benefits Plus, you can find discounts and special offers on products such as electronics, footwear and more!

To access all the discounts, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign-in using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge), or you can find the number in EBS. If you haven’t used MSU Benefits Plus previously, you’ll need to sign-up using your ZPID number to access the discounts.

Check out some of the deals you can find through MSU Benefits Plus below:

Apple – Enjoy employee pricing on most Apple products such as select iPhones, AirPods, MacBooks, Apple Watches and more when you shop through this exclusive link.

Foot Locker – Save $20 off $120+ at Foot Locker by using the code PARNOV20 at checkout.

HP – With the HP Employee Purchase Program (EPP) employees can save up to 70% during HP’s holiday and Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale! Your EPP discount can also be combined with other sales promotions.

Otterbox – Get 10% off your order plus free shipping when you use the promo code OTTER10 at checkout.

1800Baskets – Save 20% on seasonal gift baskets as well as any order from all of the 1800Flowers brands including when you use the promo code CSTREAM at checkout.

BMW – Through the BMW Group Corporate Sales Program, eligible employees can earn attractive incentives when leasing, financing or purchasing a new BMW or MINI. Earn up to $3,000 on a new BMW and $500 on a new MINI. When redeeming the Corporate Sales Program certificate, employees must type in the CSP Account # NEPP3703 to identify the provider first then type in your employer’s name in the Company Name field.

Sennheiser – Get 30% off Sennheiser’s headphones and headsets when you shop through this exclusive link.

BarkBox – Get your first BarkBox for only $15 when you shop through this exclusive link.

The HR website also offers other deals you can find on-campus through the MSU Tech Store, MSU Bakers, and the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, among others. You can check out some of those deals at MSU HR Website.

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

Use Your Free Livongo Benefit to Manage Your Diabetes

Are you or a family member living with diabetes? Data shows the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in the United States is rising each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.
  • More than 88 million US adults have prediabetes, and more than 84% don’t know they have it.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (and may be underreported).
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.

So, what is diabetes? There are two variations: Type I and Type II. As explained by MSU’s Health eGuide, Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas ceases to make insulin, a hormone that helps the body use sugar for energy. Lack of insulin causes a high blood sugar level, which can be harmful to many parts of the body and can increase the risk for other health complications. Type II diabetes differs in that the body is still able to make insulin, however, it is unable to use it in the right way. While Type I diabetes is not yet preventable, Type II can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle (Healthwise Staff, 2020).

For those living with diabetes, MSU offers a benefit called Livongo – a diabetes management program completely free to MSU employees and their spouses/dependents. The Livongo program aims to reduce the burden on those living with diabetes by offering technology and support to help members easily manage their health.

One of the first to enroll in Livongo was Jeff Brodie, a Management Analyst for MSU Human Resources, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011. Here’s what Jeff had to say about his experience using Livongo: “There is nothing to lose at all, and everything to gain. Even if you sign up and do the minimal, you will be healthier than if you didn’t sign up at all.” You can read more about Jeff’s experience using Livongo in this previous HR blog post.

You can enroll for Livongo at any time and it takes less than 10 minutes to sign up. Once you register, you will receive a welcome kit in the mail. The kit contains your own Livongo connected meter, unlimited testing strips, a lancing device, lancets, a carrying case, and optional coaching by a healthcare professional. Many users say the best part of the program is the unlimited free test strips and lancets mailed right to your door whenever you need them – why pay for these supplies when they are available free?

To learn more about using your free Livongo benefit, visit the Livongo for Diabetes Management webpage. If you have questions or are ready to sign up, visit the Livongo website. Find more testimonials for Livongo here. Do you have your own experience with Livongo? We’d love to hear in the comments below or email us at hrcommteam@hr.msu.edu.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, June 11). Diabetes Quick Facts. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html

Healthwise Staff. (2020, June 29). Diabetes. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.healthwise.net/health4u/Content/StdDocument.aspx?DOCHWID=center1010

University Launches More Inclusive Hiring Process for Temporary Employees

MSU recently launched a new process for hiring temporary and on-call positions at the University. The new process requires the public posting of temporary positions to ensure all interested individuals have an equal opportunity to be aware of and compete for this type of employment at MSU. While other types of regular positions at MSU have long been publicly posted, extending that practice to temporary jobs is in line with MSU’s commitment to be a diverse and inclusive campus community.

Effective Nov. 9, 2020, temporary and on-call positions are posted publicly on MSU’s Careers@MSU website. MSU postings, now including Temporary and On-call postings, also are sent to Pure Michigan Talent Connect at https://www.mitalent.org/ to expand the range of individuals likely to see MSU postings.

“Our mission is to attract high-quality employees to all position types at Michigan State University. It’s vital that we ensure our postings reach a diverse, widespread audience and that all individuals feel welcome and encouraged to apply,” said Alice Smith, Director of Hiring at MSU Human Resources. “Introducing this new hiring process, and the posting requirements associated with it, is a step in our ongoing efforts to make hiring processes more inclusive and attract high-quality, diverse talent pools.”

The University collaborated with hiring departments and leadership from across campus for feedback and decision-making as this new process was created and implemented.

Applicants can visit careers.msu.edu to review existing career opportunities at the University. Hiring colleges and departments can find more information about the new hiring process on the MSU Human Resources website at hr.msu.edu/ua/hiring/support-staff/oncall-temporary.html. Contact the HR Solutions Center for more information or questions at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

Best Doctors Benefit Offers New Behavioral Health Navigator Service

Your mental health needs to be a priority. As we continue living through this pandemic, that is especially important now more than ever. MSU’s Best Doctors (also known as Teladoc Medical Experts) benefit recognizes how important mental health is. A new service they are now offering to benefit-eligible MSU employees and retirees is their Behavioral Health Navigator.

As a benefit-eligible employee or retiree, if you or your eligible dependent is facing depression, anxiety, or a related condition and want a second opinion, Best Doctors/Teladoc Medical Experts wants to help. Best Doctors/Teladoc Medical Experts gives expert second medical opinions and access to coaching and online education tools. And now with the Behavioral Health Navigator, they offer these services for more than just medical care.

So whether you’re just looking for a second opinion, don’t feel like your condition isn’t improving, need help to find a mental health provider who specializes in your specific condition, or have questions related to your condition, the Behavioral Health Navigator is here to help. Listen to this member experience in the following video:

The Best Doctors/Teladoc Medical Experts team of leading psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers take the time to list to your concerns and complete an in-depth review and assessment of your existing diagnosis and treatment plan while guiding you through the mental health care system to monitor your progress.

How to use the Behavioral Health Navigator:

  1. Contact Best Doctors/Teladoc Medical Experts – You’ll be connected to a behavioral health nurse who will be assigned to you throughout the course of your care. The nurse will perform a video interview to help determine the need for additional assessment or record collection.
  2. In-depth review & report – After the nurse performs the interview, they will complete an assessment summary to send to the behavioral health medical director and an expert psychiatrist. After they review your summary and history, they will either talk to you further or provide recommendations for improvement.
  3. Follow through – Your nurse will guide you through the report, make sure you understand the recommendations, answer your questions, and follow-up throughout your therapy.

Contact Best Doctors/Teladoc Medical Experts today to get started at 866-904-0910, BestDoctors.com, or download the app. Best Doctors/Teladoc Medical Experts is available to faculty, staff, and retirees who are eligible to enroll in MSU health plans. Learn more about this benefit on the MSU Human Resources website.

Tips for Creating an Effective Remote Work Schedule

Whether you’re now working from home during this time period alongside your family members, or if you’ve got a furry friend by your side begging for your attention, working remotely can be a challenge. Stepping out of your daily routine at the office may be bringing added stressors to your work life as you try to effectively manage your workload from home while adjusting to new methods of collaboration with your coworkers. 

Figuring out what works best for you during this time is far from easy, but after already practicing working away from campus these past few months, many MSU employees have been able to find ways to bring structure and efficiency into their remote workdays. We asked employees to tell us what tips, tricks, or tools they’ve been using to help them effectively succeed at remote work, and here are some common themes we found.

  1. Utilizing flexible work hours where possible

Some employees have been able to coordinate a flexible work schedule with their supervisors that helps the employees as they work remotely.

“Since COVID-19 and working from home, I start my workday at 7:30 a.m. I also take a 30-minute lunch and these two easy changes allow me to finish my workday at 4:00 p.m… I feel very blessed to have some control over my workday schedule.” – Jackie Hohenstein

“A lesson from this remote work is, work does not necessarily have to be 8-5. Work needs to get done, but depending on your preferences and home situation, perhaps starting at 6 a.m. is better, or resuming at 8 p.m. As long as the work gets done, schedules can and should be flexible.” – Rick McNeil

“I learned in a training that working at your peak performance hours leads to better productivity. For example, if you’re a morning person, you work better and complete more during your peak times. I also found that stepping away from the computer for five or 10 minutes every two hours keeps your momentum going. Overall, I like the new things I have learned becoming a remote worker.” – Natasha Williams

  1. Build Breaks Into Your Schedule

As Natasha mentions above, taking breaks keeps the momentum going. Other employees agreed that building breaks into their schedule helps them work remote more successfully.

“Working from home means that when I’m working, that pretty much means I’m looking at a computer screen. In the office, meetings used to give my eyes a break but now most meetings are on Zoom or Teams so I’m looking at a screen even then. I try to give my eyes a break by getting up from my seat and away from the computer for at least a few minutes every hour or so…I make myself take a lunch break every day where I’m not looking at my computer or phone screen. I also still take notes and brainstorm in a notebook, so that also gives me a screen break.” – Courtney Chapin

  1. Continue Your Regular Morning Routine

“One thing I have done to combat “quarantine fog” is to try to stick to my normal work schedule while also integrating time to care for my child and animals every couple of hours. Sometimes this extends the workday, but I have found I am better able to focus on my work after I have taken the dogs outside and played with them for a little bit. In addition, my 10-year-old daughter and I have been using our time in quarantine to have some good quality ‘talks.’” – Mary Keyes

  1. Keep Track of Your Workload

“I keep a document that I plan my work for the coming week on Friday. During that workweek, I keep track of the things I accomplish and the new things that come up that need to be done. I leave future action items on the list. I find this to be more effective than a paper list.” – Renee Graff

  1. Limit Distractions in Your Workplace

“Set aside a work area and leave work in the work area.  Don’t invite it into other areas of your home life.” – Jayme Miller

After hearing from other MSU employees, it is clear there are many ways to navigate remote working schedules. However you go about working remotely, looking to other coworkers or your supervisor for guidance can be one of the most helpful ways to ensure future success for yourself and your team.

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.

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.