Dear Colleagues,

Throughout fiscal 2019, Campus Human Resources has led many initiatives that advance our mission of attracting, developing, and retaining outstanding and diverse people. It was also a year that kicked off significant upcoming change for Human Resources. Last summer and fall Aon, an industry leader in HR service delivery, conducted an organizational assessment that helped us prioritize our efforts and resulted in an HR Roadmap for process and service improvements. The year ended with the retirement of key partners across UCSF – including our Chief Human Resources Officer.

I’m really encouraged that throughout all of this, our Customer Service Index (CSI) as measured via a quarterly survey of HR customers, has shown year over year improvement since the survey launched in 2016. We remain focused on achieving greater improvement, and the feedback our customers provide through the survey helps to validate that our priorities align with customer concerns and identify new opportunities.

I want to share a few highlights and key accomplishments resulting from our FY19 HR priorities. In the coming months, I look forward to sharing updates about ongoing projects in HR Shared Services, such as the academic offer letter generator, processes to support visiting researchers, and HR Onsite as well as the HR Roadmap.

Learning & Organization Development - Increase Staff Engagement

Throughout the year, increasing overall staff engagement levels was top of mind for Learning and Organization Development (L&OD) and UCSF leaders. The first of two Town Hall events took place in September 2018 to share survey results and encourage employees to brainstorm solutions to increase staff engagement. It was followed by a Town Hall in January 2019 where L&OD and UCSF leaders shared the UCSF organization-wide action plan to increase staff engagement and build a foundation of trust.

In addition, an ambassador orientation and summit, manager trainings and workshops, and community engagement events were held during FY19 that contributed to the development of the action plan. A focus of this work also included understanding barriers to engagement and supporting efforts to enhance the UCSF culture and eliminate the gap in scores between employee groups. 

Regular action plan updates and progress are available on the Employee Engagement website.

These collective efforts tie to the three levers supporting/impacting engagement:


Workers’ Compensation Payroll Rate Decrease

The UCSF campus workers’ compensation rate will decrease by 4% for the coming fiscal year from .70 to .63/$100 of payroll, which translates to an estimated savings of about $1.3 million for the campus. For the third consecutive year, UCSF’s rate is the second lowest in the UC system, with only UC Irvine having a lower rate.

The rate reduction resulted from a combination of factors, including the loss rate, decreased severity of claims, and claim frequency. We also facilitated employees’ ability to participate in modified duty work programs and partnered with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to mitigate risk. Partnerships between Human Resources, EH&S, Sedgwick, and Occupational Health Services have been instrumental in achieving this rate reduction. 

Managers should continue to support and bring awareness to hazards in the workplace and work with EH&S to mitigate hazards in the workplace; encourage new employees to complete the online ergonomics evaluation, ensure employees take required safety trainings and use personal protective equipment when required; and accommodating temporary and permanent work restrictions to facilitate return to work.

Faculty & Staff Assistance Program

The Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is staffed by seven clinicians and one program coordinator who serve UCSF campus and Health, as well as the UC Office of the President (approximately 28,000 employees in all). Additionally, as more of Children’s Hospital of Oakland physicians become UCSF faculty, the employee population served by FSAP continues to expand.

The demand for FSAP services continued to increase during Fiscal Year 2018-19. To meet that need, FSAP hired a new staff psychologist primarily to provide services to UCSF’s 1,600 residents and fellows.  In addition, FSAP opened a new office in October on the Parnassus Campus to support residents and fellows outside standard business hours. Currently the Parnassus office is open for clients on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and FSAP plans to add Wednesday evenings to the schedule later this year. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and expands FSAP’s ability to serve the UCSF community. Additional highlights from FY19 include:

  • Growing popularity for two FSAP services - the Bio-Feedback service for stress management and emotional self-regulation, and the Mindfulness and Self-Compassion sessions.
  • In June, FSAP hosted an all-day retreat for approximately 50 members of the University Threat Management Team. The retreat included an advanced training session and a full program review to ensure that UCSF follows best practices.

Labor & Employee Relations (LER) - Performance Management Support

Labor and Employee Relations (LER) annually conducts focused outreach to support people managers to more effectively address and manage low performing employees. This work involves identifying employees whose performance was rated below Meets Expectations and then working with managers to coach and counsel employees to improve performance. The effort launched in FY18, following the completion of calendar year 2017 performance evaluations. LER worked with the managers to ensure that identified performance issues were appropriately addressed. Of the population identified during FY18, 90% have had their performance issues addressed through one of the following:

  • 34% improved their performance during 2018 through various means, including coaching
  • 24% received further formal counseling and/or discipline
  • 31% have transitioned out of UCSF, some voluntarily and some involuntarily

LER has recently identified the current list of staff who are not meeting expectations for the performance evaluation period that ended December 31, 2018 and is beginning outreach to people managers.

If you have an employee who is not meeting expectations as of their most recent evaluation or who is showing signs of not fully meeting expectations, we recommend that you contact LER soon to discuss how best to address the concerns. 

Looking ahead

As FY20 gets underway, I’m optimistic about the opportunity that lies ahead for both HR and UCSF. UCSF leadership recognizes the critical importance of HR to the greater UCSF community and I am grateful for their support us as we focus on improving some of the most critical pain points identified in the Aon assessment. Many customers across the campus have provided input as we ramp up this work, and we look forward to launching a toolkit of information and resources about our progress later this summer.

After years of planning, UCPath is finally becoming a reality, and we are excited about working with our partners from the Controller’s Office and the PMO as we prepare to go live in 2020. UCPath will provide a more modern and robust payroll system that can better support UCSF’s growth while creating alignment across the UC system.

Last but not least, Human Resources will be moving to our new North Point location in the Fall of 2020, bringing both Campus and Health HR teams together under one roof. Co-locating will provide an opportunity to get to know each other better, partner more closely together and leverage synergies in our work where it makes most sense.




Jenny Schreiber | Assistant Vice Chancellor
Campus Human Resources