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Inside Human Resources at IUPUI

March 22, 2016

Lockefield Village, home of IUPUI Human Resources Administration

Lockefield Village is the home of IUPUI Human Resources Administration.

For many IUPUI employees, Human Resources Administration is the "front door" of IUPUI. And Juletta Toliver thinks that is the way it should be.

"Most times, we are the first point of contact for new hires, and we're the first point of contact on benefits, too," said Toliver, who is IUPUI's interim assistant vice chancellor for human resources. "Our goal is to provide people with the one-on-one help they usually desire; we're the welcoming team to our campus."

Human Resources Administration, with 13 full-time employees, provides many services to support IUPUI employees. It is responsible for employment, including job analysis and classification. It is also responsible for recruiting and hiring, as well as compensation, benefits, employee and labor relations, training, and organizational development.

But the way HR operates has changed a lot in recent years, Toliver noted.

"We used to be heavy on transactional processes, but these days we're asked to be more strategic in the services we offer, and more collaborative with IUPUI's schools, centers, offices and the other units we serve."

That offers her team a welcome challenge, she added.

"We are more of a business partner for the campus, and that's been interesting for our people," Toliver said. "We have to apply new and different skills and knowledge, and I believe it is making HR more effective for our people."

One thing that hasn't changed is the HR approach. "Our employees have always valued the individualized service they receive from us, and we intentionally give them our undivided attention," she said. "Newly hired employees appreciate our benefits orientation sessions and having their specific benefits questions answered. Managers appreciate HR taking the extra time to work through a position classification or the advice we give on recruiting a position that is difficult to fill."

She noted that many staff and faculty are unaware of the training opportunities available to them through Human Resources, including individualized organizational development interventions for various work teams.

"That is becoming an increasing area of emphasis for us, and I think it will be one of the ways that HR can help shape IUPUI's future," Toliver said.

Helping to shape the campus and its future is a major goal of HR these days. "We want to understand the goals that our units have, and to learn the 'why' of it so we can help them arrive at long-range solutions," she said. "When we reach that point, we'll be able to help IUPUI reach its strategic goals and become even more effective."

For some, that might mean helping them build stronger employee relationships. For others, it could be more-focused talent management. For still others, it could become support to help schools and units "recruit the millennials who will be the next generation of IUPUI's employees," Toliver said. "We can't be a 'one-size-fits-all' organization anymore."

Toliver believes Indiana University's HR2020 initiative will help reach new levels of employee engagement and performance throughout the university, including on the IUPUI campus.

"We are exploring how the information the HR survey gathered will help us serve our customers better," she said. "We want our employees, schools and units to perceive us as the HR experts who can help them achieve their goals."

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