Work Relations

Two gender nuetral employees shake hands over puzzle pieces.

The Employee Relations Department provides a place where both UMW employees and supervisors can discuss various work-related situations in order to get help or advice. Our goal is to foster positive work relationships between UMW employees, supervisors,and departments. We are available to advise, provide information, and make referrals to valuable resources on and off campus.

UMW and the Commonwealth of Virginia have outlined expectations for all state employees through the Standards of Conduct Policy 1.60. Expectations of all employees and supervisors can also be found in both the Faculty Handbook and Staff Employee Handbooks, as well as through UMW’s Statement of Community Values.

Situations may arise in which you would like confidential advice or to talk out situations over the phone or in person. We welcome the opportunity to help you find answers and work toward solutions.

When to call Employee Relations (540-654-2051)

Policy Clarification

Employee Relations staff are available to help employees and supervisors understand Commonwealth of Virginia Policies and specific UMW policies and procedures. Remember that departments have their own procedures which may include guidelines or standards for attendance, dress, requests for time off, and department-specific issues. Employees should discuss these departmental procedures with their supervisor if any guidelines or procedures are unclear.

Probationary Employees

All classified employees newly hired or rehired at UMW serve a 12 month probationary period. Probationary employees should receive training, coaching, mentoring and feedback from their supervisors frequently. Formal written probationary reviews are required at 6 months and just before reaching the 12 months of employment date. Supervisors are encouraged to consult with Employee Relations if a probationary employee is not meeting expectations. It is possible to terminate an employee’s employment before the end of the probationary period or extend an employee’s probation beyond the initial 12 month period if necessary. Requests to terminate or extend probation must be made to Employee Relations.

Performance Management

Managing performance is a continuous process of timely and effective communication between managers, supervisors and employees. The goals of the performance management process are to help the individual employee be successful in his/her work assignment and to facilitate the organization’s accomplishment of its goals. At UMW, the documents that we use to record expectations and accomplishments of employees are the Employee Work Profile (EWP) for classified and wage employees and the Performance Plan and Performance Appraisal form for administrative faculty.. Employee Relations is available to assist employees and supervisors when any part of the Performance Management process is not working well. For more information on performance management, click here.

Internal Classified Transfer

Have you accepted a new position at the University?  If so, here are a few items you and your current supervisor will work through in order to get you to your new job.  You will need to return any departmental keys, equipment (phone, pager, credit cards), and uniforms to you supervisor.  Depending on when you are leaving in the year, your supervisor will complete either an interim evaluation or an annual evaluation to pass along to your new supervisor.  Finally, you may be asked to provide feedback on your experience in the department to assist with changes in the future.  It is expected that you give two-weeks notice in order to ensure proper transition time.

Disciplinary Process

Employee Relations is available to consult with employees and with supervisors when there are questions or concerns about expectations, performance, or behavior in the workplace. Our staff can coach employees and supervisors and make referrals to other campus and state resources. UMW uses a progressive process to address performance and behavioral problems and the Employee Relations staff provides direction to that process.

Disagreements / Conflicts

Usually, people can have different opinions and continue to work together toward common goals. But sometimes differences in opinion or personal beliefs can result in workplace conflicts. If you and another employee (co-worker, supervisor, or subordinate) are having difficulty communicating or working together, Employee Relations can offer advice, answers to questions, and information about resources available to employees, including mediation.

Grievances

When possible, employees are encouraged to resolve grievances informally through discussions with their supervisors. The grievance procedure is a process through which a UMW non-probationary employee can bring a workplace concern or management action to upper levels of management. This process is formal and requires that rules be followed strictly. The classified grievance procedure is outlined in the state Grievance Procedure Manual. Employee Relations staff assist employees with submitting grievances, and coach managers on responding to grievances. This helps ensure that grievances are handled in a timely manner by all parties. The administrative faculty and faculty grievance procedures are outlined in the Employee Handbooks.

Separations

In the event that you or an employee you supervise decides to end employment with UMW, there are certain processes that need to take place. A guide, Out-Processing for Employees, a checklist for departing employees and their supervisor should be used as employees are out-processing from (leaving) UMW.  This form may be found in the Supervisor’s Handbook: Separation of Employees section. 

Stress

Much of our lives is spent at work and many of us feel the effects of work-life imbalances. If you feel tension in your work group because of stressful work arrangements, or if you feel burdened by stress related to your work or home life, feel free to call us. Our staff can offer advice, as well as connect you to confidential external counseling services and the Employee Assistance Program. (click here for more information)