Almost every other Monday, the Division of Human Resources (HR) formally welcomes the newest members of the University community at the HR New Staff Orientation Program, a three-hour, in-person introduction to Penn that is open to all benefits-eligible employees.
As an addition to the in-person orientation, HR recently launched the New Faculty and Staff Member Portal, an online, one-stop website containing forms, information, and resources that new faculty and staff will find useful during their first weeks on the job.
Elena McClelland, a training consultant in HR Learning & Education, says HR repackaged existing information available on a host of Penn websites into the new portal in order to reach new employees who may not be able to attend the orientation.
“We give information on the culture, the history, the benefits—all the great things about Penn—to get new people excited about being at Penn, and have them be productive and engaged while they’re here,” she says.
The portal is organized into five main categories, with each section providing links to specific programs and offerings.
“New Faculty and Staff Member Essentials” provides the basics of working at Penn, such as how to obtain a PennKey, get paid, and request time off. Easy-to-use maps can be downloaded to help navigate the University’s verdant campus.
The “Benefits” section includes information about the health, dental, and vision plans offered by Penn, and deals and discounts specific to University employees, such as 10 percent off at the Penn Bookstore.
“Policies and Compliance” lists link to University policies and the HR Policy Manual, as well as critical information on institutional compliance.
“Departments and Resources” lets new employees know where to go and whom to call with a variety of questions, such as those related to HR, the Division of Public Safety, the Office of the Ombudsman, or the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs.
In the “Get to Know Penn” section, new employees can learn about University history, leadership, and people, and discover things to do, places to go, and organizations to join.
The portal even contains a link to a dictionary to decode Penn acronyms, such as DP (Daily Pennsylvanian), GSE (Graduate School of Education), SAS (School of Arts & Sciences), and VPUL (Vice Provost for University Life).
McClelland says anyone with a PennKey, whether a new hire or veteran employee, can use the site, a handy resource for anyone in the Penn community.