Supervisor Newsletter Archive

Supervisor Newsletter April 2020

COVID-19 Resources

The GVSU Emergency website has information relevant for our entire community. Visit the GVSU COVID-19 FAQ page for university communication updates, travel and self-quarantine information, and student information.

Human Resources FAQs
If you or a colleague have questions regarding COVID-19, please refer to the Human Resources FAQ page. It is important to utilize and share this page to help manage the situations arising with COVID-19. If you have content you would like added or have any unanswered questions, please contact Human Resources at (616) 331-2215 or

Lakers Working Together
Visit our Lakers Working Together page for information on flexible and remote work resources including: equipment and access, web conferencing, transferring phones, remote collaboration, and work life resources.


HR@GV Support In Supervising a Remote Workforce

In the current climate, supervisors may be looking for ways to create and support a productive remote workforce. In order to help with this endeavor, HR@GV would like to provide one-on-one coaching to support your efforts and curate and develop resources and tools to help.

Kim Monaghan, the GVSU Human Resources Career Services for Faculty and Staff Consultant, will be taking the lead on this. She has been providing coaching and training for GVSU faculty and staff for over 10 years, and has been in business for over 14 years as a Professional Certified Coach and owner of KBM Coaching & Consulting LLC.

We are asking supervisors to contact Kim as soon as possible to schedule a time to talk and brainstorm how HR may be of service to them.

Thank you once again for all the hard work that you are doing to lead your team and contribute to GVSU’s ongoing success. We look forward to supporting you as you continue to successfully lead your remote workforce and help them achieve their full productive potential.


Virtual Training Opportunities – April 7 & 8!*

Randy Dean is back! Following up on his recent presentations for Optimizing Your MS Outlook, Randy is now bringing us tips and tools for virtual teams and remote work. Please join us by signing up on Sprout for these timely presentations and encouraging your staff to take advantage of these learning opportunities.

Virtual Meetings and Virtual Work: Getting More Productivity and Effectiveness From Both
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 10-11:30 a.m. & Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 1:30-3 p.m.

In this new program reflecting our current times with the coronavirus outbreak, Randy Dean, MBA, The E-mail Sanity Expert®, will take his 16+ years of “working from a home office” and leading multiple client meetings and webinars virtually, and provide you with tips that can greatly help increase your productivity and effectiveness with both. We’ll discuss critical set up, equipment, software, tools, and apps that will make your work from home experience more productive and less distracting. We will also discuss critical tips for running and/or attending online virtual meetings so they can be more useful and effective. All in a quick 90-minute webinar program!

*View the recorded version of this training on the GVSU Human Resources YouTube channel.


Taking Time Off to Restore: GVSU Human Resources encourages you to talk with your team about taking time off to restore

It has now been several weeks of changes and adjustments, with many of us still trying to figure out a new normal. At the same time, we have been slowly processing the reality and implications of all the changes in the world, at work, and home. It is not just business as usual; the nature of our home and work life has changed drastically. This is why it is especially important to encourage your team to use their vacation time to rest and restore–restore from long days of wearing multiple hats, and continue to allow space to process everything going on around them. Using vacation time to care for ones self and family will be crucial in preventing burnout, practicing mindfulness, and setting intentions to stay well for the weeks to come. Be sure to have those conversations with your team members about taking time off. Cover for each other and give each other permission for self-care. GVSU Human Resources will support you on this endeavor and is here to consult on various scenarios and situations.

Additional support is available to you by contacting Elisa Salazar, your work life consultant. Her availability can be found on her appointment manager.


New: Send Virtual Kindness Cards

Research reflects that even the smallest gestures of kindness make a big impact. Givers and receivers of kindness experience relief of pain, stress, anxiety and depression, in addition to lower blood pressure, improved overall health, a slowed aging process, and increased levels of happiness. So why not make someone’s day by sending a virtual Laker Kindness Card today!

Download a card and spread some #GVPositivity!


Family Resources For Learning at Home

GVSU is dedicated to supporting K-12 students and families as they temporarily transition to online instruction and instruction at home. To do so, the Charter Schools Office and the College of Education have created ever-growing resource lists for students in elementary grades, middle school, and high school. There are also resources geared toward social emotional learning. The lists will be updated every Friday.


Networks of Support: Lakers Respond to COVID-19

President Mantella has called on the entire community to harness our power, talent, intellectual capacity, and compassion to activate Networks of Support in key areas of need where you have skills and expertise.

Learn more about the networks and service opportunities.

"Never have we been called more to do our part. Never has our creativity, human spirit, and instincts been called on so deeply to do what is right for all. We are called to bring our energy to serve humanity in new and expanding ways."


Managing Your Mental Health with Encompass

Check out new webinars from Encompass, your employee assistance program (EAP), to help manage your mental health during this time. Upcoming webinars include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Coping for Front Line Medical Responders & Medical Professionals
  • Managing Financial Anxiety
  • Caregiving & Parenting in Turbulent Times
  • Resilience & Self Care

Can't attend a desired webinar? Visit the All One Health blog to view all recorded sessions and download accompanying materials.


Wellness Coaches Are Here For You

In this time of uncertainty, it's the perfect opportunity to reach out to a Priority Health Wellness Coach. Wellness Coaches are available to help you navigate any emotional, mental or physical struggles you may be having. One-on-one telephonic coaching is available to GVSU benefit eligible faculty, staff and spouses at no cost to the member.

Learn more about how Wellness Coaching works and read success stories from fellow faculty and staff.


View the April 2020 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter March 2020: Special Edition

Flexible and Remote Work

We are in a new reality where flexibility and remote work options are essential tools that we have as supervisors to help with operational continuity during this time. A sudden switch to remote work can be disruptive to both employees and supervisors without clear communication, tools, or processes in place. During and after remote work implementation, flexibility is still key. The university expects and encourages supervisors to afford maximum flexibility during this time to help accommodate employees needs and minimize the spread of the illness.

Although there are constant changes and many unknowns, we encourage you to use this as an opportunity to think creatively about solutions that fit your team and the work you do. There is no one size fits all; therefore, flexible and creative approaches will be key. Know that we are here to walk alongside of and empower you to lead in effective ways for your team. For more, view these helpful flexible work considerations.


Tech Tips For Remote Work

When individuals cannot be at work and are not displaying symptoms of illness (i.e. self-quarantine, a high risk population, school/daycare closings), supervisors are strongly encouraged to work with staff on remote work options, as feasible.

Work from home considerations:

  • If employees have concerns with lack of reliable internet, Comcast is offering free internet services.
  • Install/set up a VPN connection with Duo Mobile. To setup Duo on your device from on-campus, enroll here. To set up DUO on your device from off-campus, contact the IT Helpdesk. It is not recommended that you install VPN software on personal devices to access secure systems (Banner Admin, Argos, OnBase, etc.).
  • Test and confirm remote access to email/programs/folders.
  • Establish communication mechanisms (Skype for Business, email, home/cell phone number).

Human Resources FAQs has a number of answers related to these topics.


Human Resources FAQs

If you or a colleague have questions regarding COVID-19, please refer to the Human Resources FAQ page.

  • It is important to utilize and share this page to help colleagues manage the situations arising with COVID-19.
  • Check back often for updates as the situation evolves.
  • If you have content you would like added or have any unanswered questions, please contact Human Resources at (616) 331-2215 or


General Information and FAQs

The GVSU Emergency website has information relevant for our entire community. Visit the GVSU COVID-19 FAQ page for:

  • University communication updates
  • Travel and self-quarantine information
  • Student information

Note: Replenish, GVSU's campus food resource, will be open and accessible to student users during the conversion period to online teaching. Students have two options to access Replenish: Kirkhof (KC) 0074 and Center for Health Sciences (CHS) 353. Hours of operation will be 12-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for both locations.


Student Employees

  • If you have student employees who can work and want to work, you can have them work per the normal student employment guidelines (as classes are still in session, albeit in a remote fashion).
  • You can help educate students with factual information on COVID-19 and pandemics. Please help by making sure students are familiar with the CDC guidance and the latest information on the pandemic so they can make informed decisions.
  • As with other employees, you are expected and encouraged to consider remote work, alternative schedules, or other means to continue to get work done, while being mindful of safety for students (as you are doing for regular staff).
  • If your area needs additional assistance, or you have a student who would like to work, but you don’t have work for them, please contact student employment to assist to fulfill other needs of the campus.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Student Employment website.


Additional Encompass Resources

My Life Expert and "Normal Reactions to Abnormal Events"
Encompass, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), recognizes that unexpected events can create heightened emotional reactions for employees. Encompass offers a wide array of online and telephonic resources, including remote counseling. Encompass is available to support all service options in a telephonic format for both intakes and clients who are currently engaged in services. Encompass services are available via phone 24/7 at 1-800-788-8630.

Encompass has recently updated their online resources at First time users can create a profile using the code: GVSUNI. The website will continue to the updated with the most recent information related to COVID-19. My Life Expert offers helpful articles such as, How to Talk to Children About COVID-19 and more.

To help support employees who may be experiencing reactions, Encompass has compiled a packet entitled Normal Reactions to Abnormal Events.

*As a reminder, GVSU faculty, staff and their families have access to and are encouraged to use Encompass. Encompass is a third-party, confidential provider and will not share any of your information with GVSU.

Encompass Soft-Skills Course Feature: Working in a Home Office
Working in a home office and maintaining work-life balance requires preparation and regular evaluation of your work practices. By following a few guidelines, you can avoid burnout as you take advantage of working at home. This course includes tips on setting boundaries, dealing with distractions, and making a schedule and sticking to it.

Access this course and view other helpful resources.


View the March 2020 Special Edition Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter January 2020

Professional Development Training Schedule Winter 2020

Looking to develop your professional and personal skills as an employee or supervisor? A number of trainings and workshops facilitated by GVSU’s team of Human Resources experts are available to you as a GVSU employee at no cost. For detailed program descriptions and to register, please visit

Winter topics include emotional strength training, college customer service, getting people to trust you, storytelling for social justice, and more!

NEW! Looking to expand your professional networks for social and career development? JOIN A NETWORK COMMUNITY! There are a number of communities available to you as a GVSU employee. If you are interested in starting a network community or becoming a facilitator, please reach out to one of our key contacts.


New Search Committee Essentials Guide

The GVSU Search Committee Essentials Guide provides the what, why, when and how around key topics related to the search process. Faculty and staff who serve as search committee chairs are encouraged to register for the new search committee chair training which highlights the Search Committee Essentials Guide. Review the guide online.


Supervisor Resources Webpage

Your one-stop-shop for support as someone who manages others at GVSU. Review policies and guidelines, disciplinary and grievance procedures, performance development program details, and more. Visit the Supervisor Resources webpage.


Interpersonal Communication Training

By popular request, there will be another section of Interpersonal Communication offered on February 18th from 8:30-11:30 a.m.! Join Elisa Salazar, work life consultant, in learning new techniques to enhance your current communication, effectively relay your intended message, and to be understood by your audience. This training will provide tools to address effective communication and will set you up to have the most success in asking for what you want. Register today at!


GVSU's Employee Assistance Program

Faculty and staff also have access to ENCOMPASS, a third-party employee assistance program which offers 24/7 crisis support, consultation, and coaching. Faculty and staff have seven free sessions as a GVSU benefit.

Review your complete list of ENCOMPASS benefits including mental health counseling, work/life resources, personal assistants, medical advocacy and financial/legal resources.

Learn how ENCOMPASS is changing the game in employee wellness with My Life Expert!

For more information, visit ENCOMPASS (, password: gvsuni) or call 800- 788-8630.


View the January 2020 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter October 2019

Fall Workshops and Training Opportunities

Review our new Human Resources Professional Development flyer for a list of upcoming opportunities this fall.


New Supervisor Resources Page

We have revamped the Supervisor Resources page to help you more easily find important and useful information, tools and resources for managing your staff. Whether you supervise hourly or salaried staff, including faculty, this page has something for you.

Have additional information you’d like to see on this page? We’d love to hear your feedback. Please email Natalie Trent with your thoughts and suggestions.


Encompass EAP: Frontline Supervisor Newsletter

My employee has mood swings that range from pleasant to very grumpy and argumentative. Everyone complains about it, but I have not gotten to the point of taking some job action. After all, we all have some personality quirks. How do I decide that it is time to make a referral?

When supervisors inquire about complaints regarding harassment in a work unit, what are some of the classic mistakes they make that cause bigger problems later for organizations? It feels accusatory or at least somewhat awkward to mention the EAP as a source of support for a complainant.

Answers to these questions and more are in this issue of the Encompass Frontline Supervisor Newsletter.


Things to Think About When Deciding to Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits

  • Video now on Social Security's YouTube channel.
  • The new my Social Security Retirement Calculator is designed to enhance the user’s benefit planning experience within the my Social Security portal. Users must successfully register for a my Social Security account to access the calculator. The calculator allows the user to receive individualized retirement estimates based on their personal earnings record by selecting a specific retirement age or a specific retirement date.


View the October 2019 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter July 2019

New and Improved Conflict Resolution Process Website

Videos, resources, links and key contacts are all available on the new site.

Grand Valley State University is aware that the potential for conflict always exists; the university also believes that there are effective tools for dealing with conflict, tools that range from conversation with a neutral party to facilitated meetings and mediation to the more formal complaint and grievance procedures. This website is designed to make you aware of the various resources that the university has available to you and to help you navigate through the GVSU Conflict Resolution Process.

I'm experiencing conflict, what's my first step? Review the conflict resolution process.

Three videos outlining the steps and process are available online. Watch the first one at


Frontline Supervisor Newsletter - July 2019

"I want to be a firm supervisor when necessary as well as a nice guy my employees admire. I think most supervisors feel the same way, but I find myself correcting employees more often than I praise them. How can I increase my positive interactions?"

"I read that great leaders are eternal optimists, along with many other traits. How do I become more optimistic in my leadership style?"

Answers to these questions and more are in the July issue of the Encompass Frontline Supervisor Newsletter.


Mindfulness Matters

This months podcast features ENCOMPASS consultant Lorie Shier. She explores basic mindfulness principles and teaches some techniques that you can put to immediate use.

Visit the ENCOMPASS website (username: gvsu), then click on the orange "PODCAST" logo to listen to this month's feature and review our library of past offerings.


View the July 2019 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter April 2019


This months podcast features ENCOMPASS consultant Joe Budnick. He explores respect as it affects our daily lives. Joe provides tips on bring respect into our interpersonal communications.

Visit the ENCOMPASS website (username: gvsu), then click on the orange "PODCAST" logo to listen to this month's feature and review our library of past offerings.


View the April 2019 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter February 2019

University Closure Q&A

The unprecedented 5-day closure at GVSU the week of January 28 proved to be one like no other in our history! As a supervisor, you may be getting questions from your team regarding the closure and what it means to your staff members. We compiled the following list of questions and answers to assist you.

For specific information on the GVSU cancellation/closure policy, visit the policy site.

In general, essential staff are required to report to work during a closure and are paid their regular pay for the time worked. Those deemed non-essential are not required to report to work. However, non-essential staff can be required to work if the operations of the university (i.e. running payroll) are dependent on their work.

Q: Was there any disruption to payroll or the February 5 hourly pay date?

A: No. Payroll, HR, Finance and other staff members worked during the closure to ensure all payroll processing was completed and the hourly payroll was posted for February 5.

Q: If non-essential staff needed to come to work during the closure, do they receive both closure time pay and pay for any hours worked? When does overtime pay apply?

A: No, any staff member who worked during the closure receives their regular pay for hours worked. If a staff member did not work a full day, regular pay will be supplemented with closure pay to ensure a full day of pay. Overtime is only granted for those that worked overtime.

Q: If was on a planned vacation during the closure, do I still have to use my vacation hours?

A: Yes, if as an hourly or salaried staff member you had planned vacation days for any or all of the closure dates, you will continue to use your vacation time for those dates.

Q: If I am on salary continuation/short term/long term disability, will I have a week added to my leave?

A: No. The time the University is closed has no impact on your leave eligibility or length.

Q: If I am currently working on a performance improvement plan and it is time bound, will I have one less week to complete my plan?

A: No, the week closure will not count towards the total time of your plan.

Q: Were there any disruptions to job postings, hiring approvals or other employment processed due to the closure?

A: No, all processing continued to move forward during the closure. The HR and Inclusion and Equity teams continued to manage the employment processes so that none were impacted.

If you have other questions, please reach out to Human Resources.


Building Positive Relationships at Work

This months podcast features your ENCOMPASS Employee Assistance Program consultant Michele Kimmel-Fors. She examines patterns in our workplace relationships and how we can make them more positive.

Visit the ENCOMPASS website (username: gvsu), then click on the orange "PODCAST" logo to listen to this month's feature and review our library of past offerings.


Frontline Supervisor

"When employees are in conflict, it can disrupt work flow and group harmony, but should supervisors intervene in every instance? Can you offer guidelines for deciding when to take control of a situation and step in?"

"I referred my employee to the Encompass Employee Assistance Program because of ongoing attendance issues. This was just a referral, but he didn’t go and insisted no personal problems were to blame. What should I have said to win this argument? (He never went.) ..."

Read answers to these questions and find out more in the Frontline Supervisor newsletter provided by Encompass, GVSU's Employee Assistance Program.


View the February 2019 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter October 2018

Encompass Frontline Supervisor

"I want to create a positive workplace for my employees. They seem happy as a group. Is that the only measure I need?"

"What’s the number one complaint that employees have about bosses?"

Read answers to these questions and find out more in the Frontline Supervisor newsletter provided by Encompass, GVSU's Employee Assistance Program.


View the October 2018 Supervisor Newsletter PDF

Supervisor Newsletter August 2018

Encompass Frontline Supervisor

"I saw an online article that said bad bosses can make employees sick. What are they referring to, and exactly what boss issues affect employees most?"

"I am frustrated and angry with my employee for coming to work late. Sometimes, I lose my cool. However, I am not letting the employee get away with it. I encourage coworkers to confront the behavior. A fellow manager said I am an enabler. How so?"

Read answers to these questions and find out more in the Frontline Supervisor newsletter provided by Encompass, GVSU's Employee Assistance Program.


Certified Healthy Department Feature: Statistics

The Statistics Department is the newest Certified Healthy Department at GVSU. Kay Hart, Office Coordinator, spoke on behalf of the department on how they created a fun, active, and empowering atmosphere encouraging each other to make healthy choices on a daily basis.

The Statistics Department was very excited to receive their Healthy Department Certification and proudly display their certificate on the wall. Employees utilize GVSU's Campus Recreation services and facility, as well as the Health and Wellness faculty/staff programs, including the Team  Up to Be Active Challenge and faculty/staff fitness classes. They also enjoy walking or running outside during their lunch breaks and before or after work.

Kay states, "Our department focuses on balance." For example, faculty seminars within their department include healthy snack options like a protein, fruits, and vegetables with the traditional cookie to ensure choices. Even with the occasional sweets, Kay’s co- workers motivate each other and hold each other accountable to their goals.

The Statistics Department also creates fun ways to be active outside of work. One way is by holding a golf outing in August. This event provides a team-building atmosphere and is a great way to kick-start the new school year. Another activity includes gathering for an outdoor picnic at a park. These are fun ways to energize the group mentally and physically. Kay's advice to her fellow faculty and staff members striving for a healthier lifestyle is "Start small." Kay says "Start to eat healthier, then once you feel comfortable add in moderate exercise. Keep building, don't throw yourself in all at once. It takes time!"

Is your department Certified Healthy? Review the application and apply for the designation.


Human Resources Career Services

Hi, I’m Kim Monaghan, your Human Resources Career Services for Faculty and Staff Consultant. As an international coaching federation Certified Professional Career Coach (PCC), I help professionals reframe personal and professional challenges, set goals for performance improvement and craft strategies for realizing their career potential. Though I am an onsite contractor for GVSU, I am vested in the long-term success of the university and respect its collaborative culture. I look forward to meeting you and helping you create and implement a plan for career success.

Please feel free to contact me directly to find out how I can work with you or your team. To learn more please visit the GVSU Human Resources Career Services website.

Kim Monaghan
Human Resources Career Services for Faculty and Staff Consultant
Limited Onsite at GVSU with telecoaching availability.

Phone: (616) 331-2215


Free Online, On-Demand Leadership Training Courses

Leadership IQ offers 40 online on-demand e-learning training courses, covering the most critical leadership skills. While some aspects of the courses have a business focus, the leadership concepts discussed easily apply in a higher education environment. Each program is engaging, enlightening and gives leaders instant access to answer the most pressing leadership challenges. Watch a leadership seminar right on your computer. You never have to leave your office. They're available 24/7 anywhere with an internet connection.

To be recognized as having completed Leadership IQ programs, the entire video and related quiz must be completed.

To request a new account, or if you need help logging in, please contact Kim in Human Resources at or (616) 331-2215.


View the August 2018 Supervisor Newsletter PDF