UVA HR 2019-20 Annual Report - A year like no other ...

UVA HR 2019-20 Annual Report & Results

UVA Human Resources is dedicated to serving the needs of our UVA community, providing helpful programs and solutions, and delivering an exceptional employee experience. This was a unique year, and while HR’s focus was always on supporting employees, we also had to pivot quickly to assist the organization in navigating through the new challenges due to COVID-19.

We are pleased to present the UVA HR Annual Report, and below a look back on the 2019-20 fiscal year with an overview of the ways in which HR delivered on the varied and unique needs of our university. 

2020 HR Annual Report cover
(Click on image to see full Annual Report)


This past year we focused on listening – to your concerns, needs, and ideas. We thank you for sharing with us. We heard you and worked hard to deliver on those needs to serve you better.

  • Better Experience

    • HR Solution Center - Serves as a first point of contact to inquire about a wide range of topics and can help with all employee human resources needs. Solution Center team members worked hard to increase the speed and accuracy of resolving inquiries in 2019/20, resulting in a high employee satisfaction score of 4.6 out of 5. 

    • Open Enrollment - A University-wide benefits preferences survey was conducted in 2019 to provide insight into the UVA community’s thoughts on our current benefits package and annual Open Enrollment. As a result, HR provided more personalized benefits counseling, more dependent care support, and clearer Open Enrollment communications. 

    • New Well-Being Portal – Hoos Well introduced a new, interactive well-being portal to help employees create and achieve meaningful, personalized goals including health journeys on a broad array of well-being topics. 
    • Community Resource Support – An important new program, UVA HR has assisted over 200 University employees and contractors in accessing and obtaining housing, food, utility, and financial and legal resources through referral and advocacy.
    • Long-term care insurance - A new offering, employees were able to enroll in long-term care insurance helping to ensure they can pay for care needed when chronically ill.
    • Implementation of living wage - As a commitment to improving the lives of our employees, UVA HR implemented the base wage for full-and part-time benefits-eligible employees to $15 per hour, effective January 1, 2020.
    • One University Human Resources website – All HR information from the Academic Division, Medical Center, and UPG was consolidated into one easy-to-navigate UVA HR website, with uniform and consistent information for all audiences in one location.
    • HR News Monthly – To deliver HR news how employees request it, and to limit the number of individual emails that employees receive, HR Communications consolidated HR information into one easy to navigate monthly newsletter. 
  • Better Workforce

    • Recruiting Results – The Recruiting team processed 19,000 Academic Division applicants and over 35,000 UVA Health applicants with almost 8,000 hires, 34% of which were Talent Flex (temp).
    • Candidate Reference Support - A new hiring tool for UVA staff candidates, this automated online system called SkillSurvey collects confidential information and provides a range of reporting to recruiters and hiring managers to assist with decision making.
    • Grounds for Success Redesign - A new and improved orientation program designed to assure each new hire of their value in the organization, and introduce him or her to UVA’s culture of integrity, mutual respect, excellence, and innovation.
    • Microlearning - A new educational approach that offers bite-sized, small learning units to help learners achieve their goals. These on-demand and instructor-led sessions offer a variety of topics for employees to learn specific applicable skills that they can put into practice right away. 
    • Cornerstone Program - A rigorous employee leadership program that further develops candidates who demonstrate leadership potential for future managerial positions. Cohort V in 2019 included 26 employees from across Grounds, working on 7 UVA leader-sponsored projects.
    • Hoos Building Bridges Awards - At the request of President Ryan, UVA HR launched the Hoos Building Bridges Award to recognize Academic Division and UVA Health staff who collaborate across departments, units, and schools. The first awards were presented to three individuals and three teams who demonstrated leadership and innovation across schools and units.
    • Employee Relations Training Modules - The Employee Relations team created and delivered two important training modules: the Respect@ Training to ensure that we as employees clearly understand our roles and responsibilities in ensuring a fair, inclusive, and respectful workplace for all members of our community; and the Progressive Discipline Training to better educate managers on the progressive discipline process and the Standards of Conduct (SOC), to help minimize the number of disciplinary actions needed to address employee relations matters.
  • Better Efficiency

    • Data and Analytics - UVA HR is now able to provide managers and leaders with a wide range of objective and relevant data and analysis on their operations and employees, enabling them to make better strategic business decisions on operational improvements and management of workforce. 
    • Visier People Analytics - A new best in class workforce analytics platform that provides insights into the composition of our labor force and highlights strategic focus areas to support managerial planning efforts.
    • Promotion and Tenure Worksheet - This project brought together members of the Provost Office, UVA HR, and Faculty Affairs Teams to provide an integrated approach to managing the 2020 faculty tenure and promotion review process. Leveraging a new tool called Worksheets enabled access to Oracle, Workday, and other data sources allowing easy collaboration between the schools and units.
    • Workday Upgrades - The Workday team implemented many operational upgrades to improve the interactive experience for employees. Some of these were: created functionality to support activity pay, retirement choices, and career streams; increased efficiency for open enrollment choices, HAS activity, retirement benefit changes, and compensation related activities; and provided the technology for new financial mitigation efforts, and employee payroll donations to the Emergency Assistance Fund.
    • Workday Central Resource - The Workday portal on the HR website was upgraded to act as one convenient location for all the Workday information that users may need including announcements, updates, release items, new training, and change requests.
    • Consolidated Leave - Administration of Family Medical Leave and other UVA leave types were consolidated with a third-party administrator (Unum), which allows for a more consistent and efficient customer service experience for both employees and managers.


To meet the urgent needs of the University due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all areas of UVA HR quickly pivoted to develop and implement a wide range of policies, programs, and procedures to respond to how the COVID-19 crisis was impacting work, the worker, and the workforce across the University and UVA Health.

  • Supporting Employees

    • Emergency Assistance Fund - The UVA Emergency Assistance Fund for employees and contracted workers helped cover some of their expenses resulting from the necessary COVID-19 financial mitigation measures implemented at the University. This fund, along with support from the UVA Community Resource Program, was able to assist thousands of employees through this challenging time.
    • Increased Dependent Care Support - To address the urgent needs of employees for additional dependent care support, UVA HR provided immediate crisis care services, more back-up care assistance, and a range of educational resources for school-age children.
    • Quick and Virtual Access to Physicians - A new service was made available to Academic Division employees on the UVA Health Plan called Teladoc, which offers 24/7 access to primary care physicians who can virtually diagnose health care concerns. Also, UVA Health’s existing telemedicine service called Telehealth expanded providing more than 32,000 visits to UVA health plan members in 2020, an 85% increase over the previous year.
    • Expanded Benefits, Leave, and HR Resources - UVA HR provided several new paid leave types to ensure employees were financially supported during the initial stages of the coronavirus, as well as expanded benefits that removed waiting periods, covered COVID testing, and provided resources to ensure employees could continue to work effectively in a more virtual environment.  
    • Mindfulness Programs - Hoos Well provided several mindfulness programs to support employees during the challenging time of the COVID pandemic, including: Mindfulness Challenge – a four-week course to learn how mindfulness can boost physical, emotional, and social well-being; eM Life – free access to this online mindfulness platform and hundreds of hours of on-demand content, and: 1% Challenge – a one-month challenge to employees to instill mindfulness as a daily habit.
    • FEAP Support Services during COVID - The UVA Faculty & Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) increased the type and number of services for emotional well-being to elevate the support for employees and team members going through challenging circumstances. This included personal counseling, support groups, webinars, and a range of resources to meet specific needs.
    • Employee Relations Support – The Employee Relations team assisted members of our UVA community in a myriad of ways such a helping with a significant number of unemployment claims, ADA and Workplace Accommodation requests, and with COVID-19 employee compliance. 
    • Communications to Stay Informed - HR Communications stood up a dedicated COVID HR website so that faculty, staff, and team members received clear and current information regarding UVA COVID matters. This included the dynamic policies and measures created to keep our community safe such as remote work, face mask policies, COVID testing, new leave types, and more.
  • Supporting the Organization

    • COVID-19 Command Center - The HR-led Command Center launched in March 2020 addressed over 11,000 questions from faculty, staff, students, their families, and Charlottesville community members. The team collaborated with over 21 teams across Grounds, and remained current on content that changed daily to provide the necessary information to answer questions and address concerns quickly and effectively.
    • Workstreams to React Quickly - In recognition of the scale and fast pace of work required for UVA HR to support the University’s COVID response, thirty-two cross-functional workstreams formed to prioritize urgent COVID work, assign and manage resources and timelines, and monitor progress. Through these workstreams, leadership could consider options, ask questions, suggest alternatives, and make decisions quickly and effectively. 
    • COVID Legislation and Policy Guidance - The HR Compliance team interpreted a large number of federal legislation and state orders to assist University leadership and University Counsel’s office in addressing complicated issues that were tested during COVID. The team also developed new HR policies required to align with COVID regulations that support the work-life, health, and safety of our employees and team members. 
    • Financial Mitigation Support - Cost-saving measures were necessary to help mitigate the negative financial impact the coronavirus pandemic had on the University. Teams from across HR worked together to implement these measures with the focus on limiting as much as possible the stress and disruption for team members and employees, and providing information and resources to help support them during this time.
    • Return to Grounds (RTG) Training Videos - To support 'Return to Grounds' efforts for Fall 2020, Talent Management produced and launched two video learning modules - the RTG Training Modules for faculty and staff, and the RTG Guide for Managers. The content of the modules provided guidance on required UVA procedures, policies, and necessary instructions developed in response to COVID-19.
  • Supporting the Community

    • UVA Employee Volunteer Center - In response to discussions by the UVA Community Response Group, a broad coalition of faculty, staff, leaders, and UVA HR helped form the UVA Employee Volunteer Center to serve as a central resource and single point of contact for UVA employees interested in community volunteer opportunities. The Volunteer Center formed partnerships with local networks such as the Food Justice Network, Loaves and Fishes, Support Cville, and United Way, and identified critical areas for quick support and volunteer action. UVA employees have volunteered their time, money, and material donations to support the community's need during this challenging time, illustrating how UVA is a "great and good university" even during a pandemic.

HR Business Partners Respond to Support UVA Health COVID-19 Challenges

HR Business Partners (HRBPs) are assigned to all school and units across the Academic Division and UVA Health – the Medical Center, the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and UVA Physicians Group.

With the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, UVA Health faced unprecedented financial challenges when elective surgeries were cancelled and clinics were closed. Leadership requested UVA HR’s help to implement difficult measures to curtail losses. These actions included employee furloughs, temporary schedule reductions, and salary reductions. To help meet the challenge, HRBPs from the Academic Division were deployed to advise UVA Health managers at all levels, providing programmatic resources and interpretation, strategic advice, and creative thinking to reallocate or redeploy resources. These HRBPs were true partners and became trusted confidants for managers faced with some of their toughest decisions as leaders.

HRBPs assisted UVA leaders in aligning talent with business needs and capacity while managing financial constraints. None of this work would have been possible without the collaboration and support of everyone in UVA Human Resources. As one UVA Health colleague said, “This was teamwork at its best.”