The HR Solution Center serves as the resource center for Human Resource needs across the University of Virginia. The Solution Center is comprised of the Inquiry, Benefits/Leave, and Talent Support teams. Talent Support provides Workday transactional services such as processing hires, transfers, and terminations. It also manages organizational changes, I-9 compliance, and provides documents for all employee audits (Joint Commission, APA, etc.). We caught up with Todd Smith, Supervisor for Talent Support, to learn more about his work supporting employees and its impact on UVA. Here's what we learned.
Please tell us about yourself.
Raised in the tiny central Virginia town of Hot Springs, I graduated from Emory & Henry College and quickly found my calling in Human Resources; I take joy in working with people! I've done HR work in banking, distribution, call centers, manufacturing, and most recently in higher education with UVA. I'm happily married to my partner of 18 years, Mark, and we parent 3 adorable dogs.
Is there one project you’ve been working on that you’re most proud of that directly benefited the UVA community?
While Talent Support supports UVA as a whole, my work focuses on UVA Health, where I'm proud to say we've made great progress in automating the Talent Support process over the last two years and reducing paper usage. This brings efficiencies that benefit our UVA colleagues in many ways beyond the environmental impact, from faster response times to quick access to historical information.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Our biggest challenge is helping people and managers navigate through Workday. It's a relatively new system and people are still learning how it works. Sometimes they catch on quickly and sometimes it takes them a little longer. Our team strives to make Workday and HR a success by educating employees on the system.
What about the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding thing is being able to help all of HR, UVA Academic employees and UVA Health team members with Workday challenges. I come to work every day knowing that I can make a positive change in someone's life - helping them through an HR task, clearing them for a new job, or answering a question a manager may have to help out their employees. I truly believe the work that HR does really matters. We are the backbone of all organizations; HR supports the University of Virginia so it can grow and be an outstanding place to work. Talent Support has been instrumental in making Workday a success, and we strive to provide great service around this new technology to everyone.
I have worked in many places as an HR professional and tried to make an impact everywhere I go. The UVA Solution Center management team and the Talent Support team are the best group of people I have worked with and for. This team is fun, hardworking, and willing to sacrifice to make sure UVA employees have the best customer care. My purpose as a manager is to make sure my team is cared for and is successful, and I hope I have had a hand in helping them along that path. I like to make jokes and try to be silly as I think life is too short not to smile, but deep down, I want people to know that I will do everything for them that I can; all they need to do is ask.
How has the COVID outbreak impacted your and your team’s work this year?
Our team is very close. I have never worked for or been apart from such a great group of people; they put forth 110% effort all the time. It has been hard not to see everyone on a day-to-day basis. We have virtual team meetings and after-work virtual events, but there is nothing like seeing the great people you work with in person. Although COVID has thrown a wrench in a lot of things, our team has really adapted well and still been able to provide great customer service.
What are some takeaways you would love your UVA colleagues to know about Talent Support?
Our team is processing and providing customer service to approximately 120 to 150 new hires, transfers and traveling nurses every two weeks, in addition to all the other transactions that are happening (license verification, Image Now, worker contracts, etc.). We work hard every two weeks to make sure UVA Health is staffed to provide excellent customer care to its patients. The process to clear a UVA Health team member is not easy as there are many moving parts, but every two weeks we are making UVA Health and UVA a better place. I cannot say enough about the whole Talent Support team; we pull together if someone on the team needs help. We all strive to make each other successful. The most important thing people need to know about Talent Support is, “We CARE!”