Dear UT System Employees

Category: Features

Brian Dickens
Brian Dickens,
Chief Human Resources Officer
Salutations, colleagues! Thank you all for ensuring a thoughtful and safe return to the workplace and in-classroom instruction. It has been a process, and we are excited about the energy and buzz generated by our in-person engagements, while remaining vigilant at combating COVID-19 and its variants. Our focus continues to emphasize workplace behaviors that reinforce our mutual concern for workplace health, safety and wellness.

In this issue, we are excited to share our vast resources to support employee choice during our benefits open enrollment, our wonderful engagement during our HRO Retreat in Memphis, our new and exciting employee discount program, ways our campuses and institutes embody the Be One UT values and much more.

In August 2021, our human resources officer leadership team from across the UT System came together as One UT in a retreat to connect, re-energize, assess the past and look to the future. During our time together, we discussed our collective approach to flexibility, retention strategies and recruitment opportunities for the UT System, as the options for how people work have expanded. We evaluated steps to becoming an employer of choice, and by adding that level of employer/employee flexibility balances the needs of the organization and the employee during these tumultuous times. We grounded ourselves and our collective work around the Be One UT values to help center us as organizational leaders who are charged to lead with humanity throughout the next decade at UT.

As we gear up for this year’s open enrollment at UT, we are excited to announce a few enhancements that should greatly improve your employee experience with the process. As we continue to align our efforts with the Be One UT values of being nimble and innovative, we are proud to announce the new addition of “ALEX, the virtual benefits counselor” for all UT employees. It is a year-round, interactive benefits and savings guidance platform that helps employees make smarter, wallet friendlier choices about their health, wealth, retirement and wellness benefits. This software will accelerate the UT System’s HR-function transformation by shifting our highly personalized, white-glove approach to a more intuitive, user-friendly experience. ALEX will allow HR to continue its culture of caring for our people’s individual needs and health, while adjusting for the new world in which we live, all while positively impacting the bottom-line.

Lastly, as we continue our quest toward becoming the “employer of choice,” as well establishing this as the greatest decade in the history of UT, we have added Perkspot, the Tennessee Employee Discount Program, to our portfolio of employee benefits. Please refer to the announcement on the following pages of this issue on how to sign up and reap your benefits. System HR continues to reimagine itself, and we continue to explore ways to enhance our employee value proposition and improve the overall experience for our workforce across the System. I hope you enjoy this issue of For Your Benefit.