(On the Job is a series of blog posts highlighting the experiences of IGS staff. While roles and responsibilities of staff vary, the core commonalities exist in a shared desire to provide quality education for all under the intergenerational learning model.)
In my role as Human Resources Specialist of the Intergenerational Schools, a position I have held for the past two school years, I love welcoming new people into our school's community. As an IGS alumnus, I take great pride in making sure new hires are given the proper amount of information on their respective roles so they can achieve great success. At IGS, we look to hire individuals who truly care about our students and are willing to embrace our culture.
I have assembled some tips below that can help employees understand their roles and succeed in their positions, whether at IGS or in a new role for any company or organization.
1. Read all agreements and handbooks.
Before signing any letter or entering into an agreement, read the employee/employer agreement thoroughly and ask any questions. It may seem tedious, but it is an important 2-5 minute task that can impact your entire employment period. Entering into an agreement without understanding basic parameters is extremely reckless and can lead to issues stemming from confusion. If you are unsure of anything, you should ask the hiring manager to provide clarity.
2. Keep your own archive
At IGS, we have kept a thorough record of paperwork and agreements throughout the years. However, it is important for individuals to keep their own copies of letters of hire and stipend information for reference. In many cases, these documents can provide basic answers to questions that may arise. You should obtain copies of these documents immediately after agreements are made.
3. Familiarize yourself with the job description
Along with understanding your employment agreement, it is also extremely important to understand the responsibilities that come with your position. At IGS, our schools thrive as a system when each part can perform its duties. Not understanding your responsibilities within that system can ultimately affect our students' ability to learn, as well as the reputation of the school itself. Knowing your responsibilities is vital to achieving success in your position.
4. Keep track of PTO days
PTO days should always be provided in the initial letter of hire. It should be the responsibility of each employee to keep track of PTO days. Many employers, including IGS, allow employees to accrue PTO days based on time worked. Make sure you are aware of any stipulations around these days and know when you are close to "going over" the accrued amount. Taking more days off after exhausting your PTO may result in owing days back. Emergencies happen, but be sure that you do not find yourself in a negative situation due to being irresponsible with your time off.
5. Inquire about the parameter of time off
Make sure you are in agreement with your supervisor about how to request time off and aim to provide enough notice. Our staff handbook references how to do this. It is good to know the policies and be transparent with your supervisor so your days can be accurately tracked. Ask questions to avoid any confusion.
6. Inform your employer about information changes
It is important to make sure that your employer has up-to-date records in the event there is an emergency, a verification needs to be made, or information needs to be relayed. We rely on our records and use them consistently. If personal information changes, please make sure to inform your supervisor of these changes, which can affect the ability to receive tax information or other important documents.
To learn more about current career opportunities at IGS, click here.