4: You and Your Job
As a University employee, you help to support and
serve students, patients, faculty, and other staff. You therefore
must be well informed about your workplace, including the policies
and practices that govern your work and that of your colleagues.
The following sections provide information about the University
that will help you respond to questions from employees, students,
faculty, and others.
4.1 New Employee Orientation
Human Resource Services schedules an orientation
session for all new employees when they are hired. It consists of
a morning session that includes a short review of information about
the University's history, policies, safety, security, and employee
benefits. This session also includes a brief introduction to the
University's philosophy of service.
For new Medical Center employees, orientation includes
a review of the Medical Center's history, philosophy of patient
care, policies, and benefits. This orientation also covers a number
of topics specific to the Medical Center, such as safety, hazard
communication, employee health, and methods to prevent or control
the spread of disease.
If you would like information about orientation sessions,
please call Human Resource Services.
4.2 University Identification
If you are a regular full-time or regular part-time
employee, you will be issued a photo ID card called the GWorld Card.
It is important to carry this ID while you are at work. Your card
identifies you as a GW employee and may be required for you to access
available services and facilities. The card is University property
and must be returned upon termination of employment.
If you lose your ID card, you may obtain a replacement
from the Access Services Office. There may be a replacement charge
for the card. Your department may have additional instructions on
identification, including procedures for access to various campus
buildings. Consult your supervisor for details.
4.3 Accent on Service
As employees of the University, we continually examine
our roles and explore new ways to help support the institution's
learning, teaching, and patient care goals. Whether we work directly
or indirectly with students, faculty, patients, parents, or alumni,
our main concern is to provide the kind of support and service of
which we can be proud. You are part of the University team and,
through our combined efforts, we strive to create an environment
that supports quality education.
To help you make a positive difference at the University,
here are some guidelines to enhance your success:
- Know your job thoroughly. Be alert to the issues that your
experience tells you will arise.
- Help your colleagues. Remember that as part of the University's
team, staff members support each other in providing outstanding
- When needed, make an extra effort not only to answer questions
but also to offer solutions to problems.
- Take personal responsibility for making the system work.
- Take some time to see what you can do to make activities run
- Be courteous and cooperative to show your interest and concern
when interacting with people.
Keep in mind that by working together, we make the
University a great place to learn, teach, and work.
4.4 Work Standards and Conduct
4.4.1 Job Performance
184.108.40.206 Introductory Employment Period and Transfer
The University has established introductory employment
periods and transfer probation periods to provide employees
with the opportunity to become familiar with an initial or a
new job. During these periods, a supervisor closely monitors
performance to determine whether an employee can demonstrate
the skills, job knowledge, attitudes, work habits, and other
qualifications necessary for continued employment. These periods
are in effect for 90 calendar days beginning on the effective
date of employment or transfer to a new position.
If the employee completes the introductory employment
period or the transfer probation period, the performance will
be reviewed and, if the University concludes that continued
employment is appropriate, the employee will be advised of any
expected improvements in performance. Please note that the completion
of the initial employment period or the transfer probation period
does not guarantee continued employment.
If it is determined before the conclusion of
the introductory employment period or transfer probation period
that the employee is not performing satisfactorily, the employment
may be terminated at any time. In appropriate circumstances,
these periods may be extended.
Employees covered by a collective bargaining
agreement should refer to that document; its provisions supersede
these policies if there is a specific conflict.
220.127.116.11 Probation Periods for Poor Work Performance/Habits
Probation periods for poor work performance/habits
are established to encourage an employee to improve or correct
substandard performance or work habits and to meet the established
standards and requirements for the position. Periods of probation
for poor work performance/habits may range from 30 to 90 calendar
days, depending on the circumstances. For additional information
about disciplinary procedures, see Section
Employees covered by a collective bargaining
agreement should refer to that document; its provisions supersede
these policies if there is a specific conflict.
18.104.22.168 Performance Evaluation Programs
The University's performance evaluation program
is designed to support continual work improvement by providing
periodic appraisals of your performance. The evaluation process
is intended to encourage constructive dialogue between you and
your supervisor about your past work performance and to develop
strategies to enhance or improve your future work performance.
The evaluation process focuses on such areas of your performance
as customer service, job skills and knowledge, productivity,
teamwork, work habits, and overall performance, as they apply
to your position. Additional performance criteria such as communication
skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, and supervisory
skills are included for employees in exempt and managerial/supervisory
To complement the evaluation form completed by
your supervisor, you are encouraged to complete a self-evaluation
form. Your self-evaluation is voluntary. It does not become
part of your employment record. It will, however, help you prepare
for discussion of your performance evaluation with your supervisor.
You may obtain a copy of the evaluation forms from your supervisor
or by contacting the Staffing and Compensation Services Division
of Human Resource Services.
Performance evaluations are conducted upon completion
of your introductory employment period or transfer probation
period and around the anniversary of your date of hire each
year. Your supervisor may provide additional performance feedback,
either orally or in writing, at other times in an effort to
provide appropriate information to you about your work performance
or probationary status.
Your supervisor uses your annual performance
evaluation as a factor in recommending your rate/salary increase,
if any, through the provisions of the Salary Review Program.
The completed form becomes part of your employment record at
the University. HRIS of
Human Resource Services maintains your employment file.
22.214.171.124 Communicating with Your Supervisor
If you have questions about your duties and responsibilities,
it is important to discuss them with your supervisor. It is
your responsibility to ask questions and to understand new goals,
policies, or procedures. Observe what is going on around you,
and give your supervisor constructive feedback about your job.
Use the self-evaluation forms mentioned above to review your
progress and set goals for your own development. The self-evaluation
does not become part of your permanent record but is instead
a tool to stimulate dialogue between you and your supervisor.
4.4.2 Conduct and Work Rules
While at work, you are expected to follow the policies
and practices of the University, your department, and your particular
position. A violation of policies and practices may result in
disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
4.4.3 Work Behavior
Respectful treatment of students, patients, and
co-workers is essential, and sensitivity to their individual circumstances
is often necessary. Preventing difficulties is preferable to solving
problems after they occur. Violent behavior on the part of staff,
such as fighting or disorderly conduct, should be reported to
supervisory staff immediately and is grounds for immediate termination.
If you have reason to believe that your own safety or the safety
of others is threatened, report the situation immediately to your
supervisor or the University Police Department.
If you are having difficulty coping with a work
situation, you are encouraged to discuss it thoroughly with your
supervisor. If you need additional help, you may contact the Employee
Relations Division of Human Resource Services, the Equal Employment
Activities Office, or the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program,
all of which can advise you about appropriate action on your part.
4.4.4 Dress Code or Appropriate Dress
All employees should dress in a manner that is
consistent with a professional business environment. To enhance
safety and promote a business-like environment, Section 2200 of
the Supervisor's Guide for the use of Supervisory Staff provides guidelines for the minimum standards of dress for Medical
Center employees. You can obtain a copy of these guidelines from
your supervisor. Medical Center departments may have established
a more specific, approved, written dress code. Campus departments
may have done so as well. If you are unsure about your department's
policy, consult with your supervisor.
4.4.5 Hours of Work
The University generally maintains a standard
40-hour workweek. This workweek begins on Sunday and ends on
Saturday. Hours of work are set by individual departments to
address their particular operational and service needs. Hours
worked in the workweek include time you are required to be on
duty, on the premises, or at any other required place of work.
Your supervisor is responsible for establishing your arrival
and departure times and a meal period within the daily schedule.
126.96.36.199 Meal Periods
A bona fide meal period is an authorized period
of time during the workday when you are completely free from
duties. The University provides for bona fide meal periods of
30 to 60 minutes, based on individual departmental needs. Time
provided for bona fide meal periods is not paid time.
For regular part-time employees, a meal period
may not be appropriate, depending on the arrival and departure
times as well as the number of hours scheduled on a particular
4.4.6 Absenteeism and Tardiness
Frequent tardiness and absences may have a detrimental
impact on the work flow in your unit. They may also lead to disciplinary
action. Each department has specific guidelines and procedures
governing hours of work and requests for time off. Please consult
your supervisor for the appropriate guidelines.
4.4.7 Disciplinary Procedures
If your work performance is unsatisfactory or if
your conduct on the job becomes a problem, your supervisor may
counsel you and work with you to help resolve the issues. You
may initiate this counseling as well. Your supervisor may also
use a progressive, corrective process. This progressive disciplinary
process may involve, but is not limited to, oral or written warnings,
probation for poor work performance/habits, disciplinary suspension,
If progressive discipline is not considered appropriate,
however, the sequence described above will not be followed. Decisions
about whether discipline is necessary and what type of discipline
is to be imposed are at the sole discretion of the University.
In the case of serious misconduct, it may be necessary
to protect the safety and security of the workplace by suspending
the involved employees and removing them from the workplace. In
addition, in some instances, while your supervisor is considering
termination, you may be relieved from duty and suspended from
employment pending a full investigation of the circumstances.
Suspension pending investigation normally is unpaid. The investigation
may have one of the following results: (a) if the circumstances
do not justify the suspension, you will be paid for the period
of the suspension and be returned to the workplace, although other
disciplinary action may be taken; (b) if the circumstances do
not justify termination but are serious and justify disciplinary
suspension, you will not be paid for the period of the suspension
and will not accrue sick or annual leave for the month during
which the suspension occurs; or (c) if the circumstances justify
termination, you will be dismissed and a final paycheck will be
issued excluding time of unpaid suspension.
4.4.8 Use of University Equipment and Supplies
University property is intended for University
business only and is not for your personal use. Use of University
funds to purchase personal or other items not related to University
business is prohibited.
4.5 Safety and Security in the
The University Police Department (UPD) is located
at 2033 G Street, N.W., in Woodhull House. UPD covers the campus
by foot, bicycle, and vehicle patrol and also staffs several fixed
posts in Thurston Hall, Ross Hall, the Ambulatory Care Center, and,
during nights and weekends, the Law School. Community service aides
are students who are trained by UPD to monitor access to the residence
halls and maintain a security presence in the Academic Center, Gelman
Library, and the Marvin Center. UPD provides around-the-clock patrols
and other services to the University community. It also enforces
federal and local statutes as well as GW regulations.
To report a crime or public safety emergency, call
UPD at extension 4-6111. From outside the University phone system,
call (202) 994-6111. Officers are on duty and dispatchers respond
to emergency calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
For a complete listing of UPD programs and services, including the
location for lost-and-found items, please call the UPD non-emergency
number at 4-6110. From outside the University phone system, call
4.5.1 Security Precautions
In general, the University is a safe area in which
to live and work. Because of the open nature of the campus, however,
there are precautions that you should follow for your own well-being:
- Avoid walking alone at night.
- Walk where there is plenty of light and traffic.
- Avoid shortcuts through unoccupied buildings and unlighted
- Use the public sidewalks.
- Be alert.
- Lock your office when you leave it unattended.
- During nonbusiness hours, keep your office door closed and
- Notify UPD if you plan to be in your office outside of working
hours, and then let them know when you leave.
- Never leave your wallet, purse, or other valuables unattended.
- Report thefts to the appropriate security office immediately.
- Lock up keys that you leave behind in your work area.
- Remove building identification tags from key rings.
- Report suspicious persons immediately to UPD.
4.5.2 Security Escort Services
The GW Escort Service, composed of a fleet of escort
vans and UPD officers on foot or in patrol cars, is designed to
enhance your safety when you must walk alone on or near campus
after dark and are not near a Colonial Express shuttle bus stop.
Escort vans are in service from 7 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. During all
other hours, escorts are provided by UPD officers. To obtain an
escort, call 994-RIDE, and give your name, current location, and
destination to the UPD dispatcher. Have your GW ID card ready
to show to the van driver or patrol officer. For additional information
about this service, call 994-RIDE.
4.5.3 Safety Measures
Safe working conditions are important throughout
the University. If you observe any unsafe conditions, you should
report them to your supervisor. Examples of unsafe conditions
include, but are not limited to, slippery floors, hazardous equipment,
defective or broken equipment, careless handling of combustibles,
and cluttered hallways, stairs, exits, and entrances. The Office
of Risk Management and Insurance is available to provide additional
information and training for campus employees.
All Medical Center employees receive mandatory
training in safety, an employee health briefing, and a briefing
on infection control. The Department of Environmental Health and
Safety Management provides additional training which takes place
at the departmental level. The Employee Health Service is available
to respond to questions and concerns from Medical Center employees.
4.5.4 Fire Safety
The University has standard procedures that must
be observed in case of fire. Every building has an evacuation
plan. Become familiar with the plan for your area.
Cigarettes or other litter in trash receptacles
are common causes of fires. Other causes include electric heaters
that are improperly used, flammable liquids left uncovered and
unattended, accumulated oily rags in closed containers, and poor
wiring or defective electrical devices. For campus employees,
the Office of Risk Management and Insurance can arrange for classes
on fire prevention or the use of fire equipment. Medical Center
employees participate in fire safety training once a year.
© September 1999 The
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