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Employee Relations

Employee Relations provides a place where both Virginia Tech employees and supervisors can share personal and work-related information in order to get help or advice. Our goal is to encourage employment partnerships between Virginia Tech employees and management.  We are available to advise and provide information, and make referrals to valuable resources on and off campus. 

Virginia Tech and the Commonwealth of Virginia has outlined expectations for all state employees through the Standards of Conduct Policy 1.60. Virginia Tech has outlined our expectations of Faculty and Staff employees and supervisors in both the Faculty Handbook and the Staff Employee Handbook, as well as a general overview of expectations for employees and supervisors. 

Situations may arise in which you would like confidential advice or to talk out situations over the phone or in person.  We welcome the opportunity to help you find answers and work toward solutions.

When to call Employee Relations

Call us when you have questions or concerns about:

Policy Clarification

Employee Relations staff are available to help employees and supervisors understand Commonwealth of Virginia Policies and Virginia Tech policies and procedures.  Remember that departments have their own Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP’s”). Many include guidelines or standards for attendance, dress, requests for time off, and department-specific issues. Contact your supervisor for information, (click here for attendance standards that apply to all staff).

Probationary Employees

All staff employees newly hired or rehired at Virginia Tech serve a 12 month probationary period.  Probationary employees should receive training, coaching, mentoring and feedback from their supervisors frequently.  Formal written probationary reviews are required at 6 months and 12 months of employment. At any time during the 12 month probationary period the probationary employee may be terminated.  Managers are encouraged to consult with Employee Relations and/or with the Human Resources consultant assigned to the management area if a probationary employee is not meeting expectations. Infrequently, a probationary employee reaches the end of the 12 month period and is not meeting performance expectations.  In some cases, it is possible to extend an employee’s probation beyond the initial 12 month period.  Requests to extend probation must be made to Employee Relations.  (For more information about probationary employees, click here.)

Performance Management

Managing performance is a continuous process of timely and effective communication between managers, supervisors and employees.  The goals of the performance management process are the help the individual employee be successful in his/her work assignment and to facilitate the organization's accomplishment of its goals. At Virginia Tech, the documents that we use to record expectations and accomplishments of employees are the job description and the P112, which is the Performance Plan and Evaluation. Employee Relations is available to assist employees and supervisors when any part of the Performance Management process is not working well.  For information about performance planning, click here. For information about performance evaluations, click here.  

Disciplinary Process

Employee Relations is available to consult with employees and with supervisors when there are questions or concerns about expectations, performance, or behavior in the workplace. Our staff can coach employees and supervisors and make referrals to other campus resources. Virginia Tech uses a progressive process to address performance and behavioral problems and the Employee Relations staff provides direction to that process.  (click here for Progressive Disciplinary Process information).

Disagreements/Conflicts

Usually, people can have different opinions and continue to work together toward common goals. But sometimes differences in opinion or personal beliefs can result in workplace conflicts.  If you and another employee (co-worker, supervisor, or subordinate) are having difficulty communicating or working together, Employee Relations can offer advice, answers to questions, and information about resources available to employees, including mediation.

Grievances

When possible, employees and management are encouraged to resolve grievances informally through discussion or through the use of mediation. Employee Relations and Conflict Resolution staff are available to help with these discussions and with mediation.  If you are not able to resolve your problem through informal means, the grievance process is a process through which a Virginia Tech employee can request upper level management review of a workplace concern or management action. This process is formal and requires that rules be followed strictly. The staff grievance procedure is outlined in the state Grievance Procedure Manual. The faculty grievance procedure is outlined in the Faculty Employee Handbook.  Employee Relations staff assist employees with solving grievances informally or through the grievance process and coach managers on responding to grievances. This helps ensure that grievances are handled in a timely way by all parties.

Separations

In the event that you end your employment with Virginia Tech, you will need to know about your benefits, property to return to Virginia Tech, and other resources available to you.  (click here for this information) 

Stress

Much of our lives is spent at work and many of us feel the effects of work-life imbalances. If you feel tension in your work group because of stressful work arrangements, or if you feel burdened by stress related to your work or home life, feel free to call us. Our staff can offer advice, as well as connect you to confidential external counseling services and the Employee Assistance Program. (click here for more information)