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HRExpress - August 2021


August 2021    

In this Edition ...

Iowa WorkSmart Project • Benefits • Health & Well-Being • Retirement Savings  • Education Opportunities  

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Workday Go Live Announced!
On Friday, September 17, 2021, the State of Iowa will begin using Workday for HR and self-service business processes. A new Go Live flyer highlighting Workday features and benefits has been created. Please print and post in your work areas! 
Workday Training Launched
Workday Foundations, the required eLearning module for all Executive Branch employees, is now available on demand. It provides an introduction to Workday and basic self-service functions. This required course has been assigned in the DAS LMS and added to your dashboard for your convenience. Executive Branch employees must complete Workday Foundations by Thursday, September 16.
Workday Webinars begin August 23! Check out the lineup for Managers and Employees and enroll in the DAS LMS today! LMS instructions have been created for first-time users.  

New Workday Resources Created
To help you get up to speed on Workday terminology and features, a Crosswalk Glossary of terms and definitions and answers to Frequently Asked Questions have been created. Both resources are posted under Resources on the WorkSmart website and will be updated as additional information is available. 

In addition, a new Smart Facts outlines key Pre-and Post-Go Live activities. Refer to this for what to expect before and after Go Live.

Also, if you missed them, watch Wanda WorkSmart’s recently released Time Tracking and Absence and Manager and Employee Self-Service videos or view previous editions on her webpage.  

For More Information
Check out the WorkSmart website, reach out to your designated WorkSmart Change Agent, or contact the WorkSmart Team at

State of Iowa Benefits

Annual Enrollment & Change in Workday This Fall!
One of the benefits of Workday is consolidating business processes from separate systems into one. This year the IowaBenefits site will be deactivated at 2:00 p.m. on August 31, and the benefits Enrollment & Change (E&C) process for active State employees will be completed in Workday later this fall. Employees will receive additional information before Enrollment & Change opens, with directions and resources provided in a special edition of the September HRExpress newsletter. 

Again this year, if you take no action during the E&C period, your 2021 benefit elections will automatically roll over for 2022. This is with the exception of any healthcare or dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Employees must re-enroll each year to participate in either FSA plan.  

DAS Leave Team to Centralize Leave Management for State of Iowa
Effective September, 2021, the Leave Administration Team in the DAS HRE Benefits Bureau will manage leaves of absence (FMLA, Non-FMLA Medical, Military, and Tracking Workers Compensation) and oversight of the following related processes for State employees: 

  • Catastrophic Donation Program
  • FMLA Leave Retention
  • Iowa Pregnancy Disability Leave (IPDL) 
  • Workers Compensation Supplementing

To prepare for this transition, the DAS Leave Administration Team is in the process of creating targeted employee communication and training materials.A revised FMLA website will launch in mid-September, featuring resources pertaining to various leaves of absences such as policy, procedures, and relevant training materials. Review these FAQs for additional information.

For more information regarding the DAS Leave Administration Team or the transition to the new leave process, please email

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Health and Well-Being

Hydrate to Beat the Heat!
This summer has been a hot one, with temperatures and heat indices sometimes well above 100 degrees. Hydration is key to staying safe in these high temperatures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises you to drink one cup of water every 20 minutes while outside in the extreme heat, even when you are not thirsty. Planning for and taking precautions to address potential heat hazards will keep you safe and healthy during the hot summer days.

OSHA has several useful resources on their website to help keep you safe in these conditions, including a free CDC phone app that monitors the temperature and heat index at a specific location of your choice.

National Immunization Awareness Month - Are You Up To Date on Your Vaccines?
We’ve all heard the discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine in recent months, but did you know there are other vaccines your healthcare provider or your children’s school may recommend or require? Take a few moments to get the most up-to-date information from Wellmark about the important role of vaccination to your family’s health. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information, Testing at Home, and DAS Resource Page
Looking for COVID-related information? Visit Vaccinate Iowa - Sleeves Up for vaccination information and learn more about a new free option for at-home COVID testing. Additional resources and guidance are also available on the Return to State Buildings, Vaccines, and Associated Resources webpage. 

Free Health and Well-being Seminars Offered Online
On-demand online seminars covering various health and well-being topics are available from the State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at Use Company Code: IOWA and click on e-learning for a list of available online seminars.

Online seminars may be viewed from your computer or any other internet-enabled device during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Seminars are free of charge, with the most recent offerings accessible on the dates listed below.

  • Available now: Raising Confident Children - Attain the skills and insight to boost your children’s confidence and self-esteem and help them become empowered and resilient adults.
  • Available September 21: Switch on to Being More Present - Attain the skills and insight to boost your children's confidence and self-esteem and help them become empowered and resilient adults.

EAP also offers confidential resources to help employees and eligible family members address challenges which may impact job performance, affect well-being, and take a toll on overall health. EAP services are provided at no cost to employees and eligible family members. For more information on EAP resources, visit the DAS Employee Assistance Program web page.

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Retirement Savings

Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Webcasts
Make the best use of your retirement savings by taking advantage of education opportunities offered by RIC. These webcasts may be viewed online from your computer or other internet-enabled device during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Click on the links below to register.

Retirement Benefit Presentations Offered On Demand
DAS-HRE has on-demand resources available for employees seeking information about State of Iowa retirement benefits. Retirement Benefits Before Medicare Eligibility and Retirement Benefits After Medicare may be found on the DAS Benefit Series Highlight page. 

News from State Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Providers 
Please see the latest information, tools, and educational opportunities from various RIC providers below.

Craft your own journey from anywhere at any time.
Access AIG Retirement Services’ interactive retirement planning tool, Retirement Pathfinder, through your online account to illustrate different saving and market scenarios. 

With Retirement Pathfinder, you can:

  • Define your future goals
  • Model scenarios instantly using a variety of market return assumptions
  • Explore and adjust savings strategies

Get real-time answers to your questions:

  • Can I retire early?
  • Can I afford a new boat/camper?
  • What happens if the capital markets are giving me poor returns?
  • And more!

Log in to your account or register today and find your path to launch Retirement Pathfinder.    



How inflation can be a risk to your future retirement income
Anyone who has checked their retirement account balance after a market downturn understands the concept of investment risk. Most investments come with risk; and while short-term market volatility can be unsettling, saving for retirement is usually a long-term effort - giving you time to weather the ups and downs in the market.

However, there’s also a potential risk in being overly conservative in your investing strategy. Inflation is a form of risk that can reduce the purchasing power of each dollar you save. So, if your investment selections don’t deliver a rate of return that’s higher than the rate of inflation, your savings may not provide you with enough income to meet your needs in retirement - given that inflation is likely to drive up prices between now and the time you’ll need retirement income. 

If you have questions about inflation and investment risk and the strategies you can use to manage them, contact an Empower Retirement advisor to learn more about your financial choices, including help with saving in the Iowa RIC plan.

Your retirement. Your way. 
Many experts estimate that Americans need 70-80% of their working wages to live comfortably in retirement.

Have you thought about:

  • How much money you will need?
  • If you will have enough to cover both your needs and wants?
  • How your pension works - should you take a lump sum or monthly payments?
  • How you will pay for health care?
  • Leaving a legacy?

 If you don’t have the answers, Horace Mann can help answer these questions and any others that come up along the way. Schedule an appointment with your Horace Mann representative so they can help you design a retirement income strategy that’s right for you.

Go online and make your life easier!
Registering your Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement Plan account online and going paperless is a simple and secure way to review your statements and correspondence. It helps to:

  • Keep account information secure.
  • Save time – stop storing, organizing and shredding documents.
  • Reduce clutter in your mailbox and on your desk.
  • Print only what you need. Statements and documents are available 24/7.

Start by registering your account online at and selecting Login,Your Voya Account type from the drop down menu and then Register Now.*

Once registered online, simply log into your account and follow the prompts to update your communication preferences to paperless. Go green by registering your account online and signing up for e-Delivery today!
*If you do not have your PIN to register, you may register using your Date of Birth.

IPERS Offers Creating a Secure Retirement: The 3-Part Solution
IPERS and Iowa State Extension Services team up to present a free workshop for all State employees planning to retire in the next three to five years. Creating a Secure Retirement: The 3-Part Solution is a full-day workshop to bring together everything you need in order to plan a financially secure retirement. Workshop content will be customized with your personal information, so you’ll be able to figure out exactly where you are in the pre-retirement process. View upcoming workshop dates and description. Register to attend by calling IPERS at 800-622-3849 today!

IPERS Ready, Set, Retire Workshop Offered Via Zoom
Retiring in the next three to five years? If so, IPERS’ Ready, Set, Retire is designed to provide you with a broad range of retirement-related information. Ready, Set, Retire is a free all-day (9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) Zoom webinar, and you may view/attend sessions during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Spouses are welcome to attend. View the description and upcoming workshop dates. Reserve your spot by clicking on the workshop you wish to attend and then clicking Register. 

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Education Opportunities

New Certified Public Manager (CPM) Cohort Begins September 7!
CPM is an intensive learning experience designed for supervisors, managers, executives, management staff, and project managers from federal, state, county, and local governments. The program includes discussion, traditional classroom experiences, and online learning. Participants also complete a job-related team project, which gives them the opportunity to apply CPM program learning to a real-life situation. 

This fall a hybrid format of in-person and virtual sessions will be offered, combining the best of face-to-face engagement with the convenience of reduced travel time for participants.Visit the CPM web page to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Here are the featured courses for the upcoming month, offered by PDSInterested in expanding your  professional development and public service?  Consider the State of Iowa’s nationally accredited Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program at Drake University. The next CPM Cohort begins on September 7, 2021. 

Featured Course Spotlights from Performance & Development Solutions (PDS)
Here are the featured courses for the upcoming month, offered by PDS:

  • Dimensions of Behavior - Tuesday, August 31, 2021 (½-day classroom)
    Explore your behavior across the four DiSC dimensions and learn to use those dimensions in varying situations. Analyzing the dimensions of behavior can improve communication, promote appreciation of differences, enhance individual and team performance, and reduce conflict. This class is part of the Talent Development Certificate (TDC).
  • Professional Impact - Wednesday, September 1, 2021 (virtual)
    This course is designed for all employees. Review the importance of overall professional impressions in terms of being positive and proactive, accountable, cooperative and other success factors. Participants will assess themselves against these success factors and build out an action plan to achieve their personal goals. This class is part of the Talent Development Certificate (TDC).
  • Managing Conflict and Resistance in the Workplace - Thursday, September 2, 2021 (classroom)
    Conflict in an organization is inevitable. If not addressed and managed, conflict can cause significant damage to individuals, teams, and an organization. In this course, Managers will explore the four DiSC dimensions and learn a simple, direct way to understand the different fears that drive much of the conflict and resistance. 
  • Leading Through Change - Wednesday, September 8, 2021 (virtual)
    This course is designed for seasoned leaders and managers to assist employees going through an organizational change. A step-by-step process will be presented. This class is part of the Management Development Certificate (MDC).

Sign up for these and other courses today! Simply enroll online through the LMS to reserve your seat. If you have any questions, reach out to your Training Liaison or the PDS inbox.

Performance & Development Solutions (PDS) Training

  • Virtual PDS Instructor-Led Courses

Many classroom courses have been updated to  a virtual format. Courses will run as scheduled, and a 14-day cancellation policy applies. PDS limits class size to 18-20 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. If classes exceed the limit, new dates will be added and participants will be rescheduled as needed. Check out current course listings.

  • PDS On-Demand Courses
    Does your daily schedule make attending classes difficult? On-demand courses can be completed at any time. Many are policy related and may be required training. See these class listings at On-Demand Course Options.
  • New Horizons Virtual and On-Demand Computer Courses
    Computer training courses are offered by New Horizons. Please contact for information on availability and State pricing for New Horizons classes.

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HRExpress is a publication for State of Iowa employees. Please print a copy to post or share with co-workers who may not have access to a computer. For prior editions, visit the HRExpress webpage. If you have questions or suggestions for future content, please contact us at

Thank you!