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HRExpress - July 2021

July 2021    

In this Edition ...

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

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Workday Training is On Its Way
Workday training is starting soon! Courses for Human Resource Professionals begin July 26, followed by training for Managers and Employees August 23. Can’t wait? Review the brief Workday Navigation Demo, and bookmark the WorkSmart Project Training web page for future reference and updates.

Wanda WorkSmart Unveils her Webpage
Last month we introduced you to Wanda WorkSmart. Now, she has her very own webpage! Throughout the Workday implementation, Wanda will share important information about Workday and how the system will benefit the State of Iowa. Look for Wanda in your inbox and updates on her webpage. 

Workday Takes a Test Drive
For the next several weeks members of the WorkSmart Change Network are taking Workday for a test drive in User Experience Testing (UET). UET provides end users the opportunity to experience the Workday system first hand prior to Go Live.  

Change Champions Identified
More than 300 Agency Change Champions have recently been identified to provide frontline support for employees at Workday Go Live. They will help employees locate the resources they need, including Smart Guides and Job Aids, as well as assist with questions that may require clarification or escalation. More information regarding Workday support and Change Champions will be provided prior to Go Live.

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

DAS Leave Administration Team to Centralize Leave Management for State of Iowa 
Effective September, 2021, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Human Resource Enterprise (HRE) will centralize leave management for State of Iowa employees to ensure FMLA is administered consistently and in compliance with Federal requirements. The Reed Group will no longer administer leaves of absence for the State of Iowa.

The Leave Administration Team in the DAS HRE Benefits Bureau will manage leaves of absence related to:

  • FMLA
  • Non-FMLA Medical
  • Military
  • Tracking Workers Compensation

This dedicated team will provide State agencies and employees with a centralized support center for confidential, compliant, and customer-focused service. Once live with Workday, many leave of absence processes will be performed in the Workday system. The Leave Administration Team will help employees navigate the new system and process.
Prior to the transition, the Leave Administration Team will communicate next steps to employees already on leave and to their Managers/Supervisors. HR personnel will also receive information regarding their role in the new process. 

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

Are You or Your Children Spending Significant Time Out of State? An Iowa Choice Guest Membership May Be Right for You 
If you are enrolled in the Iowa Choice option for health care coverage, do your children have coverage if attending school out of state? Do you have family members who reside in another state but require coverage under your health plan? What if you retire and want to go south for the winter?

Wellmark provides a Guest Membership benefit for retirees and active employees’ eligible dependents who reside outside Wellmark’s Blue Access network for 90 consecutive days or more in a plan year. The Guest Membership benefit enables dependents and retirees to access covered services from Blue Cross and Blue Shield participating hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers in the state where the covered dependent or retiree is set up on guest membership. Guest Membership is only available within the United States.

Copays, deductible, and coinsurance remain the same but the contract holder could be responsible for any difference between the amount charged and the maximum allowable fee. The maximum allowable fee is the amount, established by Wellmark, for covered services and supplies.

Learn more and request a Guest Membership by contacting Wellmark’s customer service at 800-622-0043.

Have You Been to the Dentist Lately? Regular Dental Care is Important
Dental care is an important part of your overall health. Aside from keeping your teeth and gums healthy, a regular dental exam can also identify early signs of disease before they become more serious and harder to treat. To help keep you smiling bright, read this great advice and information from Delta Dental, the State’s dental insurance provider.

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Health and Well-Being

It's Never Too Late to Save4Later - Act by August 1 to Help Your Department Win! 
Have you logged in to Save4Later and completed any courses? Whether you’ve taken some or none, here’s some incentive to get going:

From now until August 1, 2021, the Save4Later program will reward the State department with the greatest percentage of completed courses with a food truck party or pizza party!

Visit the Contest Leaderboard to see which department is in the lead. The contest ends August 1, so there isn’t much time to have your completed Save4Later courses count toward your agency’s total and increase the chance to win a food truck party or a pizza party.

Don't have a Save4Later account yet? It’s easy. Simply visit the State of Iowa employee portal, enter your email address, and get after it! The Iowa Insurance Division’s Save4Later program offers financial literacy resources for State employees and their families.

Is Your Work Chair Safe and Comfortable?
Is your desk chair comfortable? Does it fit you correctly? The best way to answer these questions is to sit in it! Here are four helpful tips to assure your chair is the best fit for you in your particular situation:

  1. When standing by the chair,the seat pan (the part you sit on) should be approximately even with your knee. Make sure there is an adjustment to raise or lower the chair if needed, or consider using another chair if there is no adjustment. 
  2. When you sit back in the chair, is there good lumbar spine support and is your back perpendicular to the floor? If not, check to make sure the chair back can adjust and tilt to provide the necessary support. If there is no lumbar support, try using small pillows to provide the needed support.
  3. While sitting back in the chair there should be two to three fingers of space between the front edge of the seat pan and the back of your leg. Adjust the seat pan back and forth to make it shorter or longer.
  4. While sitting back in the chair, make sure your hips are bent at 90 degrees and your upper legs are parallel to the floor, with knees bent at 90 degrees. Your lower leg should be perpendicular to the floor and your feet should be flat on the floor with solid foot support. If not, use the adjustments to raise or lower the chair, or if your feet dangle, a footstool can help!

In reality, most chairs can be improved to better support an individual’s ergonomic neutral position.There are two exceptions. One is when a chair is too low. The second is when the seat pan is either too long or too short. If the chair does not have an adjustment to correct either of these, then the only fix is to obtain an alternate chair.

For more details, check out the online training available on the DAS web site. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information, DAS Resource Page
Looking for COVID-related information? Visit Vaccinate Iowa - Sleeves Up for vaccination information. Additional resources and guidance are 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: Maximizing Your Summer Break - Learn straightforward and effective ways to make the most of your holidays and maximize moments and memories for you and your family.
  • Available August 17: 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.

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 resources on the website for employees seeking information about State of Iowa retirement benefits. The presentations are available on demand any time. 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.

Planning for Financial Security Workshop Series

  • Your Life in Retirement  - For those nearing retirement, learn what to do with the money you have accumulated and find resources to help ensure an enjoyable retirement journey.

July 20 - 11:30 a.m. | 12:30 p.m. | 4:00 p.m.| 7:00 p.m.

  • Understanding IPERS and Your Supplemental Retirement Plan at Work - Taking advantage of your employer’s retirement plans could help you prepare for a more secure financial future.

August 17 - 11:30 a.m. | 12:30 p.m. | 4:00 p.m. | 7:00 p.m.



Put Any Pay Increase to Work
Each time your income is tuned up, you should consider tuning up your retirement savings too. If you contribute half of any salary increase to your RIC 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, you can increase your savings rate and still have money left over.

Why It’s Important  - When combined with other savings and any pension you may receive, the RIC 457 Plan may provide income you need for retirement and help you to enjoy a more financially secure future.

Tune Up Your Retirement Savings - As an incentive, the State of Iowa offers a generous matching contribution. Here’s how it works: If you contribute to the RIC 457 Plan, your employer will match $1 for every $1 you save up to $75 each month. Max the match and don’t leave money behind!

Make the Most of It - Look at these four scenarios to get the most money from IOWA RIC for your retirement savings*:

If you contribute to the 457(b) every month





The State will add . . .





Total saved for retirement each MONTH . . .





Total saved for retirement each YEAR . . .





*For illustrative purposes only.

Take Action Now
Call Empower at 800-743-5274 to get started. You can also request help from an Empower advisor in your area. Visit Empower’s Iowa RIC website for more information about the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club program.

 Is it Time to Mix it Up?
When you shop at the grocery store, you typically don’t fill your cart with just one item. You fill it with different things like produce, dairy, meat, etc. When you mix it up, you’re essentially diversifying. Click here to learn why diversification is important – especially when it comes to investing in your retirement plan. To discuss the benefits of diversification, contact your local Horace Mann representative today.

A Mix is Good for You
How are you invested in your Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement Plan accounts? Did you know that when choosing your investments, a mix may be good for you?
When you diversify your investments and allocate assets across and within asset classes, you may help to lower your portfolio’s exposure to market risk. 
If you are invested in a single fund outside of a target date or balanced fund, you are encouraged to review your strategy to ensure it is appropriate based on your age, investment time horizon, and risk tolerance. Diversification1 of your investments may not only help you better weather the ups and downs of financial markets, it can improve your ability to retire comfortably in the future. Review your investments today by logging to or contacting Voya toll-free at 800- 555-1970.
1 Using diversification as part of your investment strategy neither assures nor guarantees better performance and cannot protect against loss in declining markets.

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
If you are thinking about retiring in the next three to five years, 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 Coming in September
To maintain Iowa's high level of commitment to professional development and public service, the State of Iowa partners with Drake University to offer a nationally accredited Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program. The next CPM Cohort begins on September 7, 2021.

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, Drake is moving forward with a hybrid format of in-person and virtual sessions, 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 for the course.

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

  • The Servant Leader - Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Learn the core tenets of servant leadership and the value of applying these tenets in your personal and professional lives. The Servant Leader will help you to build collaborative, high-trust, and high-functioning teams.
This class is part of the Leadership Capacity Building Development Certificate (LCBDC).

  • Project Management Fundamentals - Thursday, August 12, 2021

Designed specifically for those actively managing projects, this class takes an in-depth look into the processes, knowledge areas, inputs, and outputs you need to manage projects effectively and successfully. Walk away from this virtual course with critical essentials for getting a project done regardless of size or complexity, as well as techniques, concepts, and tools that will save you time and energy in the future.
This class is part of the Talent Development Certificate (TDC).

  • Strategies for Work/Life Balance: Day 1 - Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Discover what is important and how to make time for things that matter most, both at home and at work.This course provides employees with a variety of strategies to help determine their priorities and how to spend their time, resulting in newfound peace of mind. Participants will learn how to transform ideas into action and enjoy a lifetime of satisfaction! This is a workshop much different from other training activities.Group coaching is offered as a part of this very interactive workshop.

Sign up for these and other courses today! Simply enroll online through the LMS today 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 an online live format. Courses will run as scheduled, and a 14-day cancellation policy applies. PDS limits class size to 18 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

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.

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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

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