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HRExpress - June 2021

June 2021    

In this Edition ...

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

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Workday Training Is Coming
To accommodate learning styles and training needs for Human Resources Personnel, Managers, and Employees, a variety of tools are being developed. Learn what training materials will be available for you in this Workday Training Guide. Additional details and enrollment information will be provided in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!

Future State Discussions Highlight Upcoming Changes
In May, more than 1,000 Managers and Supervisors from 65 State agencies met with members of the Iowa WorkSmart Readiness Team to discuss changes to HR and financial business practices, as well as Workday’s Manager Self-Service (MSS) and Employee Self-Service (ESS) capabilities. If you would like to know more about the Future State Discussions, please speak with your Manager. If you are a Manager and would like more information, contact

WorkSmart Communications Ramp Up
Feedback from the Statewide Change Survey confirms that the information we will be providing between now and go-live is just what you’re looking for. Be sure to pay special attention to messages from the WorkSmart Team, and bookmark the WorkSmart website for quick reference and access to resources.

For More Information 
For more information about the Iowa WorkSmart Project, please visit or contact the WorkSmart Team at For questions specific to your organization, reach out to your designated WorkSmart Change Agent

State of Iowa Benefits

After the Year We’ve Had, Are You Up-To-Date on Preventive Health Services?
A key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the requirement that recommended preventive health services are covered without any patient cost-sharing. This means you do not have a deductible, copay, or coinsurance. 

The DAS health insurance webpage has an updated list of the ACA preventive services. There are three sets of guidelines - one for all adults, one for women, and one for children. Age, gender, and risk factors may also apply for some services. Your health care provider is best able to determine which services are best for you.

Here are some important details to remember when seeking preventive care:

  • Only preventive services received from a Wellmark network provider will be covered at 100 percent with no member cost share.
  • If your health care provider's office bills a visit separately from your preventive services, you might have a copay or coinsurance.
  • You may have to pay if the primary reason for your appointment is something other than preventive care.
  • You will have to pay out-of-pocket for treatments and follow-up appointments with your doctor if those screenings reveal a problem.

With pandemic-related shutdowns and limitations over the past year or more, many of us may not be on top of our preventive health care needs. If so, it might be time to set up an appointment with your provider!

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Health and Well-Being

Do You Have an Ergonomic Work Surface?
Any work surface may be ergonomically correct - a desk, counter, table, or any other surface that is usually horizontal and flat. So, how do you know if your workspace is right for you? First, it is crucial to collect some measurements. 

  1. Sit or stand (depending upon how you normally position yourself) in the best neutral position - keep arms close to your sides, pointed toward the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, with the lower arm, wrist, and hand flat and palm facing the floor. Measure the distance (example, 34”) from the palm of your hand to the floor. Measure the height of the keyboard when placed on a flat surface (example, 1“). Subtract the keyboard height from the palm/floor measurement (example, 34” minus 1” = 33” inches). That result will be the optimal height of your work surface. 
  2. Try adjusting your chair and using a footstool if your work surface isn’t exactly the right height. Unfortunately, if a work surface is too low, there are limited options aside from raising it on blocks, reinstalling, or replacing it. The addition of auxiliary shelves may also help raise the equipment to the correct heights.
  3. Lastly, changes made to items on the work surface ultimately affect the total height. For instance, if you obtain an alternate keyboard or a variable desktop, be sure to incorporate your specific height requirements as needed.

Is There a Difference Between Wellness and Well-Being?
Is there really a difference between wellness and well-being? According to Merriam-Webster, and others, there is.

Wellness = The quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.

Well-being = The state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous.

Everywhere you look, the word well-being is replacing the traditional term of wellness. Workplaces, health insurance companies, universities, health care providers, and others, are all making the change.

Well-being is seen as more holistic or all-encompassing than wellness alone. While we often think of wellness in relation to healthy eating, good sleep, exercise, and an absence of illness, well-being is much more than that. It can expand into the areas of mind health, career satisfaction, financial stability, social contentment, good physical health, and even community well-being.

At the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), our focus has often been on the more traditional idea of wellness. But, don’t be surprised when you see more information and references to the more holistic concept of well-being in this newsletter and on our website in the future.

Farmers Market is Here!
The 5th annual Capitol Complex Farmers Market fired up last week, with Iowa farmers and local vendors selling farm fresh foods and homemade products each Tuesday through September 28. Vendors will set up in Parking Lot 15 across from the Food Trucks.

The 2021 Capitol Complex Farmers Market is a cooperative effort by the Iowa Departments of Administrative Services, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Agriculture and Land Stewardship to promote healthy eating and support Iowa producers of 100% vendor grown and homemade products. Check out the webpage for more details.

COVID Vaccine Information, Updated DAS Resource Page
For more information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Vaccinate Iowa - Sleeves Up. Additional resources and guidance for returning to State buildings 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: Building Healthy and Happy Relationships - Identify ways to build and maintain healthy relationships with those around you, with a focus on the importance of setting boundaries.
  • Available July 20: 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.

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

Consider Putting Your Raises to Work!
If you receive a salary increase, consider the option of putting all or a portion of your increase into your RIC retirement savings account. Even adding $20 each month ($10/paycheck) could be worth almost $20,000 when you retire. To change your payroll deduction amount, simply complete the RIC Account Form.

Here’s how a small contribution increase might add up over time:

An additional contribution of:

10 years

20 years

30 years

$5/month could add 

$   812.37


$  4,872.56

$10/month could add 



$  9,745.13

$15/month could add 




$20/month could add 




Note: These figures assume a hypothetical 6% percent rate of return 

New to RIC? Enroll today and begin receiving an employer match benefit! To start saving with RIC, contact one of the RIC providers for more information or visit the RIC website.

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 day or night. 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
Discover tools and resources to create a financial strategy that can help you make sound financial choices throughout your life with the educational workshop series through AIG Retirement Services. This series is open to all State of Iowa employees. Register today!

  • Your Life in Retirement - Tuesday, July 20 - 11:30 a.m. | 12:30 p.m. | 4:00 p.m. | 7:00 p.m.
    For those on the verge of retirement, learn what to do with the money you have accumulated and resources to help ensure an enjoyable retirement journey.

  • IPERS and Your Retirement Plan - Tuesday, August 17 - 11:30 a.m. | 12:30 p.m. | 4:00 p.m. | 7:00 p.m.
    Taking advantage of your employer’s retirement plan could help you prepare for a more secure financial future.




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 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 to not investing and in being overly conservative in your investing strategy. Inflation is also a form of risk that can reduce the purchasing power of each dollar you save. In other words, the dollar you earn today won’t buy as much in the future as it does now due to the impact of inflation. 

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.

Horace Mann is Your Retirement Planning Partner  
Whether your retirement is in the near or distant future, achieving your goals for a dream retirement depends largely on the plans and decisions you make now. 

Have you thought about:

  • How much money you will need?
  • If you will have enough to cover both your needs and wants?
  • How are you going to pay for health care?
  • If you want to leave a legacy?

If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay. Horace Mann partners with you throughout your retirement journey to help you answer these questions and others that come up along the way.

Schedule an appointment with Horace Mann today so they can help you design a retirement savings and income strategy to help you live out your retirement dreams.

Organize Your Finances With the New Budget Calculator 
Get in charge of your money. How do you budget; where is your money spent; and is there an opportunity to save more in your Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement Plan?

A budget is the cornerstone of your personal money management. It can help you get the most out of your income. Simply put, setting financial goals will motivate you to get where you want to go in life and stay on track.

Check out the new budgeting calculator to set up your interactive budget and then personalize it to your priorities and situation. The calculator will also give you practical tips on how you might be able to balance your budget and stretch your income. 

Ready to get budgeting? Use the calculator today!

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 Classes Uploaded to the LMS!
Classes for the next fiscal year have now been uploaded to the Learning Management System (LMS). Class sessions will be held both virtually and in the classroom so be sure to double check the individual class listings if you are interested in a specific class setting.

Check out the certificate series webpage if you are planning to pursue a certificate series to help build your career and leadership skills.

New Certified Public Manager (CPM) Cohort Begins September 2021
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:

  • Financial/Budgeting - Monday, July 12, 2021 – Virtual

Budgeting is an integral part of most management decisions.This course provides Managers with a basic understanding of the budgetary process as well as an understanding the fundamentals of the statutory framework agencies must work within as they strive to sustain their core services. This virtual class is part of the Leadership Capacity Building Development Certificate (LCBDC).

  • Emotional Intelligence -Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - Virtual

Learn what EQ is and how best to apply it. This session will improve your effectiveness in your current role by raising your EQ and learning to leverage emotional intelligence effectively. This virtual class is part of the Management Development Certificate (MDC). 

  • Enhancing Team Membership Wednesday, July 28, 2021 – Classroom

This course is designed for all State employees to help them become more productive team players. Learn strategies and practical skills to help you influence and engage others in your teams. 

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. For classes with more than 18 people enrolled, 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

Thank you!