July 25, 2019 – The human resources team really pulled out all the stops for this visit, transforming their offices into a colorful carnival complete with games of skill, fantastic prizes and even a petting zoo!

A fortune teller grants me tickets to the carnival

As soon as I walked through the doors,  HR representative Jennie Sperling welcomed me to the big top and outfitted me in a carnival hat to  start me on my journey. A fortune teller (HR Vice President Cathy Nugent) then lured me to the ticket booth, where I got a quick palm reading and two tickets to the show.

Getting some canine therapy

Next stop was the petting zoo, where I got to hang out with two of our canine therapy program dogs!  The volunteer services team manages this program, which provides meaningful experiences for patients, families and employees. There are currently 33 canine volunteers that make about 15,000 bedside visits and 1,000 playroom visits each year. As much as I loved meeting a few furry friends, it was even better to connect with the zoo’s human hosts: front desk staff and volunteers.

Up next was the benefits and leave of absence team, who challenged me to the “Benefits Balloon Pop.” The goal was to pop “balloons” (inflated latex gloves) with darts to reveal the question inside, such as “I’m pregnant! When does my leave start?” and “How can I add a newborn to my insurance?” The team had all the answers! If you have a question about a leave of absence, call them at extension 225903.

Trying my hand at the Benefits Balloon Pop

My tour continued at the recruitment team’s bean bag toss. I was pretty good at this game!  Each beanbag had some interesting facts about the six-person recruitment team and their world. For example, I learned that the most popular day to submit an application is Wednesday, that there were 999 new hires last fiscal year and that Rady Children’s receives about 27,000 applications every year! I also found out that high-demand positions, such as nurses and patient access representatives, often turn over because employees have been promoted within the organization. That’s always a great reason to fill a spot.

Keeping my eye on the target in the recruitment bean bag toss

I then arrived at the HR specialists’ booth, where I was blindfolded, handed a “kite tail,” spun around and tasked with doing my best to pin the tail on a kite. Each kite tail had a question on the back that related to this rainbow-clad crew of three’s core duties. Their responsibilities really run the gamut, and include handling renewals of licensures (verifying and updating PeopleSoft and employee files); working with the DMV to enroll employees who are required to drive as part of their jobs; reviewing and processing Nelson fund and tuition re-imbursement requests; posting all jobs and refreshing posts as requested; and managing changes to employee job classifications, job transfers, and address and name changes. You can reach the specialists at extension 224000.

With the colorful HR specialists team

Next up was the information services duck pond. This classic carnival game had me fishing plastic ducks out of a bucket of water. It was definitely harder than it looks! Each duck had a number that corresponded to a function on PeopleSoft HCM. I got a refresher on the manager self-service dashboard and learned about some HR-specific functions: perceptive content (which documents an employee’s lifecycle, from onboarding to last day on the job) and PeopleSoft recruiting, a new module that streamlines tasks associated with hiring new staff.

Reeling in a duck at the information services duck pond

The fun and games continued with the HR partners. These team members support every department across the organization, working with leaders and staff on a range of personnel matters. Their carnival game was “Spin the Wheel,” in which each segment on the wheel represented a challenge the partners had faced. I landed on some real doozies, including addressing an employee who was on their cell phone in a clinical area, determining the appropriate level of discipline for an employee involved in a PHI breach and handling a harassment investigation. It’s a tough job, but this team has the skills and experience to resolve even the most challenging personnel situations.

Spinning the wheel with the HR partners

Next, I went bowling with the Children’s Specialists of San Diego HR representatives. This team handles all of the HR and benefits for 182 CSSD staff. CSSD employs 67 administrators and technicians, 64 nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, and 51 physicians. Each pin I knocked down revealed some interesting tidbits about the staff this team represents. For example, CSSD has hired 53 people over the last calendar year, and the majority of CSSD physicians work in urgent care, emergency and perinatology.

Bowling for benefits with the CSSD team

My next carnival stop was with Senior Compensation Specialist Chris Courter. Over the course of a year, Chris handles the hospital’s market review, annual budget projections, salary surveys, success sharing and long-term services bonuses, longevity increases, and increases for union-represented staff.  We played a game of “Tricky Cups,” in which each of the cups revealed a topic for discussion that gave me greater insight into Chris’ multifaceted role.

Finally, at the last stop in my tour, I got to cash in all of the tickets I had earned for some great prizes. I walked away with a pretty amazing haul of Rady Children’s swag!

Keeping my eye on the ball

The HR team is the backbone of our organization and core to our success. We could not deliver the very best care to the children in our community without them. HR also plays an integral role in our goal to make Rady Children’s one of the top places to work. As I’ve said before, with the right people and the right culture, we can do anything! Thanks for your warm welcome, HR, and for the phenomenal effort it took to put this concept together.

Cashing in my tickets