VERIP Departures

We want to ensure that FAS departments are equipped with the resources needed during these VERIP transitions. To assist with these changes, FAS has developed and assembled documents that will assist with VERIP-related procedures and processes. 

VERIP Departure Resources

Transfer of Institutional Knowledge Framework

This framework will guide the transfer of institutional knowledge—from those FAS staff members who are departing through VERIP—to their managers and to remaining colleagues. Without this critical knowledge transfer, FAS risks losing important historical information.    

What is Institutional Knowledge and why is it critical to transfer?

Different from the transfer of information regarding ongoing projects, processes, procedures, and system capabilities, institutional knowledge is the knowledge that a long-time employee has in his or her head, that they no longer even realize is there.  Said differently, institutional knowledge is the unwritten rule book for transacting business within and across an organization that a long-time employee has learned and honed over time. Especially at FAS, which is a complex, large and decentralized organization, the transfer of institutional knowledge becomes even more critical when a long-term employee departs.

The Transfer of Institutional Knowledge:

  • Helps capture and retain organizational knowledge, making it available to remaining employees.
  • Preserves unwritten information and practices that are key to how things get done in the department.
  • Enables the preservation of institutional history.

There are Four Distinct Areas of Institutional Knowledge. Below is a high-level overview of these Areas:

  1. Strategic knowledge: information relating to the key strategic issues, priorities and decision-making relevant to the department; including the key stakeholders (and their roles) who are involved in strategic decisions.
  2. Operational knowledge: relates to the unwritten rules and practices that are key to how things get done regarding the role in question, including, but not limited to: how various infrastructures work in concert, what broadly held practices exist, and the way in which various stakeholder groups (the unit, FAS and Central Harvard) and existing processes work together.
  3. People-related knowledge: various strengths and capabilities that exist on the team, including individual and collective team expectations that may impact productivity and team dynamics. This would include existing meeting frameworks (who meets with who, when, and how often), that relate to the role in question.
  4. Culture-related knowledge: critical information relating to the values and beliefs within the department, including, but not limited to, what is valued and what is not value This knowledge relates to accepted norms and principles that are embedded in the fabric of the unit. This knowledge will likely vary from department to department.

Next Steps for Transfer of Institutional Knowledge

  1. Appropriate administrator/manager(s) and departing employee(s) should meet to discuss how to document the transfer of institutional knowledge and to determine a timeframe for completion. A conversation (between employee and administrator and/or manager) to discuss the transfer of institutional knowledge is the last step and should be planned accordingly.
     
  2. Employees departing on VERIP should identify a list of those FAS/Harvard colleagues and other stakeholders to contact regarding the transfer of institutional knowledge.

Development of Work Transition Plan, Identification of Key Stakeholders and Reference to Offboarding Resources

In addition to the transfer of institutional knowledge, employees departing on VERIP should develop a transition plan for their current work projects, including status, priority, who the work will transition to, and a timeframe for completion. Please see Transition Plan template, that can be used for this.

  1. Employees departing on VERIP should also identify those FAS/Harvard colleagues and other stakeholders that they are working with on current projects—for their awareness regarding project continuity.
  2. Review, and complete as appropriate, the general offboarding information located in the FAS HR website, which includes but is not limited to:
  3. Manager Checklist
  4. Employee Checklist
  5. Harvard Accounts and Technology

Exit Interviews

FAS HR plans to hold an exit interview with every FAS staff member who is departing through VERIP.  Specific instructions on this process will vary depending on grade level and more information will be provided to departing staff soon.

VERIP Offboarding Checklists for Employees and Managers

Checklist for FAS Employees

Notify your Manager and Department Administrator of Retirement Date

Notify your Manager and Department Administrator that you are taking VERIP and provide them with your date of departure.

Your Department Administrator Completes the proper forms in Aurora

Your Department Administrator should then submit the termination action in Aurora, which must be completed for every departing employee.

Contact the Harvard Benefits Services Group

Open Enrollment for 2021 will take place November 10-19, 2020.

VERIP participants retiring on or before 12/31/2020 should not enroll during Open Enrollment for 2021. Those retiring on or after 1/1/2021 should enroll in benefits during the open enrollment period.
Please be aware: There has recently been an uptick in fraudulent unemployment claims. If you discover that someone has filed an unemployment claim using your name go to Mass.gov.

Contact the Benefits Services Group with any questions related to your benefits. They can be contacted by phone (617) 496-4001 or via email: benefits@harvard.edu.

Report all time and absences in PeopleSoft Absence Management (for staff only)

If you are a time reporter, be sure to report all time and absences. If you are an exempt employee, be sure to report all absences. You may be able to defer some or all of your unused vacation pay into your Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan account. If you elect to defer, you will not pay Federal or State taxes on that amount until you withdraw it from your TDA Plan account at a later date. The Salary Reduction Agreement/Tax- Deferred Annuity Plan form must be completed and returned to your HR Coordinator prior to your separation date. Otherwise, any remaining vacation or longer service vacation time will be paid out to you in your last paycheck.

Return all Harvard University Property

You must turn in all Harvard property including your Harvard ID card, keys, cell phone, laptop computer, PCard, iPad, or Corporate Card, and any other Harvard property prior to leaving, to your manager or Department Administrator. If you are working remotely, please be sure to arrange a time with your department administrator to clean out your office or desk space.

Access to Email and Online Resources

Access to your email, calendar, and FAS online resources will be disabled upon your designated departure date.

Forwarding US Postal Address and Personal Email Address Upon Departure

Update your US Postal forwarding address in PeopleSoft through “Employee Self Service,” and ensure your Department Administrator has your mailing address and a personal email address as well. This will ensure that all future correspondence, such as W-2 mailings and retirement information, will be received.

Participate in the FAS Exit Interview Process

As part of our process for departing staff employees, we ask that you give us your valuable feedback. You will be notified to participate, either by phone or Zoom, to gather your departing thoughts in an exit interview conversation with FAS HR. We strongly encourage you to schedule time to talk with FAS HR one month prior to your last working day at FAS.

Preserve Harvard Documents and Data

Before your departure, discuss with your manager how to copy or transfer ownership of relevant, work- related documents or data that you have on your computer, OneDrive, Google Drive, personal folders on the FAS shared drive, or consumer services that you may be using such as Dropbox or Evernote. Please see the Workplace Transition Template and the Institutional Knowledge Transfer Framework for more guidance.

Remove Any Special Online Access

Before your departure, discuss with your manager any access you have to the following:

  • Shared departmental accounts or proxy access to others’ calendars
  • Online applications or databases that are local to the department
  • Administrator accounts or privileges on network drives, devices, or servers

 

Checklist for FAS Managers

Complete the proper forms in Aurora

Department Administrator should submit the termination action in Aurora, which must be completed for every employee departing on VERIP. Coordinate TDA paperwork with appropriate parties.

Ensure all time and absences are recorded in PeopleSoft Absence Management (for staff only)

If you are a time reporter, be sure to report all time and absences. If you are an exempt employee, be sure to report all absences. If the employee is transferring unused vacation time into a Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan account, make note of it in the comment section of the termination action. If the employee gives you their completed Salary Reduction Agreement/Tax Deferred Annuity Plan form, please attach it to their termination action in Aurora. Otherwise, any remaining vacation or longer service vacation time will be paid out on the last paycheck.
 

Return all Harvard University Property

Collect all Harvard property including your Harvard ID card, keys, cell phone, laptop computer, PCard, iPad, or Corporate Card, and any other Harvard property prior to employee leaving.

Access to Email and Online Resources

Access to email, calendar, and FAS online resources for employees (both regular and term position who are leaving the University will be disabled upon their designated departure date. 30 days after the staff member’s designated departure date (when their email is disabled), their email and calendar will be deleted entirely.

Forwarding US Postal Address and Personal Email Address Upon Departure

Remind departing employee to input his/her US Postal forwarding address in PeopleSoft through “Employee Self Service,” and request that they provide a personal email address as well. This will ensure that they will receive all future correspondence, such as W-2 mailings and retirement information.

Preserve Harvard Documents and Data

Before an employee departs, ask them to copy or transfer ownership of relevant, work-related documents or data that they have on their computer, OneDrive, Google Drive, personal folders on the FAS shared drive, or consumer services that they may be using such as Dropbox or Evernote. See the Framework for the Transfer of Institutional Knowledge for more information on documents and data retention.

Remove Any Special On-Line Access

Ask whether the departing employee has access to the following:

  • Shared departmental accounts or proxy access to others’ calendars
  • Online applications or databases that are local to the department
  • Administrator accounts or privileges on network drives, devices, or servers
  • Special VPN access (e.g., specific VPN tunnels)

If so, then notify the employee’s manager, HUIT, and/or the appropriate system administrators.

 

Work Transition Guide and Template

This template is available for your use in the transition of your work responsibilities and projects and is to be shared with the appropriate manager or department administrator.

Additional Resources for Managers and Employees