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New employee welcome kit receives Ragan award

If you joined UCOP recently, you know all about the new “Welcome” kit and video for new employees, but you don’t know what came before. And if you’ve been here a couple years or more, you may not even know the new pieces exist.

Now there’s another reason to appreciate the arrival of the new kit: It was recognized with an honorable mention award for the best redesign of an employee communications piece from Ragan Communications. Ragan is a national publisher of corporate communications whose annual awards recognize work in a variety of disciplines, including employee communications.

About one year in the making, the new kit includes a new employee packet and orientation video, “Working at UC.” The kit was first introduced in January 2012 for UCOP and all UC locations to introduce the university’s extensive menu of benefits to the up to 10,000 new staff and faculty it hires annually. The new pieces replaced the “Benefits of Belonging” packet, which had been in use for more than 15 years, and two 20-minute videos that explained health and retirement benefits in more detail than a new employee could take in.

“Our goal was twofold: redesign the information to make the process of understanding and enrolling in benefits easier for new employees, and to welcome them into the UC community,” said Anne Wolf, systemwide communications coordinator in Internal Communications. “We also wanted the visual design of the new kit to align with the new UC brand.”

Wolf did the writing for both the print and video pieces and oversaw the project in collaboration with systemwide HR and UC benefits managers as well as UCOP’s creative team.

The kit has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from UC campus users, who can add localized information to meet specific campus needs. One of its highlights is the “Your benefits at a glance” booklet, a quick-reference guide that summarizes the health and welfare, retirement and other benefits offered by UC to its employees.

In receiving the Ragan award, UC was in good company: Among the first place winner and other honorable mentions in the best redesign category were Healthfirst, Choice Hotels, Kaiser Permanente, the Mayo Clinic and Xerox.

If you haven’t seen the new kit and would like a copy, please contact Tracy FitzGerald at You can view the video online.

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