The ASCENT Initiative is the State of Alaska’s effort to update and reorient enterprise-wide Human Resource (HR) processes and systems to support a modernized workforce. At its core, the initiative focuses on creating and sustaining a holistic employee journey starting with recruitment and continuing through the phases of a fulfilling career progression. This journey is supported by automated onboarding and service delivery, with enhanced learning and performance management systems, all while seeking to integrate the functions of HR to ensure employees thrive in their careers and are equipped for ongoing success.
Learning Management System: AspireAlaska
Learning and development are critical components of a meaningful career. As such, the State has introduced a robust new Learning Management System (LMS) within AspireAlaska to support the development and success of State employees. The system is live and accessible to all State employees and already includes courses on leadership development, advanced Microsoft software training, Academy for Supervisors, and more. The system will continue to grow over time and will eventually host department-specific and role-specific courses and materials. To stay up to date on new learning opportunities and system features, visit the AspireAlaska LMS project page or login to the system directly at https://soa.csod.com.
In order for employees at any level to succeed and grow, they need actionable feedback on their performance, clarity of their role, as well as opportunities to challenge themselves by setting and achieving personal and professional goals. These all fall under the umbrella of Performance Management. As a part of Ascent, the State is overhauling its approach to Performance Management to better capture these aspects and make it a more effective tool for employee growth and career success. Beginning in 2022, Departments will be taking one of two tracks to begin the transition to this new process:
PMLD Form: Various departments will begin by replacing the current evaluation form with the new Performance Management and Learning Development (PMLD) format. The new form includes clearly defined performance expectations, SMART goals, and a learning and development plan for the year ahead. Employees will be evaluated during their normal evaluation times (based on their Merit Anniversary Dates.) The review cycle begins with performance planning, at which point supervisors work with employees to clarify expectations and establish goals and learning opportunities. Employees and supervisors should meet regularly throughout the year to track progress. Finally, the process ends with an evaluation based on the plans set at the beginning of the annual cycle.To access resources, project updates, and the new PMLD Form, go to the Performance Evaluation SharePoint Site.
AspireAlaska: Beginning in 2022, some departments will be utilizing the new performance process hosted by the same platform as Learning Management, AspireAlaska. This will provide employees digital access to their performance objectives at any time throughout the performance cycle, allowing employees and supervisors to check in periodically, adjust metrics and goals, and check off achievements. To learn more about the new Performance Management System, visit the project page.
Instead of completing cumbersome paperwork, hiring managers will be able to access a new fully automated system via AlaskaNow. This process will be fully integrated into our wider HR systems to eliminate any duplication of effort across the State, with automated workflows to give hiring managers and new employees the confidence that all the tasks associated with hiring and onboarding have been completed. It will also ensure that new employees are aware of the support and resources available to them, while their colleagues will be automatically updated with information about who has joined, their role, and how can they be contacted.