Get to Know HFC: Tiffany Webster
This article is part of a series introducing you to HFC colleagues in their work and lives. If you would like to be featured, or nominate a colleague for this series, contact email@example.com.
HFC Human Resources (HR) Generalist Tiffany Webster thinks of Human Resources as a platform to help fellow employees.
She also understands that sometimes, HR departments get a bad rap.
“We’re here to coach and counsel you and help you,” said Webster, of Novi. “I work collaboratively with the deans and the managers and supervisors to guide our employees to be successful on a daily basis, and to have a successful career at the College. People should see us as an asset and come to us for assistance.”
In her current position, Webster assists employees with their benefits and retirement plans (open enrollment runs from Monday, Nov. 16, through Monday, Nov. 30), she will be offering “concierge service” to assist employees in navigating BenXpress system for benefit selections. She is also responsible for:
- Workers Compensation
- Leave Management (FMLA, STD, LTD, ADA)
- Unemployment Benefits
- Medical, Vision and Dental
- COVID Contact for Employees
An underutilized resource that Webster wanted to highlight is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that is available to help employees cope with the pandemic or any other issues they are facing. EAP is available for both full-time and part-time employees of the College.
“Benefits are important -- even more so in the midst of this pandemic. One advantage of working remotely from home is zero commuting, but also finding ways to stay connected as you’re working from home. MS Teams and Zoom become your new normal for interacting with coworkers and employees. This technology adds a layer that is normally not available working on-site, and that is being able to interact as a family regarding benefits or making a decision to pick one spouse over the other’s medical insurance based on rates and plans of service,” explained Webster.
Ready and able to assist with benefits
HFC has an active enrollment, so all employees must make benefit selections annually, even if they do not plan on making any changes.
“The process allows employees to review their benefits annually. There might be a benefit they currently don’t use or are even aware they are paying for it out of habit, which is a waste of money,” said Webster. “I’m here to assist you in making this process go as smoothly as possible. As cliché as it sounds, it’s also the truth: I’m here to help our employees.”
From special ed to HR
Webster has more than 10 years of experience in HR. She was also a special education teacher for seven years. An alumna of Southfield High School, Webster earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and English from Oakland University in Rochester and her MBA with a concentration in human resource management/personnel from Baker College of Auburn Hills. She also earned her teaching certification and completed additional coursework at Wayne State University in Detroit.
She began her career in HR at General Motors for several years. After she was laid off, Webster became a special ed teacher. She taught in the Detroit Public Schools, Oak Park Schools, and Northville Public Schools.
“For me, teaching wasn’t that different from corporate HR, because you do a lot of coaching and counseling in both professions,” explained Webster. “It was an easy transition."
“As a sociology major, I’ve always had great patience with people, so going into HR seemed like a natural fit,” she said.
The difference between academics and private sector
Originally, Webster interviewed to be the executive assistant for Dr. Cynthia Glass, former HFC Vice President of Administration. However, Glass realized Webster had a lot of HR experience, so Webster interviewed for the HR generalist position she currently occupies. She now reports to HFC Executive Director of Human Resources LaDonna Holley.
“Academics isn’t as structured as the private sector,” she said. “Personality-wise, I think I can do well in any work situation. Being able to listen, being an effective communicator, and having patience and empathy have served me well in every environment I’ve been in.”
One of the best parts of her job is meeting people. Prior to the pandemic, Webster planned on walking around the campus and introducing herself to fellow HFC employees, knowing HR has an open-door policy and she’s available to assist them. While the pandemic has scuttled those plans, she remains determined to do this once the pandemic ends and the campus reopens.
“I continue to learn more about the history of the College,” said Webster. “We have hard-working people in HR. I’m proud to be part of it.”
Football, popcorn, Baldacci -- and an amazing family coincidence
Outside the office, Webster is an avid football fan. She can be seen on her couch on Sundays during football season, watching games and snacking on popcorn. She's also an avid reader, and counts New York Times best-selling novelist David Baldacci among her favorite authors.
Another fun fact: Although her sister is five years older than she is, they share the same birthday of June 25.