Year after year, you work to spend budget dollars wisely to meet student needs and manage school staff. But over time, as some budget items have been pushed to the next budget year, your K-12 district has fallen behind in investments in digital infrastructure.
Instead of remaining on the cutting edge of digital capabilities to manage your workforce and school operations, some of your HR tech tools are stuck in the past. You may even use the same HR processes and systems you used pre-Y2K! Thankfully, today’s cloud-based HR tech solutions offer an easy way to advance digital transformation in your K-12 district and bring your workforce management activities into the new millennium.
The State of Digital Transformation in K-12 Districts
Digital transformation is a term you see in discussions about new technologies, automation and big data, but it’s not as complex as it may seem. Simply speaking, digital transformation is the adoption of technology to replace analog or hard-copy data and make processes more efficient. In K-12 education, digital transformation provides the framework required to align technology to manual processes, such as workforce and classroom management. Digital transformation can also improve district operations by streamlining document management processes within and across schools, including employment forms, student records and curriculum documents.
Although some schools have been using modern technology for years, many K-12 districts with tight budgets have yet to make critical software implementation and updates. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlights this reality, as it has uncovered opportunities for districts to adopt flexible digital solutions in areas such as remote instruction and substitute management. In fact, a recent Gartner report on the top trends facing K-12 education amid the pandemic cited the need to leverage digital tools for better student learning and teacher support.
If your district still relies on HR technology that is older than your students, it may also be impacting your ability to find and keep teachers. In a recent Workforce Institute study, 65 percent of surveyed K-12 districts said they have struggled to retain teachers because they cannot offer the sophisticated technology many teachers expect. To avoid further staff shortages and resignations, you must leverage HR technology to improve the experiences of both students and employees.
Opportunities to Modernize Your HR Tech Stack and Leave the ‘90s Behind
One of the benefits of digital transformation is that it allows you to view existing processes through a digital lens. It also helps you identify new ways to use technology and save time and money on everyday processes. Whether you need a better way to track employee time spent on Title 1 activities or a reliable method for finding substitutes for absent teachers, modern HR technology can keep your K-12 district running efficiently and within budget.
If you still rely on paper processes or a legacy HR system installed around the time smartphones became a thing, then your K-12 district is long overdue for an upgrade. Look for opportunities to level up your HR tech in the following areas:
Employee Time Tracking
Relying on paper time cards or spreadsheets to track employee time doesn’t work when you have employees spread across multiple locations with a mix of full-time and part-time employees. Moreover, the move to remote learning and working makes it more difficult for employees to record and submit their hours.
To offer your employees a simplified way to clock in and out—no matter their location—you must move beyond old-fashioned time collection. And if remote or mobile workers are part of your workforce, web- and mobile-based time clocks enable you to seamlessly track employee time and provide you with reporting to manage your labor costs.
Although many members of your school staff may be salaried and work a set schedule, others are working variable shifts throughout the school year, including custodial staff, bus drivers and maintenance staff. To keep all shifts staffed, you need to switch from manual scheduling to an automated solution. Workforce scheduling technology not only makes it easy to create and assign schedules, but you can also empower employees to swap or pick up extra shifts on their own, following your policy and approval process.
Other actions you can take with a modern workforce scheduling solution include the following:
- Receive notification of scheduling exceptions, including employees exceeding working hours or overtime limits
- Set up recurring schedules by job type, school location and other parameters
- Create scheduling rules to help you maintain compliance with federal and state requirements for overtime and break times
If your employee time tracking and payroll solutions aren’t integrated, your K-12 district is at risk of making payroll errors that can cost you time and money. However, with an integrated workforce management solution, your time and attendance data will flow seamlessly to your payroll system, helping you deliver accurate paychecks.
K-12 employees are already busy managing challenges related to remote learning, strict classroom sanitizing protocols, and meeting students’ educational and emotional needs. The last thing they need is an inaccurate paycheck. To reduce the chances of payroll errors, select an integrated HR tech solution that automates payroll calculations, from straight time to overtime and absences.
Like most organizations, your K-12 school district must manage numerous employee documents, from new hire and performance forms to payroll records. With the aid of modern workforce management technology, you can say goodbye to storing your important employee and student data in physical file cabinets and storage rooms.
Using a dynamic document management system, you can keep important documents secure and control who can access, upload or reorganize employee files. Your document management solution can also help safeguard other critical employee records, such as teacher certifications and employee COVID-19 vaccination documents.
Throughout the pandemic, teachers have been absent due to COVID-19 exposure, illness and family responsibilities. Substitute teachers have been critical to fill the gaps. But with so many K-12 districts seeking substitutes, it’s challenging to find qualified candidates to meet specific needs. In fact, a 2021 EducationWeek survey found that nearly four in five district leaders said they were experiencing staffing shortages, with substitutes being the area of greatest concern.
With a modern, cloud-based workforce management solution, you don’t have to find substitutes using a phone tree or another antiquated method. You can find the most qualified substitute teachers using web and mobile tools that post open opportunities, notify substitutes and schedule them quickly. With a substitute management solution that integrates with your employee leave management system, you waste no time getting a substitute. As soon as a teacher logs an absence, substitutes are automatically notified of the opportunity.
Upgrade Your HR Tech
Managing your K-12 workforce requires digital tools that help you use your time more efficiently and avoid the errors related to outdated systems. Moreover, the pandemic and the shift from in-person to remote learning have made it clear that you need workforce management tools with the ability to manage your employees in any location.
TCP offers the latest cloud-based, mobile-ready workforce management solutions for K-12 schools. With automated solutions for time and attendance, scheduling, document management and more, TCP can bring your HR technology out of the ‘90s and into the modern era. Read more about TCP’s solutions for K-12 schools and see why TCP is the trusted choice for more than 4,500 school districts across the country.