May 18, 2021

5 Workforce Scheduling Tips for Higher Ed

Colleges and universities employ a highly diverse workforce. From educators and administrators, to facilities, police and food service, and a large number of student workers, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to schedule and manage a workforce like this. 

When it comes to scheduling your diverse, hourly workforce, understanding the needs and expectations of your staff can make your life easier. 

Top Features for Best-In-Class Scheduling in Higher Education

1. Student workers are digital natives and expect digital interactions.
Your Gen Z workers can’t imagine the time when people managed their personal lives without hand-held technology. They expect to use a mobile app for their work interactions so they can get reminders, update their availability, and pick up shifts at their convenience. They depend on notifications to keep up with their responsibilities and deadlines.

Universities need a workforce management (WFM) solution that offers a painless and instantaneous way to enable part-time student workers to efficiently juggle work and school, while also taking the juggle out of complex scheduling challenges for managers.

2. Facilities and groundskeepers who are frequently on the move need mobile solutions.
Many of your employees don’t start their day at a desk or even an office. They’re on the move from location to location all day and don’t have easy access to a computer. 

Managers need an efficient way to know where employees are working on campus and track their progress on assigned jobs. Likewise, workers need to be able to communicate in real time and provide status updates to managers…from wherever they are. Mobile WFM solutions like TCP’s MobileClock and MobileKiosk apps enable employees to log in from any approved location and stay connected to management and HR.

3. 2-way scheduling communication results in more accurate scheduling and reduces no shows.
Imagine a workforce management (WFM) tool that allows students to share their class schedules, then uses that data to create shift schedules without conflicts. 

Any organization with a diverse workforce needs a platform that allows workers to personally set any recurring or one-off changes to their schedule, and then automatically integrates that data into the scheduling process. Managers can then assign shifts more accurately and reduce no-shows.

4. Empowering staff with self-service options frees up managers’ time.
Most employees’ day-to-day and weekly schedules are in constant flux. Why tie up managers’ time with calls, or leave them in a bind because of missed emails? Offering staff access to manage their own schedules within your WFM system is a no-brainer.

Universities can streamline managers’ workloads and operations with self-service portals that allow employees to swap shifts or pick up shifts on their own, rather than requiring manager involvement.  

5. Dynamic scheduling is a game changer for shifts that require employees with certain skills and thresholds.
In addition to scheduling around employees’ ever-evolving availability, sometimes shift requirements include the need for certain skills or roles. For example, the Rec department needs referees or umpires for intramurals. Dining or housing may require certain trained staff or hierarchy in attendance. 

You’re also up against limits to an individual’s hours worked in order to avoid paying overtime or violating other policies or compliance thresholds. 

Dynamic or demand-driven scheduling goes beyond static or ad-hoc shift management. Students and other employees can enter their schedules, skills, qualifications or roles into your WFM system, allowing managers to build schedules to meet all required protocols, including individual thresholds. Or the system can build the schedule for you. 

For the most challenging shift requirements, a platform like TCP’s Advanced Scheduler handles the most complex scheduling needs. Designed with critical workforce segments such as campus police in mind, it takes skills-based scheduling to the next level.

Ultimately, Higher Education institutions need a scheduling solution that provides best-in-breed options for managing its diverse workforce. Can you say your college or university has that today?

Schedule a demo of TCP’s scheduling capabilities today.