The Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) Campus is the largest college campus in the state of Colorado, with over 45,000 students. Uniquely situated, the AHEC Campus hosts three separate institutions, the Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU), the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) and the Community College of Denver (CCD). These three separate institutions coexist by sharing classroom space, general services, and a variety of other facilities.
Funded by all three institutions, Campus Recreation at Auraria (CRA) is a shared comprehensive fitness, recreational, and leisure service provided to students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community. Campus Recreation at Auraria operates the Physical Education/Events Center, which includes a pool, fitness center, racquetball, squash and basketball courts, a dance studio, and more. CRA strives to support the missions, values, and goals of the Auraria Campus institutions by providing high quality, innovative and accessible wellness and recreational opportunities that foster lifelong personal, academic and professional success for its diverse campus community.
Visibility into ever changing situations
CRA employs 75-80 student workers in a variety of roles including front desk and equipment checkout attendants, fitness center and business office staff, personal trainers, lifeguards, group fitness instructors, outdoor adventure guides and more. Scheduling a team of this size can get complicated very quickly. Tracking the ever-changing availability of student workers, updating the schedule with substitutions and changes, keeping staff informed about updates, and having visibility into labor costs in each area of operation were all proving to be a huge challenge.
Assistant Director of Facility Operations and Personal Training Programs, Louie Morphew, knew that their current process of using spreadsheets to manage and schedule staff was long overdue to be replaced by a real system. "We needed to come into the 21st century. Our scheduling process was one of the few things that we hadn't updated yet," Louie said.
Substitutions and shift trading were still being done manually in the office. An employee would come into the office and fill out paperwork, but most people never became aware of these swaps. Ideally, Louie needed a real-time version of the schedule that was accessible from anywhere. He also wanted greater visibility into labor costs in each area and to remove any subjectivity in creating the schedule.
An innovative approach that engaged managers and employees alike
After researching several scheduling programs, CRA decided SubItUp was the right solution for managing their employees. "It was SubItUp's customer service and personalized training that sold us," Louie shared. "We wanted a live person to talk to, and SubItUp was one of the only companies that made it clear that we would receive that service."
Over winter break, CRA quickly implemented SubItUp and their first schedule was posted at the beginning of the new semester. "Surprisingly, the biggest issue was getting all the students on board. They were a bit resistant to the new technology," said Louie. Their resistance was soon overcome as the students discovered how easy SubItUp is to use and the convenience of accessing their schedule from their phone.
SubItUp proved to be a much more efficient way for managers and employees to collaborate about the staff schedule. The automated scheduling system and integrated time clock ensures scheduled employees are the only ones allowed to clock in during their shift. In addition, SubItUp provides options to restrict how early or late an employee can clock in or clock out of their shift, ultimately controlling labor costs.
A new paradigm of collaborating online to manage the schedule
CRA was welcomed into the 21st century with SubItUp's modern and up-to-date capabilities. One of the more prominent benefits is the ease of trading and substitutions. "Students appreciate being notified about the opportunity to pick up extra shifts," explained Louie. SubItUp's flexibility allows scheduling managers to proactively manage open shifts by selecting parameters that best suit the needs of their department. "SubItUp's real-time functionality keeps everyone informed of the most recent updates and changes," said Louie. From a generated schedule, students can receive messages when there are modifications to the schedule, or if a shift becomes available.
Another recognized benefit is that SubItUp automates the tracking of employees' total scheduled hours. Often students employed at the CRA also work in various other departments across campus and are limited to a certain number of hours per week. SubItUp automatically ensures staff are never double-booked or go over their hourly limits, saving managers time. The shift history tool is another feature that is very beneficial for managers. This feature allows managers to verify that if a student drops a shift, he or she gave enough notice for another student to pick up that time block. "We require 48 hours' notice for shift drops, this allows me to easily confirm that procedures are being properly followed," Louie shared.
Given these benefits, SubItUp has proven to be a superlative upgrade to staff scheduling management in the tri-institutional environment. Campus Recreation at Auraria works with a very restricted budget, and SubItUp contributes efficiency and accuracy in generating schedules and tracking total hours to ensure labor costs do not exceed their limits. It also eradicates the confusion and chaotic nature of manually managing time clocks and substitutions by allowing employees to use modern technology to assist in managing a schedule that is instrumental to running a smooth operation.