The College at Brockport, State University of New York (SUNY Brockport) is a four-year liberal arts college located in Brockport, NY. Aimed to be a nationally recognized master's institution focused on student success, the College at Brockport developed a facilities master plan to construct an updated, high-quality learning environment.
As part of the new facilities plan, the college invested $44 million in building the Special Events Recreation Center (SERC), a 150,000-square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-use facility. Upon completion, the SERC received rave reviews and was presented with the Outstanding Sports Facilities Award by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).
The Special Events Recreation Center features a fitness center, group exercise studio and field house, all of which are managed by Campus Recreation. As a multi-use facility, the SERC accommodates the programing needs of campus recreation, athletics, events, educational programs and campus-wide celebrations.
Simplifying multi-department staff scheduling
To keep operations at the SERC running smoothly, a large workforce is required. Campus Recreation is one of the largest employers on campus, with a staff of more than 130 people. Staff work a variety of roles and shifts covering areas such as, the fitness center, group exercise, personal training, the ice arena, membership services and building management. Aside from the 5 professional staff members, most of the SERC's employees are students, juggling the demand of student life, academics, and their part-time job.
In the past, the SERC managers would start with a blank schedule template and ask employees - by seniority - to write their names in on desired shifts. Managers would hope for each shift to be filled without conflict, however, this was rarely the case. Often managers would then be forced to call around and send many back-and-forth emails to confirm staff availability and get shifts covered. As soon as managers believed their schedule was finalized, the inevitable changes would begin to pour in. Changes in student availability, last-minute requests for time off and a need for additional event staffing left managers and staff scrambling to find coverage.
Although student labor is abundant and cost effective on a college campus, it can be inconsistent and unpredictable when it comes to class schedules, extracurricular activities and student life in general. Pairing these inconsistencies with fluctuating labor needs, can become quite a challenge for scheduling managers.
Fitness and Wellness Coordinator, Betsy Ernst, is responsible for scheduling approximately 40 staff at the SERC. Betsy explained, "Students would make changes and trade shifts verbally, but not on paper. Then when someone didn't show up for work we'd hear, 'so-and-so said they'd cover my shift,' which was neither here nor there because we were still left scrambling for coverage. When schedule changes did get recorded, it was typically on one of the multiple copies of the schedule floating around. It was so confusing, we desperately needed a better way to manage employee scheduling."
An innovative approach that engaged managers and employees alike
Prompted by the construction of the SERC, Campus Recreation decided they needed to find a better way to create and maintain the staff schedule. In searching for a solution, Betsy found three different scheduling solutions. After closely comparing her three options, Betsy knew SubItUp was the right solution for her team. Not only does SubItUp provide an innovative employee scheduling solution, it also offers an integrated time clock application which automates the scheduling process even further.
Improvements in the SERC's staff scheduling process were noticed immediately. With SubItUp, staff are held accountable for managing their schedules and finding coverage for their shifts when they are unable to work. SubItUp facilitates and tracks any changes, notifies managers in real-time for approval, immediately notifies impacted staff of changes and automatically updates the schedule accordingly.
The integrated, web-based time clock also proved to be invaluable. Managers no longer needed to look through printed timesheets to reconcile time clock data. SubItUp's 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, eliminating the opportunity for abuse.
Increased efficiency and accuracy
"One of the biggest benefits of using SubItUp is the efficiency and accuracy it provides. SubItUp ensures everything is in one spot, the schedule is always up-to-date and I can check it anywhere at any time. My team no longer needs to worry about multiple copies of the schedule floating around," Betsy shared. She also loves that she can access the schedule from anywhere, for instance over the weekend, she can see who is scheduled to open the building, whether they've clocked in, and exactly what time they clocked in.
SubItUp's innovative staff scheduling solution has streamlined the SERC's staff scheduling process, allowing the College at Brockport to better focus on their goal of becoming a nationally recognized master's institution focused on student success.