Page 63 - Security Today, January/February 2021
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access to any changes, so the information becomes bottlenecked, impeding the working process. It also becomes more complicated for maintenance employees to adhere to new cleaning protocols, greatly increasing sanitation risks.
Likewise, when teachers call in sick in large numbers, school administrators need to ensure enough substitute teachers are on call to cover the appropriate number of classes. However, if there isn’t a system that has all the available and pre-vetted substitute teachers in one place, it greatly slows down the time it takes for administrators to track down the right number of substitutes, cutting into time that could be better suited to serving students and their families.
By understanding which systems are currently in place throughout the district and where the inefficiencies lie, administrators can create a plan to either update their systems so they are safe for a COVID-19 world or explore solutions that can streamline inefficiencies and pro- vide an automated, holistic view of different schedules and availabil- ity to cover shifts.
The State of Workforce Management Solutions in Schools Today
When looking at a workforce management solution, school adminis- trators should select options that enhance safety and security in a COVID-19 world, while also ensuring that both teachers and other staff members can access the solution with ease.
Many schools currently rely on legacy processes for time and atten- dance, absence racking and substitute management, such as paper- based timecards or the honor system. These manual processes lead to inaccuracies and a lack of transparency which, in turn, creates ineffi- cient operations and takes time away from school administrators being able to properly serve staff members, students and their families. And since these manual processes can cause bottlenecks and siloed infor- mation, schools face a security risk trying to combat COVID-19.
With scheduling becoming a more prominent, complex issue due to the pandemic, a workforce management system that provides school administrators a holistic view of schedules between teachers, substitutes, school bus drivers and maintenance employees, allows them to more easily see which substitutes are available to cover a class and if a different bus driver or maintenance employee can fill in shifts. With an intuitive scheduling tool, administrators can quickly fill shifts while complying with contact tracing guidelines since they can easily understand who was in the building at any given time.
Selecting a Workforce Management System
To further enhance security protocols, school administrators should leverage systems that meet new contact tracing and health question- naire standards for any staff member who enters the building. Administrators should look for systems that can take every employ- ee’s temperature in a touchless manner and ask health-related ques- tions, to garner a clear idea of which employees are healthy enough to continue checking into work. Since these tools can take employees’ temperatures, they can also help with contact tracing efforts. For example, if an employee checks into work with an abnormal tem- perature, school administrators are alerted to other colleagues that employee may have come in contact with, allowing for swift action to prevent potential outbreaks.
Schools are facing insurmountable pressure this year to ensure students stay on track. By leveraging workforce management solu- tions that enhance school safety, streamline inefficiencies and allow administrators to manage teacher and faculty absences more smooth- ly, they can work to provide a safe and nurturing learning environ- ment for every student.
Eric Thurston is the CEO at TimeClock Plus. Download our podcasts on campus design, planning, and management!
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