The benefits of a joint staff planning process

A joint staff planning process is important in order to allow your institution to be able to work in peace, operate more efficiently and keep things in slightly better order.

Of course, your department has the same requirements as always: to deliver the highest quality courses and to continue staffing courses and projects efficiently and transparently. Simply, to achieve your goals. Implementing a joint staff planning process throughout the organisation can make that work infinitely easier. In this article we tell you how.

Agree on how you’re going to work together

When the staff planning process is made transparent, everyone can clearly see how the activities are managed and planned. Your employees also come to understand how different parts of the organisation fit in and generate value. A joint approach to staff planning also makes inter-departmental cooperation easier.

It makes coordination possible throughout the higher education institution.

In traditional organisations, activities are almost always organised into units such as finance, HR or a specific department. Working methods are often adapted to what works best for that particular unit – people work on their own tasks without thinking about how it affects other units. A process-oriented working method, which describes efficient flows through multiple units, increases collaboration, quality and efficiency.

Focus on goals

Who hasn’t become stuck in their ways and done as they’ve always done without thinking about how or even whether it contributes to the institution’s joint goals. When your department introduces a joint staff planning process, you can clearly see how the activities are planned and managed. Because there is greater transparency, employees can provide feedback on working methods that no longer work as well as they could and can help identify areas for improvement that make the organisation more efficient and able to focus on its goals.

Harmonise your inter-departmental work

At every higher education institution there is a tendency for each department to develop its own working methods. This can be a result of individual employees’ needs or due to a lack of understanding when it comes to the institution as a whole. In some cases, a department’s own variants are justified in order to meet specific needs, for example. However, there are often great synergies to be achieved from learning from one another, identifying good practice and thus developing joint processes that are more efficient.

A process for development and optimisation

A joint staff planning process means that problems can be identified faster. It also enables opportunities for improvement to be identified in a more structured way and allows feedback to be obtained from employees and students.

When you measure and analyse your staff planning process, you gain an insight into how your activities deliver in terms of productivity, time and quality. The measurements also help you see what improvements can be made. It also becomes easier to prioritise and adopt a range of initiatives for a more efficient staff planning process through shorter lead times, better supporting data for decision-making and clearer goals.

Better communication and more trust – internally and externally

With a built-in staff planning process, you can clearly see how individual work contributes to the whole. It can also provide more security for staff and increase trust among managers which, as we know, is a prerequisite for developing the entire organisation.


A higher education institution has everything to gain and nothing to lose by introducing a joint staff planning process. If you want to read more about the various components of the staff planning process at a higher education institution, we’ve also written an article about that.

If you want to learn more about the pitfalls and benefits of staff planning as well as what you can expect from a professional staff planning system, sign up for our free webinar.

Read more about the benefits of a professional staff planning system that has been developed specifically for higher education institutions.

These are the most important features that a higher education institution should require in a professional staff planning system.

About the author

Jens Apelgren has over ten years’ experience in workforce planning at higher education institutions and has personally introduced workforce planning systems at 18 different institutions. Jens is CEO of Retendo AB, which offers systems to streamline administration for both higher education institutions and project-oriented companies. Jens is closely involved in the development of Retendo’s workforce planning system.