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Tremendous frustration among teachers when staff planning doesn’t work

The teachers know what they need to have in order to do a good job, but when staff planning at higher education institutions doesn’t work, it can lead to serious unwanted consequences for them. A few examples of this include lack of clarity as to what the situation is, resulting in short notice and poor planning and misunderstandings due to lack of information.

We’ve been working on staff planning at higher education institutions for over 10 years and we thought it was time to voice teachers’ frustrations due to poor staff planning. But, of course, we also have a solution.

No control over your own work situation

“This spring I started off working seven days a week for a few months and then had very little work for the rest of the term. My private life disappeared completely in the first half of the term. It would never have worked if I’d had a family.”

Work that must be done during unpaid time

“The weekends are spent preparing all the new courses that I’m thrown into without any advance planning. I do a lot of unpaid work for my employer.”

Caring for a sick child not taken into consideration

“Last month I was at home with a sick child on five different occasions, but I didn’t get any relief in my job and was forced to work late just to keep up with everything.”

Discussions on staff planning tend to take place in passing

“My manager brought up my staff planning in passing in a corridor. I was completely unprepared and didn’t get a clear picture of all aspects of my work situation.”

So how can you solve the problem of staff planning that’s not working properly?

With a staff planning system, teachers have access to their work task plan, which is always clear and up-to-date. The work task plan shows which courses the teacher is planned for and which tasks they have in each course. Teachers can clearly see whether they are under- or over-allocated, whether their skills are being made use of and whether they are achieving personal development in their work.

A professional staff planning system tailored to the unique needs of a higher education institution ensures that teachers always have up-to-date information as well as simplifying their administration and providing them with clear summaries.

That serves to reduce misunderstandings and provides security – which is effective in countering frustration and stress.


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.

You can also read more about what features you can expect from a professional staff planning system on our website.

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.