Appendix C: Staff Planning Development Tool

As we transition back to campus over the summer and into the fall, SFU is planning for a gradual/staged return to campus, following the lead of our Provincial Health Officer and public health.

Although campus density and safety plan requirements may mean that not everyone can work on campus together at the outset, staffing plans should recognize the importance of a vibrant on campus experience at SFU, including in-person interactions, collaboration and engagement to fulfill our teaching, research and learning mandates. Leaders should plan to have everyone return to campus in some capacity during the transition to encourage in-person connections and support our workplace culture. 

The guiding principles developed to support academic planning for September are relevant to return to campus planning for staff as well:

  • The university will prioritize opportunities for in-person learning for all students.
  • The university will consider the student experience and student success in all decisions.
  • Staffing plans will support the health and well-being, both physical and emotional, of students, faculty, and staff.
  • The university will consider issues of accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion, and prioritize decisions that enhance inclusion.
  • The university will maximize flexibility in planning where feasible and in alignment with these guiding principles.
  • The university will provide clear, consistent, and timely communication to the community.
  • The university will work to retain best practices and incorporate lessons learned from this period of remote learning.

In developing staffing plans for the transition, strategic goals, services standards, student experience and operational requirements are key considerations, along with any Faculty or unit specific needs.

In considering goals, service standards and the student experience in light of return to campus, supervisors are invited to consider the following: 

  • What on campus services and supports are required in the fall and what are the related student experience and customer service needs?
  • Who does the unit serve (students, staff, faculty, government, industry, funders, etc.)?
  • What will the needs of these groups or individuals be during the transition?
  • What are the unit's goals and objectives around service levels?
  • What on-campus service standards must be maintained and to what level?
  • What does student experience look like for the unit and how will that be supported throughout the transition?
  • What services for students/customers need to be coordinated across units or positions to ensure sufficient in-person provisions are in place?
  • How can you build flexibility into your plan to adapt quickly if Provincial Health direction changes?

Considerations for role requirements include:

  • Which functions are best performed on campus and which may lend themselves well to being performed remotely as needed during the transition? Some functions would be more productively accomplished on campus even if theoretically can be done remotely.
  • Is it important for a role to be physically present on-site to do a task, interact with others, or use location-specific machinery or equipment? Physical activities, as well as those that require use of fixed equipment, may need to be performed on campus (such as providing care, operating machinery, using lab equipment, and processing transactions with in-person clients).
  • Consider the need for interaction with others and for collaboration. Although some tasks can be done remotely in a crisis, they may be more effective in person if possible.

Considerations for operational needs include:

  • Timing of return to support September on campus activity: Team members may need to work on campus during the summer in preparation for the fall (assuming alignment with SFU’s recovery plan and Faculty or unit needs).
  • Scheduling needs: If safety plans, space needs and/or density limits impact the ability to have your full team together on campus, will employees work on campus on certain days and remotely on others? What will the schedule look like?
  • Back up coverage (e.g., vacation, illness, breaks): Which positions need to be on campus to ensure appropriate coverage?
  • Collaboration between employees, team and departments: How can you ensure effective and productive interactions? How about a strong and collaborative team?
  • Work spaces: How will you support a safe, healthy and productive work environment for employees regardless of whether they are working remotely or on campus?
  • Equipment: What equipment or furniture did employees bring home and what will need to be brought back to campus, and when, to support operations? If plans require employees to split their time between campus and home, consider equipment that can be transported between locations or equipment that can be signed out.

All departmental staffing plans must align with Faculty or unit plans and overall university direction regarding Return to Campus stages/density and safety requirements.

Need help? Contact your HR Strategic Business Partner who can help facilitate planning discussions and support you with change management needs for a successful transition back to campus.