Effectively Managing University Staff:
3 Key Strategies for Success


Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

My name is Asim Qureshi, I’m the CEO of Jibble, formerly a VP at Morgan Stanley. I’m a physics grad and have a passion for teaching. I’ve taught mathematics to underprivileged inner-city children, I am the dad of 3 homeschooled kids – my kids have achieved some pretty incredible things academically – for example, my son is the youngest person in the history of the UK A-level, an exam for 18-year-olds, to have achieved an A-grade which he did when he was 10!

Anyway, I firmly believe that schools and universities need to embrace technology to maximize student potential. Here, I’ll be sharing some proven strategies that will allow you to manage your university staff more effectively – and yes, it includes using the power of technology.


Managing university staff can be tricky, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share three simple strategies to make things smoother and create a supportive work environment. From handling attendance tracking to improving communication and dealing with administrative tasks, we’ll give you the tools to manage university staff like a pro. So, get ready to dive into effective staff management. Let’s work together to unleash your team’s potential, promote collaboration, and ensure your staff thrives in the educational world. Let’s do this!

Efficient Strategies for Effectively Managing University Staff

1. Streamline Attendance Tracking

Imagine a bustling university campus, with students rushing to their classes, professors preparing for lectures, teaching multiple courses, and supervising student projects; and administrators managing various tasks. Amid this vibrant atmosphere, administrators often find it challenging to keep track of attendance and efficiency manually. This leads to potential inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and delays in addressing any attendance-related issues. 

One effective approach to facilitate attendance is to utilize a time-tracking app on every staff member’s phone or set up a shared kiosk tablet that everyone can clock in through. These methods offer convenience and accessibility, allowing staff members to easily record their attendance without the need for cumbersome paperwork. 

Aside from these, time-tracking software offers a range of handy features too! For example, it provides instant facial recognition technology, allowing staff members to simply stand in front of the shared kiosk tablet for it to recognize them and seamlessly clock them in. This eliminates the need for manual input and reduces the risk of buddy punching. 

Additionally, it can offer advanced functionalities such as activity tracking and reports. This allows administrators to gain insights into how staff members are utilizing their time, identify patterns, and optimize resource allocation accordingly. For administrative and HR staff who handle various tasks, integrating the software with tools like Chrome extensions can provide even greater efficiency and productivity.

Time-tracking software also simplifies the process of generating payroll timesheets for hourly workers. It automates hourly wage calculations, including overtime, to streamline the overall payroll management process. By using such software, universities can eliminate manual errors, reduce administrative overhead, and ensure fair compensation for hourly staff members. No more manual errors or hair-pulling moments. It’s just like having a personal payroll assistant!

Now, if all that sounds like an expensive investment, you’d be wrong: Jibble, for instance, provides these features for free!

2. Establish Clear Boundaries with Effective Communication

Professors and teachers often face blurred boundaries between their teaching responsibilities, research endeavors, and administrative tasks. This can result in inefficient time management, overwork, and ultimately reduced job satisfaction. To address this, clear boundaries and effective communication are vital.

  • Clearly Define Roles and Expectations: Establish well-defined job descriptions and clearly communicate roles and responsibilities to staff members. This ensures that everyone understands their duties and helps avoid unnecessary administrative burdens.
  • Encourage Open Dialogue: Foster an environment where staff members feel comfortable expressing their concerns and discussing workload challenges. Regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings provide opportunities for staff to communicate their needs, allowing managers to address issues and make necessary adjustments.
  • Collaborative Workload Planning: Involve staff members in the planning process by seeking their input on workload distribution. This promotes a sense of ownership and accountability while ensuring that tasks are allocated fairly and effectively.

3. Decentralize the University Administration

Bureaucratic structures within universities can hinder efficiency, often prioritizing hierarchical protocols over practical task completion. However, adopting a decentralized administration approach can overcome these challenges.

a.) Share the Decision-Making Power

  • Delegate Authority: In a decentralized administration, universities can delegate decision-making authority from top-level administrators to department heads. Delegation empowers staff members to identify department-specific needs and solve problems efficiently. Their proximity to the root of department issues enables timely resolutions and promotes a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

    By delegating authority to capable individuals to run smaller departments, top administrators can allocate their time and energy towards larger strategic initiatives, such as university fundraising or securing research grants. This allows them to have a broader impact while ensuring effective departmental management.For example, University X may introduce a decentralized structure by dividing their School of Arts and Humanities into smaller departments, such as English Literature, Fine Arts, and Linguistics. From there, each department will gain autonomy in curriculum design, student support initiatives, and faculty hiring. This decentralized approach can lead to improved student experiences, increased faculty satisfaction, and enhanced collaboration within each department.
  • Promote Intra-Department Communication: Encourage open communication channels within departments, allowing faculty and staff members to collaborate effectively and address challenges together. This proactive problem-solving approach minimizes the need to involve higher levels of administration for every decision, leading to faster resolutions. For example, the Department of Chemistry in University X established a decentralized decision-making process, where the department head empowered senior faculty members to make decisions regarding lab equipment purchases, curriculum enhancements, and guest speaker invitations. This streamlined decision-making process reduced bureaucracy, increased efficiency, and allowed the department to adapt quickly to emerging needs.

b.) Individualize Department Budgets

  • Financial Autonomy: Decentralization allows academic departments to access their budgets promptly, empowering them to tackle financial matters independently. This includes purchasing office supplies, funding guest speakers, and hiring support staff based on their specific needs.
  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Sharing the burden of budgeting with smaller departments ensures timely decision-making and optimized resource allocation. This enables departments to better serve their students while adhering to time-sensitive academic schedules. For example, University X can implement a decentralized budgeting system by granting each department direct access to their allocated funds. The Department of Computer Science, for instance, may efficiently manage its budget for upgrading computer labs, purchasing software licenses, and supporting research projects, enabling faculty and students to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, successfully managing university staff requires a savvy mix of technical know-how and good ol’ human touch. By streamlining attendance tracking, establishing clear boundaries with effective communication, and decentralizing the administration, universities can enhance staff management practices. These strategies promote a healthy work-life balance, prevent overwork, and create an environment where staff members can thrive professionally and personally.

So, let’s blend the power of technology and genuine connections to conjure up an unstoppable team that’ll take our university to new heights. It’s time to work some management magic!