UCLA Brings Organization and Time Savings to Their Rec Sports Department
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UCLA Brings Organization and Time Savings to Their Rec Sports Department With OrgSync
The Rec Sports department at the University of California, Los Angeles employs 900 students and 175 part- and full-time staff, manages 14,200 intramural and club sports participants, and serves approximately 100,000 people per quarter at their 14 facilities. Due to the sheer size of its department, Rec Sports is broken out into several units, including programming units, operations units, and support units such as technology and human resources. Jason Zeck is the Program Director of Competitive Sports and manages much of the administrative load for the intramural and club sports programs. This translates to a lot of processes that, when done manually, are timely and cumbersome.
Eliminating Paper Forms
In a typical fall quarter, Zeck estimates that his student clerk was processing more than 2,000 forms—everything
from waivers to requests—per quarter. The Division of Student Life at UCLA was already using OrgSync, and Zeck
heard about the forms module with its easy form builder and automated tracking and approval process. After realizing
how much time and paper it would help him save, Zeck was on board.
The University purchased two umbrellas—one to manage all of Rec Sports and one specifically for Club Sports. Zeck’s primary concern was getting his paper forms onto OrgSync. Upon implementation, they were able to successfully transfer over 70 forms onto OrgSync. Now, students and staff can access OrgSync to fill out waivers, participation forms, vehicle requests and more. Through automated forms alone, Zeck estimates a cost savings of several thousand dollars, as well as significant time savings for both the staff and administration.
“I would say we are repurposing about 25 percent of our time. We’re no longer getting the questions on follow-up. The user can log in to OrgSync and see the status of their form submission,” says Zeck. “As for the student clerk, it allows them to spend more time on projects, such as writing blog posts about game results and upcoming programs or posting game and departmental photos to OrgSync and Facebook.”
Managing Full- and Part-Time Staff
With departmental forms properly streamlined, Zeck was able to look at other areas and processes that could
be improved, such as staff management. Zeck wanted to develop an easy way to organize and communicate with a
department of over 1,000 full- and part-time individuals. He decided to create a Rec Staff portal that every
employee is required to join. Once they are in the portal, the staff member can create a profile with title
and picture. “It’s become our internal org chart,” says Zeck.
The calendar has been a very powerful tool for coordinating with department staff members. He uses it to post training dates, special events, deadlines, and more. He has also seen a lot of value in the To-Do list tool for project management. He can create lists, assign duties to certain staff members, and make comments as projects progress.
Forms also have their place in the Rec Staff portal. One specific use Zeck has found is for incident reporting. Staff are still required to fill out a paper incident report, but for high priority cases, staff members are asked to fill out the online incident report in OrgSync. As soon as a report is filled out, OrgSync notifies the appropriate individuals. This gives the staff more confidence that a solution is one the way.
Not only is current staff using OrgSync, but the Rec Sports human resources unit has started coordinating the hiring process on OrgSync. The very first interaction a potential staff member has is through OrgSync. As part of the hiring process, a candidate has to create an OrgSync account. If they are hired, HR then moves the individual to the Rec Staff portal. Not only is this an effective way to track candidates, but it also ensures staff adoption of OrgSync from day one.
Enhancing Services to Student Leaders
At UCLA, every club sport has at least three officers—a president, vice president and treasurer.
The biggest problem for these student leaders is not being able to access the information they need
in a timely fashion. Zeck saw a solution with OrgSync.
He created the Club Sports umbrella, which houses every registered club sport on campus via portals. Each club sport portal is managed either by one of the club officers or a designated tech coordinator who manages OrgSync as well as the website and social networks. From this portal, these student leaders can add practices, games and other events to the calendar, post photos and video highlights from games, and track registration and attendance. Another powerful tool is the text messaging feature. In the case of a last-minute issue such as a time or venue change, officers can send out a mass text to the team members in their portal to alert them immediately.
An important part of running a club team at UCLA is managing administrative responsibilities. For this, Zeck created a portal within the Club Sports umbrella where all officers can go to learn about and complete the administrative responsibilities they have. Everything from training materials and instructions to requests and approvals are managed within this portal.
Recently, Zeck started to create topical pages to make the student leader’s job even easier. For example, he created a University Driver Information page that includes policy information, as well as instructions and the required forms. Now, instead of having to search the university website or go to the Rec Sports office, student leaders can just log on to OrgSync and access everything they need to keep their organization in shape.
“I would say we are repurposing about 25 percent of our time. We’re no longer getting the questions on follow-up. The user can log in to OrgSync and see the status of their form submission.”
Marketing and Event Promotion
When Zeck initially implemented OrgSync for club sports, he restricted the Club Sports umbrella and portals
to only those individuals that were actually involved. However, after realizing the power of OrgSync for
communicating valuable information to the department, he decided to create a general Club Sports portal and
open it up to the entire campus as a way to market the Rec Sports program.
Since then, they’ve seen the portal grow from 400 to approximately 2,100. The Club Sports portal is designed to give information to potential members, but also inform those who are just interested in what’s going on in Club Sports.
Zeck also allows club officers to market their fundraisers and events in the Club Sports portal. They can simply submit an event to the community calendar. Once it’s approved, that event is posted to the community calendar and broadcasted to everyone in the portal. This allows clubs to reach a much wider audience, and thus have more impactful programming.
“I learned more creative uses at the OrgSync conference by talking to others who have been using it, and who have come up with creative uses. Last year, my team was saying it would be great if when a team submitted a request to travel, it automatically appeared on the calendar. At the time, with my knowledge base, I was thinking ‘form, form, form.’ Was there any way to get a form on a calendar? At the conference, someone said, ‘Don’t view it as a form. View it as an event and attach the form.’ At the time, that wasn’t my line of thinking, but now we’ve been able to meet the need of getting it on the calendar by having the team create an event and having them create the form as part of the event. Being able to work with the OrgSync community really helped us think outside the box.”