5 Tips for Managing a Smooth and Successful Turn

\Managing a turn process in student housing can be a complicated task, especially when you have a short period of time to get it all done. At Millennium Hall, Paca and Tubman Houses, we have a range of summer student housing and summer conferences that require rooms being ready anywhere between two days and two weeks after spring closing. This year I found a few key things that helped get us through the madness just a bit easier than in years past. Here are my top 5 tips that I believe helped considerably in getting us through the transition this time around:

1)      Planning Ahead: I’m talking months ahead. In thinking about years past and how stressed everyone was during turn, I realized I needed to do some better planning and preparing staff well in advance for what they should anticipate. Including them in the planning process is also key. This means everyone that will be involved in the turn process. 2)      Providing Necessities: This doesn’t just involve tools and equipment needed to get the job done! Making sure staff have food, water, coffee and/or snacks on hand will help during long hours of work. Although I normally keep these things handy during the year, I make sure to have extra for those on the go. 3)      Frequent Check-Ins: This is the one thing I believe helped the most. Anywhere between once or twice a day, I check in with the turn team to see where we are. Breaking turn into small components helped to keep the team on task, focus on small tasks at a time and not become overwhelmed by the big picture. 4)      Being Realistic: I made sure that my team understood well in advance that this would be an extremely busy time of year and they should expect to work overtime to get it all done. 5)      Get in the Trenches: As the leader of my team and knowing what I know about number 4, I need to help out where I can as well. I got involved in room inspections, damage billing and taking daily tasks off the plate of those directly involved in turn which helped minimize stress levels that I have seen in years past.   Have any tips to share about how your team manages the demands of turn season?  We’d love to hear them!Jennifer formal