As Volunteer Program Managers it can be difficult to motivate employees to track their hours. When you have an hours goal to meet each year, how do you make sure that the various programs, along with employee’s personal hours, are accounted for when you pull your end of year reports?
While a lot of this work involves motivating and communicating to your employees, VolunteerMatch has designed an Hours Tracking Dashboard that makes it easy and fun to track hours. The intuitive tool allows employees to track their hours in one click and even allows a user to set up hours to automatically track for upcoming recurrences.
So how do you best utilize this tool? Here are some tips for getting the most out of the Dashboard:
- Promote the Recurring Hours Tool to your avid volunteers. For those employees who live and breathe volunteering, it can seem daunting to track so many days of service. The Recurring Hours Tool can be a great help – with only three clicks, an employee can set up a recurrence to automatically track their hours on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The Tool even allows them to track hours in the past, filling in the gaps of hours given. It’s also great for board service, to track those monthly meetings. Send an email to employees letting them know how easy the Tool is to use – just getting a few employees set up a recurrence will increase your tracked hours!
- Track and motivate towards success with a gauge. Everyone is more motivated by visible goals. The Dashboard has a sleek gauge that you can see grow each time you add hours. Set a goal for your employees and set the gauge to match. When deciding on the metric, think about how much service you would like each employee to give, or a number to match a paid time off program. (To set up the gauge, go to your full site administrator customize tab).
- Collect the data you need to make your numbers meaningful. As employees track hours, you have the opportunity to collect more data from them through hours tracking questions. While you don’t want to ask too many questions and overwhelm them, you can use this opportunity to collect a few choice data points that can help tell your story. For instance, ask if the project was a skilled volunteering opportunity (skilled and pro bono volunteering hours are valued higher than a hands-on volunteering hours). You can also ask if the project fits into one of your core focus areas. This data will then flow easily into your reporting tool.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Whatever you do, make sure that you communicate to your employees about the importance and ease of tracking their hours. Don’t forget to utilize the tools available to you, such as the post-project alerts. When you set up a special event project, set up an automated alert to go out after your project occurs. The link to track hours is already built in!