We’ve all been there before — already stressed with things to be organised, calls to make, etc. Having 3 more people phone in to check if they’re working on the weekend, or to find out if there’s any work for the weekend can then be the tipping point.
There’s a multitude of things that given the chance, your staff & volunteers can help with, including finding information out for themselves.
Some of your staff might not be able to do this, or would still rather call you. There may be a portion of your staff and volunteers whom aren’t the best with technology, or don’t have a smart phone, don’t know what their schedule is that far in advance, or …
If it saves even a few minutes of your day then it’s worth investing the time to setup something which lets your staff find out the answers for themselves.
If you spend a few mins each week implementing something which works for your team, then it means that you save those few mins later in the week (sometimes many times over) when you’re a little busier.
It also means you can expand and hopefully not have to hire additional staff to cope with the increase in calls & queries, as what works for 10 people generally will work for 20 or 50!
In other words … it’s scalable!
This could be as simple as putting up a printout of the latest info on a noticeboard during your training nights each week. It could also be as simple as emailing out the rosters to everyone so they know which events are still understaffed and which are already filled.
Here’s a few ideas;
- Send out regular newsletters with the latest news, changes & things which have happened over the past few weeks
- Email out rosters to everyone so they know what’s filled and what isn’t
- Pass on understaffed shifts in advance – eg. so your staff can make time or let you know in advance if they can or can’t make it
- Let your team know about changes — it’s even worse if someone hears it “through the grape vine” .. this can be particularly detrimental for shift cancellations or time changes
Giving up responsibility can be particularly hard, but it’ll be a relief once you start seeing the results.
Giving people information is only the first step.
Empowering them to do things for themselves can also mean giving them the tools to do more — this could be in the form of;
- Updating their contact details, or filling in any blanks which were previously missing
- Letting you know about new skills & qualifications they might have
- Passing on when they’re available (or on holidays)
- Swapping shifts with other colleagues
(this is sometimes a little trickier than it sounds if you’ve got particular skills required for certain jobs)
Try to think of what all the things your staff & volunteers typically need help with or have queries about, and automate it.
Ok, and then what?
Depending on your staff & volunteers, you might want to expand the list above to also include things like;
- Re-stocking vehicles & work-kits
- Putting together reports from their shifts & events
- Encouraging people to sign up to shifts weeks or months (or even further) in advance – this gives you ample time to then plan ahead when you’ve got more time on your hands
Every few months (or however often), revisit your list of things which seem to be keeping you busy, and ask yourself if you really need to be doing this, or is there something which you can get others to help with or take on.
Hopefully this gives you a few ideas and ways which can take even just a little bit of pressure off your shoulders!