[TheThinkTank] Incentivizing regular shifts in volunteer run shops!

Mark Rehder mark at re-cycles.ca
Tue Aug 7 14:40:17 PDT 2018


I think the most important thing is to set your hours and keep them, even if you will be open less often than you’re prefer. Being closed when you’re advertised as open is a quick way to have volunteers stop showing up (let alone customers). 

So if you would like to be open four times per week, but only have enough regular staff for three, then keep it to three. Even two. You can always grow as people learn to trust that you will be open when you say you’ll be.

As an example, our shop is established and we usually have few problems with staffing, but an org. similar to ours in another part of town seems to be inconsistent, sometimes having their door shut when they are advertised as open (which is only two times per week). And they do not announce on social media or their website that they will be closed on one of their “open” days, as we do for holidays, etc. People show up there and the door is locked, and not even a sign on the door with an explanation. I hear they’ve having trouble finding enough volunteers, for some reason…

We have two people that look after staffing, one for our Head Mechanics, another for our Mechanics and Shop Assistants (we have roughly forty staff). Staffers give them their availability and preferred times, and each month the announcement goes out that next month’s schedule is being prepared, and to advise if there are any changes needed. We use Google Calendar so that everyone can access this schedule, and anyone that needs to swap shifts has the responsibility to notify our email list and find their own replacement.

Mark Rehder - Coordinator
re-Cycles Community Bike Shop
http://re-cycles.ca


> On Aug 7, 2018, at 5:18 PM, Sarah FioRito <sarah.fiorito at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Hey Folks!
> 
> We at Kickstand community Bike Shop in East Vancouver  have had ongoing challenges with staying open for all our our regular shop hours because we sometimes do not have enough volunteers signed up to volunteer to facilitate our volunteer-run  shop on a given day.
> 
> Does anyone have strategies for encouraging volunteer commitment and regular shifts so that we can reliably open for our posted hours?
> 
> Obviously, transitioning to having paid staff is one pathway, though there are probably many other alternatives that would meet our needs and encourage community participation in keeping the space open.
> 
> 
> Sarah
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