[TheThinkTank] Incentivizing regular shifts in volunteer run shops!

Vincenzo loco wormsign at gmail.com
Tue Aug 7 15:03:15 PDT 2018

Our shop offers incentive in several ways.
Maintaining hours is how you retain your status as a 'volunteer member'.
Benefits of being a 'volunteer member' include discounted parts, voting
membership (being able to vote in meetings), free use of the space, the
ability to order stuff through our distributors.
In addition we have regular potlucks and movie nights at the shop to
encourage shop community.

Another strategy has been selecting folks who can maintain a regular shift
(one specific day a week) and having them be a key holder. We encourage new
volunteers to select one specific weekday that they will volunteer. The key
holder will also usually keep an open group text for the regular volunteers
on that shift so they can communicate days they might miss earlier and try
to find an alternate to cover for them.

To keep the volunteers on the tuesday shift happy (the one I have the key
for) I often will buy cheap pizza or donuts for the group.

On Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 2:40 PM, Mark Rehder <mark at re-cycles.ca> wrote:

> 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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