Volunteer Tracking: How to Create a Successful Business Volunteer Program & Track Volunteer Success?
Volunteer programs can be hugely beneficial in driving positive employee engagement. With enterprises scrambling to retain talent or build value for their brand today, employee volunteer programs can demonstrate brand and employee values in action. It can also help enhance the company’s employee leadership skills and productivity by boosting employee morale, team spirit, and talent recruitment. It can also help improve corporate image among consumers and stakeholders and increase profitability and brand loyalty.
Implementing a Successful Volunteer Program
What makes a successful employee volunteer program? It lies at the intersection of three programmatic areas, employee interests, business priorities, and community needs. But beyond that, there are several success factors that one can identify. A recent report detailing several critical findings of volunteer programs also suggests that proper infrastructure should be in place to support ongoing program management. Implementing a successful volunteer program isn’t just about pouring money into it but following precise steps. These include:
- Understanding employee’s interests and community needs
- Underlining the business priorities and goals, using the program
- Encourage maximum administration support and employee participation
- Create a program blueprint with a focus on the program policies
- Keep track of all essential steps in the program and measure the results
The above steps can successfully build an impact along with the program. Still, on the other side, companies may also face specific challenges that may affect the role and proper management. These include:
- Cost or time-related restraints
- Sustaining volunteer recruitment/retention
- Lackluster employee experience
- Measuring the impact of the program
Successful Volunteer Tracking Strategies
An efficient tracking mechanism in place is an integral part of any volunteer program, which can help measure the program’s success and maximize the team’s impact. From onboarding, training, on-site management, program growth, and retention, it’s critical to rely on the following strategies for a successful volunteer program:
- Common Baseline Tool for Communication/Reporting: While volunteer programs offer an excellent opportunity to increase employee engagement, they require active participation from everyone at the workplace. Volunteer recruitment is not only about finding great volunteer opportunities for staff; it’s also about effective communication and empowering volunteers with all the information they need to be aware of for upcoming and ongoing opportunities. It’s essential to be clear about volunteer efforts, expectations, and accountability from the orientation process and maintain clear communication to avoid poor management or volunteer engagement. Companies can use a comprehensive communication tool to invite other group members, send group emails, utilize default templates, etc. It also establishes a simplified communication channel to relay important information to the volunteers and keep them motivated.
- Integrating Management Tools/Softwares: Most enterprises still feel a crunch from being severely understaffed, and the reality is that it’ll also affect numerous organizations in the future. However, various tools and volunteer management software such as Salesforce volunteer management, can help alleviate the administrative burdens that programs have to deal with when managing employee volunteer programs. This way, all the tasks can be managed, monitored, and scheduled on a single platform, residing all data in the same database without using different applications. In addition, an all-in-one view dashboard offers easy access to information. At the same time, automation can help create new volunteer opportunities, communicate with other groups, and help track team workflows under the same roof.
- Enhance Employee Engagement: Volunteers participate in campaigns and programs because they get gratification and a feeling of accomplishment, knowing they played a positive role in the social causes they’re passionate about. However, it can feel like a chore, so companies must attract the correct number of volunteers required for a program. Using applications such as gamification, leaderboards, or competing with different departments for more volunteer hours can enhance or provide a cleansing experience for volunteers. In addition, it helps employees juggle their work-life balance and show interest in more volunteer opportunities.
- Recognize the Volunteer Engagement & Share Their Progress: Volunteers must also be able to track the progress of their time and energy put into the program and use a visual aid to see whether they could make a difference. A progress summary chart can help volunteers access what they’ve done so far, i.e., the total number of hours put, money collected, sharing progress stories with the rest of the community, etc. Sharing progress with volunteers also encourages more participation and allows them to share it on their social media platforms, showing others how impactful the program has been. An app offers easy access, regardless of location, devices, or if one is traveling on the road.
Tracking volunteer progress or measuring the volunteer program’s success is essential to the philanthropic or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) space. While there is still no 100% effective method to report or quantify the impact of the company’s efforts, and it is an ongoing challenge, using the available tools and end-to-end platform solutions in the market can help companies demonstrate their influence in the community.