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By Casey Elliott | April 21, 2021 | 5 Minute Read

How to Encourage Employees to Submit Volunteer Hours: 3 Tips to Implement Today

Bank employees volunteer by cleaning up trash
Any good bank or credit union manager knows the importance of community initiatives and engagement. Volunteering in the community is at the cornerstone of what it means to be a good local financial institution. 
Unfortunately, because volunteer hours are unpaid, many employees forget to track the time they spend in the community. This makes it next to impossible for managers to gauge which workers are volunteering their time or how much impact certain events are having. In this guide, we’ll offer three important tips to get your employees to track volunteer hours so you can measure the difference your organization is making in the community. 

Explain Why Submitting Volunteer Hours Is Important

You may remember times from your school days when you’d groan about an assignment and think, “Why do I need to do this? I’m never going to use this information in the real world!”
That’s how many of your employees likely feel about submitting their volunteer hours. 
Because they don’t get paid for volunteering, workers already feel like they’re doing you a favor by participating in an event. After all, 50% of employees don’t even know what’s expected of them at work, much less what’s expected of them outside of work. So if your employees don’t know why you want them to enter their volunteer hours on a timesheet, it’s easy for them to ignore that task altogether in favor of an activity where they can see the impact. 
To change this attitude, you have to make the value of volunteer hour tracking more visible to your employees. Try giving a presentation to showcase the impact and the benefits of volunteering. Explain what you can do with that information and how it can help you plan future volunteer events and stay connected to the community. 
When your employees understand why you need volunteer hours submitted, you can hold them accountable to this expectation. For example, you could include whether they track their community hours in their performance reviews to help them realize that this is something you prioritize as a company and are taking seriously. 

Make It Easy

Convenience is key when it comes to submitting volunteer hours. Your employees are already busy and are choosing to take time out of their day to volunteer in the community. The last thing you want is for tracking those hours to take up more of their time — or worse, for it to be such a daunting task that they choose to volunteer less often as a result. 
Software like Kadince can streamline not only the process of tracking volunteer hours, but also the process of analyzing hours spent volunteering and setting goals for your employees. 

Offer Potential Incentives 

When giving employees paid volunteer days isn’t an option, you can still reward employees who show the greatest community impact at an event. You can use this information and encourage volunteer hour tracking by including only those who have tracked their hours when determining which employees get a bonus for event impact.  
When offering incentives, be careful that you don’t guarantee a bonus for everyone volunteering, but have criteria you offer bonuses for. For example, you could have a friendly competition in the workplace for who can track the most volunteer hours in a time period and offer a gift card reward to whoever comes out on top. The goal is to make tracking hours fun and easy so your employees get in the habit of doing it every time. 

Tracking Volunteer Hours Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore

Spreadsheets. Outdated software. Reluctant employees. These have been the backbones of tracking volunteer hours for way too long, making it feel like an impossible task to figure out the impact your employees are actually having. It doesn’t have to be that way.
By having easy-to-use, streamlined software in place and creating a positive community culture where your employees are encouraged to report their hours every time they volunteer, you can free up everyone in your organization to do more of the things they love. Schedule a demo today to learn how Kadince can streamline the tracking and managing of your volunteer hours and events.

And if your institution’s volunteer program is just getting started, check out this article to learn how to create a successful employee volunteer program.
None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.

Casey Elliott | Kadince

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