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How better HR management can help you fix falling volunteer numbers

A community enjoying coffee with manbuns, a local delicacy.
Written by Frank - 08 Aug 2017 Category: HR news

The latest Community Life Survey, exploring levels of... Read more

The latest Community Life Survey, exploring levels of community cohesion and engagement in England,  published on 25 July by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport shows a mixed picture of volunteering in the country. Amid positive news about fundraising and community cohesion, the survey also showed a marked drop in numbers of people volunteering. While much of the drop is in Informal Volunteering (‘providing unpaid help as an individual to people who are not a relative’), Formal Volunteering (‘providing unpaid help through groups, clubs or organisations’ (p.3)) has flatlined, with young people in particular becoming less likely to get involved in this kind of volunteering:

Among 16-25 year olds, the proportion engaged in formal volunteering at least once a month fell from 29% in 2013-14 to 20% in 2016-17 while the proportion engaged in regular informal volunteering remained flat at 29% over this period (p.4)

The Survey doesn’t suggest reasons volunteering numbers may have fallen but it’s no secret that keeping volunteers engaged is a challenge. Between juggling donors, staff, trustees and all the other myriad aspects of non-profit management, it’s easy for volunteers to vanish without a trace.

But they shouldn’t! Even if you’re not a voluntary-focused organisation, volunteers aren’t just free helping hands. They can also provide essential services, whether they’re running a marathon or helping out with some filing. In addition to any direct work they do with you, they’re also often your best ambassadors and advocates in the wider community.

One of the motivations behind creating CiviHR was to help non-profits maintain an active and effective cohort of volunteers. That’s why User accounts for volunteers will remain free when the current pilot stage comes to an end, allowing you to work with an unlimited number of unpaid staff in CiviHR, without incurring any extra costs.

While price is important, our volunteer-friendly model goes beyond the financial. You can also track and manage the locations, hours and types of work your volunteers do, and the sources of the funding that makes their work possible. Additionally, it’s easy to see for anyone at your organisation to see who’s responsible for each volunteer. You can also generate reports on any data you enter regarding volunteers, including informative and visually-pleasing graphs and charts about any data you’ve collected.

This all reduces the administrative overhead of HR management, allowing you to focus on the things that actually matter: delivering for the communities and causes your organisation works for.

 

New feature: now it's easier than ever to manage HR documents

The Tasks and Documents screen
Written by Frank - 14 Jul 2017 Category: Feature

The exciting thing about being in the (fairly) early phases of a project is that new features come at us pretty fast.

The exciting thing about being in the (fairly) early phases of a project is that new features come at us pretty fast. Following on from our brand new UX design and just a little before the rebooted Leave and Absence module, this month we've implemented a new way to manage documents like P45s and passports. This is done through the Documents function. This is a type of Task (which you can read more about here). As with any Task, you can create a target contact and an assignee, make it part of a larger Assignment and set a due date. This makes documents easy to track and manage, even when you assign responsibility for them to other staff. You can also upload files, by drag and drop.

In order to make it easier to manage documents with expiration dates, such as passports and visas, you can now set a reminder that alerts you before the document expires.

This reminder will automatically create a new record for the replacement document, with all its key info. This both makes it easier to manage documents and helps you ensure that your organisation meets all of its legal responsibilities.

But wait! There’s more!

We’ve also added better ways of managing documents to the Self Service Portal (SSP), with two new windows. Firstly there’s the Documents window. This separates Documents out from other Tasks, allowing you to quickly upload documents and to check whether uploaded documents have been approved by your line manager.

The Documents window on CiviHR's SSP

The second new window also appears in the SSP. We've creatively named it the Documents Manager window. This is only visible to admins and managers, and it looks like this:

The Documents Manager window

This window allows managers to see the status of Documents they’re responsible for, including due dates, and to upload, check and approve new documents.

We hope you’ll find these features useful! They’re more examples of the ways we’re working to reduce repetitive data input for HR managers in the non-profit sector and beyond. If you’d like to find out more about this or anything else to do with CiviHR, get in touch via hello@civihr.org.

Version 1.6.10: more functionality, fewer limits

Announcing version 1.6.10 of CiviHR, the open source HR solution for non-profits
Written by Frank - 12 Jul 2017 Category: Version release

The rebelliously-numbered version 1.6.10 (yes, that’s a one and a zero) of CiviHR has now been rolled out to all sites.

1.6.10 has a cartload of new features, bug fixes and improvements. Here’s a few of them:

 

The rebelliously-numbered version 1.6.10 (yes, that’s a one and a zero) of CiviHR has now been rolled out to all sites.

1.6.10 has a cartload of new features, bug fixes and improvements. Here’s a few of them:

 

  • We’ve changed how much and which info you need to enter when creating pay scales, so that you have a more streamlined experience.
  • You can now create an infinite number of Tasks for each Assignment (although we don’t necessarily recommend doing so).
  • Numerous other limits have also been removed. For example, there was previously a maximum of 25 Pay Scales but now you can have as many as you like.
  • It’s now easier to manage documents, with the new Documents and Documents Manager windows on the SSP. We’ll post a full blog on this soon, but the key info is that document management is now both more powerful for Admins and much easier for Staff and Managers to work with.
  • There’s now a handy link to the user guide in the footer of every page of CiviHR, so it’s right where you need it. The guide itself has also been updated to reflect all the latest changes to CiviHR, with new styling to bring it into line with the CiviCRM style guide. You can check it out here.
  • We’ve given some more options to Users. For example, you can now log in with either your email or your username. You can also edit your username, so if you really want to be shadow_ninja_42 on your HR system, you can.
  • Historical Job Contract revisions now consistently display the correct     information.
  • And we’ve also done the usual, numerous smaller bug fixes and improvements, mainly of things too small to be worth drawing attention to, but which were just bugging us a bit.

That’s it for this month! Check back in next month, when we’ll be discussing the new features of version 1.6.11. In the meantime, if you have a question, get in touch at hello@civihr.org.

About CiviHR

CiviHR is a project to create a great open source HR solution for non-profit organisations. By developing technology in a collaborative manner the benefits can be shared by non-profits everywhere.

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CiviHR is a project to create a great open source HR solution for non-profit organisations. By developing technology in a collaborative manner the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere. 

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CiviHR (1 week ago)

Newest #blog post on our newest feature: managing documents just got a lot easier https://t.co/KvZH0cIcyY

CiviHR (1 week ago)

RT @GdnVoluntary: Microvolunteering: what is it and why should you do it? https://t.co/Gzax0iNPXG #volunteering #volunteers #volsec #makead…