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From Good to Great!. Best practices for managing your AmeriCorps members. Facilitated by: Paula DeBoles-Johnson, MPA, CCM Program Consultant. Learning Objectives. From this training participants will learn: How to improve member effectiveness - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Best practices for managing your AmeriCorps membersFrom Good to Great!Facilitated by:

Paula DeBoles-Johnson, MPA, CCM Program Consultant

Review of the needs assessment to determine the topics for this training. 1From this training participants will learn:

How to improve member effectivenessHow to promote retention and promote lifelong civic engagementThe tools to help members move from their year of service to Life After AmeriCorpsLearning ObjectivesCreate a plan.Outline all the steps in the recruitment process.Make sure that each party understands their role and participates in the process.Make sure that all recruitment documents are updated. Make time to verify accuracy!Your recruitment team should have some consistency and a few new players.Make sure that there are many layers beyond completing the application.

Member Recruitment

Remember the key to Retention is successful Recruitment.

Plan If you fail to plan, you essentially plan to fail. A disorganized, thrown together recruitment process usually attracts like members. Everyone who will have responsibilities for members should be involved in some aspect of the recruitment process. Make recruitment a part of your yearly plan, take members with you when you attend recruiting fairs. Use testimonials of previous members.Volunteers respond best to direct appeals.Use all of your tools Online recruiting system, partners, current and former members, volunteer network, Facebook, Craigslist, Idealist, host a reception.Use your current volunteers as Recruitment Ambassadors. Publicly reward those volunteers/members who bring in the most recruits.Recruit during Parent Night at PTAs.Place brochures in grocery bags, bookstores @ checkout, senior centers, libraries, doctor/dentist office, movie theatres, Laundromats, public restrooms, financial aid office, Greek organizations, civic organizations tags on partner websites. One interview session is generally NOT ENOUGH to determine if someone is a good candidate for your program. Lets be practical, if a potential applicant has difficulty applying on-line and its not a MyAmeriCorps issue and most of their service will require computer use this may be a red flag. If your program is in the middle of nowhere and during the interview the applicant lets you know that they do not have reliable transportation this may be a red flag. If your program runs from 11 am until 7 pm and a potential applicant tells you during the interview that they have to be at their job at 6 pm- why would you hire them?3Persons with DisabilitiesContact your disability partners Utilize other agencies that work specifically with Persons with Disabilities & place flyers thereContact the local colleges and universitiesContact the local high schoolsPost flyers in hospitals, physical therapy & doctors offices and specialized equipment businessesRecruiting MalesRecruit at sites that males frequent (i.e. barbershops, cycle shops, gyms, bowling lanes, etc.)Use males to recruit malesVisit nontraditional sites (churches, Boys & Girls Clubs)Make the pitch to fraternities, at sporting events and male specific clubs.Host an open house

Recruiting Special Populations4DateLocationActivityPerson ResponsibleOutcome1/21/13City Hall MLK ProgramPresentation to 47 people; left brochuresJames Brown10 names to follow-up2/2/13Booth at College FairAccepted 7 resumes, passed out 100 flyers, 63 applicationsJane Doe2 applications completed at fair, 8 received later3/6/13Kiwanis Club BreakfastPresentation to 13 peopleBob Smith2 follow-up telephone callsTrack Activities to Maximize Results

The resources that you put into recruiting mentors will be well spent if your efforts result in achieving your recruitment goals.

And most important, you will want to know what activities generate the best results and where you can make improvements in your recruitment approach.Tracking activities does not require a complex database. To capture results more fully, staff should keep a log of who they speak with and what the results are.

Your mentor application should also include a space for prospective mentors to indicate how they heard about the program or who recruited them, so you will know exactly how they were recruited. 5Whos part of your screening and interviewing team? When should you schedule interviews?What questions should you ask?"A child is having an issue with a teacher and isn't responding to that teacher, what would be your course of action?""If you were confronted by a distraught community member and you didn't know the answer, what would your course of action be?"Please describe yourself in one word and tell us why you chose that particular word."After Recruitment Whats NextYouve recruited your potential applicants and now its time for the interviews. Who is your team? Internal /external partners where members will be placed, current volunteers, current members, other pertinent staff. If possible its always better to interview in the same environment where members will serve. Why, because bringing a prospective member into a quiet, organized, well decorated interview area, when they will serve at a school is kind of misleading. By using a school as an interview site the partner can participate, you have a chance to see how the applicant responds to the chaos when they walk in the door, you have an opportunity to observe them around children (especially if your leave them in the reception area for a period of time), you can observe how they interact with the staff (are they respectful, helpful, did they come into the school prepared)?Ask questions that pose hypothetical situations or open- ended questions which force applicants to provide an answer versus general yes/no questions. Interview these folks more than once and be sure to get others opinions of the potential applicant.

6Have them volunteer for a 1-2 weeksGet them screened (NSOPR at a minimum)Give them something to accomplishOthers should be watching them as well

Finally, the TEAM makes a decision based on performance during the volunteer period.Top Choices & Next StepsYouve decided on you next group of potential applicants. Whats next?Why have them volunteer? Initiative, actively engaged, more time on phone, introverted, look for opportunities to pitch in?Screen them for those who have to pay then you may want to wait on the FDLE check, but at a minimum the NSOPRs can be completed.Give them a project. Dont let the week or 2 weeks be wasted with the volunteer roaming. If you give them a project of some type and have them to present it at the end of their volunteer period, what do you see? If they can follow instructions, if they are creative, if they finish what they start and you can see their presentation skills.Others from the secretary, assistant and others (that you trust) should be ale to provide some feedback about the potential applicant, especially since they will have to work with them for a year or more.The entire team has an investment in the success or failure of the potential members so be sure to include them in the decision making.7

The New TeamTraining Background Screening Volunteer Recruitment Service Projects Evaluations Accommodations Personal Disaster Planning Professional Development Special Requests Life After AmeriCorps Civic Reflection Reporting Theres a lot to do during the year. Ongoing coaching, other requirements dictated by the Corporation and VF, opportunities for growth and life issues. Come up with a calendar for the year. This way partners and members know whats they should expect during the year. 8Best Practices


Make sure that partner sites are aware of training dates Start planning early for required trainings Give your 2nd year members leadership opportunities as trainers, mentors and leaders of service projects Spend your first two weeks getting required trainings done, especially First Aid/CPR. Set benchmarks for evaluation early Check in with members, site supervisors and partners often Recognize excellence often

We know that things change and its important to be flexible, but if you have a plan written down, you are more apt to follow-through.Training Show of hands of how many like to train. Would you be willing to share time, space, resources and host a joint training?

9What are some of the tools you need to successfully run your AmeriCorps program?

Where can you find these tools?

If you need assistance regarding ANYTHING related to AmeriCorps, who can you contact?Use Your Tools!

Charting Exercise: Each year new PDs get some type of CD or flash drive with all critical AC information. The information is not that different from year to year, so dont throw away your older flash drives.Contracts both member & VF are critical tools. You should have copies of your grant/contract materials. Timesheets and Monitoring Tool.CNCS Knowledge Center, Websites (VF, AC, CNCS, e-Grants)Assistance- Program Consultant, Leader Guides and each other (especially those in your region)Have you considered sharing your best practices or tools that you use with other PDs. Collaboration is the key to successful programs. 10How to Build Exceptional Members & Programs

Great Communicators Awesome Advisors Terrific Team builders Forward thinking Planners & Managers Exceptional AmeriCorps RepresentativesOur highest performing teams arent always those with the most funding or the most staff.Their secret is that they are exceptional in these areas.Communicator: Active listening; providing feedback; conflict managementAdvisor: Pro