Information for Supervisors of Staff Assembly Volunteers

A note from Ramona Agrela, Associate Chancellor & Chief Human Resources Executive

Ramona AgrelaVolunteerism through participation in Staff Assembly is an enriching and fulfilling experience for staff members. Staff who engage in the UCI community through Staff Assembly help develop and execute programs that benefit staff, increase employee engagement, and build stronger staff relationships across our enterprise. In addition, studies conducted by Gallup® show that engaged employees are more productive, safer on the job, and absent less often than their unengaged counterparts.

Staff Assembly is an excellent way for your staff members to meet new people, reinforce skills and talents, and learn new skills while enhancing the staff experience for all Anteaters. I highly encourage you to thoughtfully consider requests from your staff to participate in Staff Assembly. The volunteer hours spent working with their peers on meaningful projects will do your employees – and UCI – a world of good.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ramona Agrela
Associate Chancellor & Chief Human Resources Executive
Empower People Success

FAQ

What is Staff Assembly?

Staff Assembly is a resource group focused on advocacy and engagement, and is driven by its volunteer leadership and active members. It operates as an independent entity under the guidance of its executive leadership sponsor, the Associate Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Executive, with primary funding from the Office of the Associate Chancellor/CHRE. Staff Assembly’s best known programs include the Staff Appreciation Picnic, the Pancake Breakfast, Helping Hands, and the Lunch with Leadership series.

All non-academic UCI staff on campus and at the medical center are automatically members of Staff Assembly, and the organization must rely on volunteers for leadership and implementation of its programs.

Who can volunteer for Staff Assembly?

Any UCI Staff Assembly member (e.g. all non-academic campus and medical center staff) may volunteer to:

  • Organize ad-hoc events under the guidance of a UCI Staff Assembly committee
  • Serve as volunteer staff for ad-hoc events under the guidance of a UCI Staff Assembly committee
  • Serve on a UCI Staff Assembly committee

Any UCI Staff Assembly member who has completed probation or is otherwise considered to be a regular status career employee and who is not exclusively represented is eligible to serve as a UCI Staff Assembly Officer or Committee Chair.

Staff who volunteer time during the work day, in any capacity, should do so with the advance knowledge and approval of the their supervisor.

What are the benefits of volunteering for Staff Assembly?

Time spent volunteering for Staff Assembly benefits both the volunteer and the campus in a variety of ways.

For the volunteer:

  • Provides opportunities for hands-on leadership experience
  • Provides opportunities for growth and development on skill sets that may not be readily exercised in their current working position (such as event planning, written communication, public speaking, etc.)
  • Provides exposure to issues beyond their own unit, impacting the campus and UC system
  • Provides an opportunity to network across the campus and learn through partnership with experienced leaders
  • Fosters deeper engagement with their campus community

For the campus:

  • Supports the further development and growth of staff-centered programming
  • Facilitates the distribution of information about issues impacting staff and the campus
  • Directly contributes to campus climate and staff culture
  • Supports UCI Strategic Plan – Pillar 3: Great Partners by fostering engagement in the volunteers themselves and supporting the creation of programs for the engagement of others
  • Helps to make UCI a better workplace for all staff

What are Staff Assembly volunteers committing to?

Staff Assembly is volunteer-driven, which means that all of its leadership and the people who implement its programs volunteer their time. There are several roles in the organization, and a volunteer may be assuming any one or more of them:

  • On call event staff – Staff Assembly will occasionally send out an open call for volunteers (typically by email) to staff our larger events or to participate in community service opportunities. Acceptance of any of these opportunities is entirely discretionary. The time required is typically a few hours for any given event.
  • Committee member – Staff Assembly has committees that brainstorm, plan, and execute programs of varying scope. Participation on a committee typically will require a couple of hours once a month for committee meetings, plus any time spent on development or execution of programs. The total time commitment is flexible, and at the discretion of the staff member, in consultation with their supervisor.
  • Committee chair or officer – These leadership commitments tend to require the most time. Each committee chair or officer should attend a 2 hour leadership council meeting once a month, plus committee meetings as appropriate. These leaders tend to spend significant amounts of time on planning and event execution. In addition, chairs and officers serve terms of office of at least one year. The general time requirements and term of office vary from one position to the next, so we suggest referring to the Staff Assembly bylaws for more information about any particular position. Supervisor approval is required to participate in these positions.

You should talk with your staff member who is interested in volunteering to ensure that you both understand the nature of the role and the expected time commitment, and that you are both comfortable with this commitment. Any time that your staff member is interested in changing roles or commitment level, you should have this discussion again.

Is time spent volunteering for Staff Assembly on or off the clock?

Volunteer work for Staff Assembly can be done on or off the clock, as appropriate. Typically, volunteer work performed during normal working hours would be time on the clock, while volunteer work performed outside of normal hours would be off the clock.

For example, if a staff member who normally works 8am – 5pm was to serve as volunteer staff for an event from 2pm – 4pm, that would typically be on the clock. If the same staff member volunteered to staff an event from 6pm – 7pm, that would typically be off the clock. (Although the supervisor could, at their discretion, agree to shift the staff member’s work hours for that day to include the Staff Assembly event.)

It is ultimately up to each supervisor or manager, in discussion with their staff member, to determine what is appropriate, taking into account the staff member’s job responsibilities and the needs of the unit. In terms of policy, UCI Human Resources encourages supervisors to support their staffs’ involvement in Staff Assembly, including allowing for volunteerism on the clock, as appropriate.

Do I have to approve for my staff member to volunteer?

For volunteer work that is done on the clock, yes. You and your staff member should agree that paid time spent working for Staff Assembly is done such that it does not interfere with the staff member’s ability to fulfill their job duties. This might mean ensuring that there is adequate coverage if the staff member will be away from their post for a couple of hours. Or, for long-term commitments, it might mean ensuring that the staff member is still able to meet deadlines and complete assignments. If a staff member is currently struggling to fulfill their job responsibilities, it may not be appropriate for them to spend working hours volunteering for Staff Assembly.

Staff Assembly, a volunteer organization, runs on the hard work and dedication of its many volunteers. Staff Assembly and UCI Human Resources encourage your support of Staff Assembly events. By allowing your staff to volunteer at these events, you help advance all staff at the University.

Additional Questions?

Please contact us. We would be glad to hear from you and answer any questions that you may have about your staff member’s involvement in Staff Assembly.