Staff attendance calendar / thing

All,
So I know we have discussed this before, but I think it was mixed up in other areas.

I consider people on here well informed and somewhat of a ‘braintrust’, so am hoping we can come up with a solution between us.

I have a good number of staff and across a mix of different CFAV types.

However as a Sqn we struggle with forward planning of CFAV attendance. So much so that on many nights I have no idea who is showing up until they show up.

What do other Sqns do?

Is there a freely available app which all staff could use to indicate availability for ‘at a glance’ planning by myself / try off?

Is there a tool in bader I have over looked?

Same question but in Office 365?

Could something be added to the volunteer portal build to allow not only 'recording of absences’in advance just like via cadet portal. But also populating a report with dates people are confirmed in?

What do other units do? How do you manage this?

Ta

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We plot it on a wall calendar in the office, but this could very easily be done with a team calendar through Outlook now we all have accounts.

That’ll be the simplest way of doing it

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This was going to be my suggestion too.

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I believe this will be included in Volunteer Portal/Units.

You could have an outlook calendar event for each parade night, with all staff’s personal account’s invited. Then it’s just a simple RSVP.

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I create my dream training programme, assigning staff to activities for the following month.

I then circulate the dream plan and inevitably I get the replies about swapping dates etc. I make the changes and circulate a final draft.

Everyone agrees and all being well we run with that programme. Staff not on the programme are still welcome to come and assist but they can also have the night off if they want. It’s taken as a given that our uniforms will be on squadron unless they “book out”.

Once or twice in five years the programme has squeaked past with no amendments on a first draft and even survived the month with no adhoc changes!

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For us we just talk in the group chat who’s about from week to week.

I think in an ideal world these things could be organised by the training officer. They should make a training program with people listed as essential, be that for ratios or teaching, and it’s up to staff to make sure they are there, or inform if they can’t be there.

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Hope so! @james_elliott… let it be the case… please!

Could do. Trying to avoid the associated email barrage of attending not attending that comes with that.

It’s an age old problem this.

I didn’t even think of mentioning this because I thought everyone did it. But, yes this is exactly how I operate as the Training Officer on my squadron too.

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Sqn Google Calendar but also the free cadet direct planner is a good tool (and the only good thing to come out of that company)

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We always worked on the principle that everyone is down unless they say they aren’t. If you aren’t going to be down you just let the Training Officer know so that they can make sure you aren’t booked for anything.

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We kind of have an unwritten rule like this, but in two halves. There are those staff who you can assume will be there every night unless they say otherwise and then there are those staff who will only be there when specifically required/asked.

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this is the most common system i have seen used.
the training officer knows the predictable absences, Fg Off Smith doesn’t do Tuesdays, Plt Off Jones, can’t do the last Thursday, FS Jones will always been late every other Tuesday due to shifts etc

based on the “known” absence the trg program shared and adjusted as required. the expectation then that if assigned to teach/lead an activity/training that person/persons will be attending, everyone else is fair game…

i have also seen the write it on the board system

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I would like to see that kind of functionality. What we will provide from release of VP is the ability to report absence like cadets and the OC/Adj/SNCO accounts will get an email notification (I have just written the Notify template for that today). That is in the current sprint.

Requirements for staff (in terms of calendars etc) are different to cadets, so we need to think about how to approach this kind of thing.

But it will be after things have calmed down.

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I tried this. Unfortunately, I don’t get replies about swapping dates, I just get a :+1: then get surprised looks when I’m grumpy that the right person isn’t there.

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We use ‘Doodle’ a free app where Staff can plot the days they are definitely there, may be there and not there. Definitely helps with forward planning.

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I don’t think that any technological solution can combat the multitude of last minute curved balls life throws at us, where an email, text or phone call is king for notification. These are the things that cause the most problems wrt anything we do, be that parade nights or weekends. I personally don’t want to be faffing around with an ‘online calendar’ when we need to come up with an alternative “entertainment”. Mind you being of an age where I have had more of life without mobile phones etc, I don’t find not knowing instantly a problem.

We have an 18 month magnetic perpetual wall planner for holidays and known personal times away for years and it works. You can look at it and see who should be around. I’m of the opinion that everyone is attending, unless previously noted. The TO emails staff the programme for 2 months which gives plenty to pipe up if you’re not around. It has been mentioned about an online calendar of some kind at staff meetings, but no one is that keen.

One of the problems with electronic solutions is it leads to doing more and more away from the sqn, when people comment on how much personal time the Corps takes up. We can’t have it all ways up.

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In the past I’ve used combinations of doodle polls, calendars, scribbles on white boards.

But, you can’t plan for the last minute “sorry I can’t make it now, as…” that happens, and you end up having to take the decision to close the unit. Sending out frustrated emails at 1830…

And still having to attend the unit to turn those cadets around that didn’t get the memo…

Currently, a staff Facebook chat works for us…

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Fairly similar to what @GoodEgg does on my side…

(when I’m not swamped with non-cadet stuff - I do honestly try to get the program out by the 21st of the preceeding month … just rarely goes to plan atm)

When I send my preliminary schedule out I’ll send a subsequent email similar to the below for the following month (and normally get a handful of replies enough to start planning the following month.

(Please excuse formatting differences from outlook to the forum)

Good Evening All,

I hope this email finds you well, in order to properly plan activities and resources I will be sending out emails such as this on a monthly basis looking for an idea of your availability for the following month.

Currently we are aiming to offer in July … blah blah blah

As such kindly reply to me (not reply all) to this email with your availability for July - Please add in your availability to the table below.

Date Yes / No
Thursday 1st July
Monday 5th July
Thursday 8th July
Monday 12th July
Thursday 15th July

Etc…

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Some really good ideas there. Thanks.
Will leave the thread open for another couple of days before selecting an answer.
Suspect it will have run its course by then.

Do you not see the staff regularly enough to ask them in person? Our TO will do that in person during break.

Does it get around the biggest problem … the multitude of last minute things that prevent us from attending? I’ve been in the situation of going to the sqn and having something happen to the car en route.