Creating conflict between staff and volunteers – part 2! #wiseupwednesdays

crystal ballWe looked at the first few potential sources of conflict in last week’s post and we are now continuing the theme. I am sure you don’t do this in your organisations and hopefully you aren’t a member of staff caught up in such a situation with a volunteer!

“If you do insist on training volunteers, be sure not to include the staff with whom the volunteers will be working in the design of the training.”

This will really help your staff feel involved and enthusiastic about volunteers won’t it? Seriously, why would anyone do that? Alarmingly, there are organisations that do and it needs to be tackled. Involving your staff will help them feel their opinions and input are valued, and foster happier relationships with the volunteers in your organisation.

“Assume that your staff already knows everything it needs about proper volunteer utilization.  Why should they receive any better training than you did?”

I am sure your staff are psychic? NOT!!! Your staff need to be evaluated before you involve volunteers, assessing their current skills and abilities in this area. If they’ve never managed volunteers before they need support and training. Your local Volunteer Centre may well be able to help  you with this. We offer a range of volunteer management training to meet local needs.

thanks you“Don’t presume to recognize the contributions that volunteers make to the agency. After all, volunteers are simply too valuable for words.”

I can’t imagine for a minute that you wouldn’t recognise the contributions that volunteers make, but many organisations don’t. In my opinion they don’t deserve to have a single volunteer and the ones they have got may well not stay long!  Recognising volunteers is an essential part of managing volunteers and a great way to boost retention, so no arguments YOU SHOULD BE RECOGNISING YOUR VOLUNTEERS!!! Again, your local Volunteer Centre can help you with some ideas and maybe some training on how to do this. Here’s a short guide to recognising volunteers. A volunteer is for life not just Volunteers Week

“Don’t reward staff who work well with volunteers.  They are only doing their job.”

Recognising staff is a way to motivate them and ensure they support their volunteers well.  For many staff, managing volunteers is an extra part of their job, not in their job description and thus something they aren’t actually paid for. Appreciate and value the time they give to support their volunteers and recognise their contribution too!

2 thoughts on “Creating conflict between staff and volunteers – part 2! #wiseupwednesdays

  1. Love the list, especially “Assume that your staff already knows everything it needs about proper volunteer utilization. Why should they receive any better training than you did?” This is an area that is frequently overlooked because we assume that working with volunteers is pretty straightforward. Instead we, volunteer managers need to share our knowledge with staff through training sessions.
    Thanks for this Eileen, will share!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your feedback and you are spot on, but joking apart sometimes I hear some mind boggling things from volunteers about how they have been treated. To be fair if they’ve been on my training, it’s usually ok, it’s the ones who escape or have inherited poor practice from colleagues! Please do feel free to share and hope it made you smile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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