We 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.
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!