|Receive the |
Online training for you or your entire organization to work successfully with volunteers!
tend to think of the winter holidays as a time when business activity (minus
retail operations) slows down, but this is exactly the time when many volunteer
activities rev up. We may be shifting
our focus from recruitment campaigns to end-of-year thank you parties, but also
need to ensure that volunteers are performing their best whether they are
collecting and delivering food donations, dealing with children on school
break, getting ready to do tax returns for older people, or raising much-needed
funds. Let's not forget that the way we
support volunteers now can affect
recruiting in the future. See resources below to help keep volunteers happy and
We Learned (the Hard Way) about Supervising Volunteers |
By Jarene Frances Lee with Julia M. Catagnus
Advice, wisdom, and
experience from over 85 real-life, on-the-job supervisors of volunteers:
crystal clear analysis of what works and what doesn't in supervision.
Order the book NOW!
(print US$21.95, e-book US$15.00)
Best of All: The Quick Reference Guide to Effective Volunteer Involvement
This resource collects into a single volume all the latest techniques that
produce effective volunteer involvement -- especially for volunteer volunteer coordinators.
Handling Problem Volunteers
Insightful and humorous guide to dealing with a wide range of problem behaviors
exhibited by some volunteers, from irritating to seriously dysfunctional.
Keep Those Volunteers Around
A back-to-basics book on volunteer retention.
Keeping Volunteers: A Guide to Retention
How to enhance volunteer retention and motivation, avoid volunteer burnout, get
beyond short-term commitments, and more -- subjects of critical interest to
every volunteer program manager.
"Maintaining a Work Environment that Enhances Productivity"
Frances Lee with Julia M. Catagnus
From What We Learned (the Hard Way) about Supervising Volunteers: An Action
Guide to Making Your Job Easier, p. 65.
You will remember that we
defined supervision as a relationship in which you, as the supervisor, take actions
that empower those you supervise to be successful in their work. Perhaps the
most important action you can take regarding the work environment is to remove
obstacles to success.
Do your volunteers have
adequate workspace? Is the workspace organized, well-ventilated and well
lighted? Do they have the supplies they will need for their work? Is the equipment
they use in good working order? If making telephone calls is a major part of
their work, do they have regular, uninterrupted access to instruments and
outgoing lines? Is there a place they can store their work in between shifts?
What do volunteers see when
they look around? Are others -- especially paid staff -- motivated? ...energetic? ...productive?
If volunteers must bring
personal property to your area, is there an adequate and safe space for coats, purses,
and wet umbrellas? If not, you can see that a volunteer may feel like an
"extra" rather than like an integral member of your team. They may also have their
minds on whether their property is safe rather than on their work.
The safety of the
volunteers themselves should be of concern to you. Are volunteers doing
activities with a high risk of injury? Are they working in or traveling through
an unsafe environment? Might the clients be a source of any danger? Work with
your organization's risk manager to address these situations openly and
honestly. You may need to provide special risk-reduction training or institute
policies such as having volunteers travel in pairs.
Ask volunteers what they
need to do their job well and what environmental factors might prevent them
from doing their best. Ask about equipment and supplies, access to information,
and the rest of the team. If you can't immediately address every issue, explain
why and keep working on them. Let volunteers know what you are doing so they
see that you keep your word. If there are problems that you can't solve, explain
why and then explore with your volunteers methods either to get around the
problem or to cope with it.
is granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide
full acknowledgment of source, as provided:
Excerpted from What We Learned (the Hard
Way) about Supervising Volunteers: An Action Guide to Making Your Job Easier, by Jarene Frances Lee with Julia M. Catagnus, Energize, Inc., 1999. Available in the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/1-175-E-1
|Energize, Inc. |
5450 Wissahickon Ave., C-13
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Energize empowers and inspires leaders of volunteers worldwide. Our specialty is creating and selecting the most relevant, innovative resources in volunteer management. We're advocates for the power of volunteers and for the recognition of the leaders who unleash it.