~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
Find tips to oversee the work of volunteers and practical suggestions
to supervise them. Everything from ideas to help you work more
efficiently to the latest in research on keeping volunteers
happy and productive.
at our online
bookstore:BETTER SAFE... RISK MANAGEMENT IN VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
& COMMUNITY SERVICE by Linda L. Graff. This risk management manual is
packed with practical, directly applicable tips, tools, checklists, and
worksheets, all accompanied by a step-by-step narrative that leads you through
the risk management process.
at the Telephone Tag Game
most frustrating game in the work world is Telephone Tag.
You call, she calls back and you are in a meeting, you call back and she
is at lunch, she calls and you have left for the day, you call and she
has gone to Pago Pago for two weeks.
are some tips to end those endless phone messages with one person:
a message that tells a person specifically what to do, if you are
unavailable. If I am not in when you call, contact my colleague
Pat and leave the figures.
you call someone and they are not in, leave a message that asks the
person to tell you the best time to call back.
you leave a message, spell out exactly when you will be available
and then be sure to be in your office.
best time to catch people is very early in the work day; 10 minutes
before noon, and 10 minutes before 5:00 p.m.
phone calls like meetings. Exchange emails to set a time for a phone
meeting, when you are both in the office.
volunteers and/or employees are impacted by the example set by the volunteer
manager. Here are four different steps to show your commitment to the
new people and set an example to be followed.
- Be polite and courteous.
Smile, greet people, say hello, it costs nothing.
- The way
the professional dresses sends a message about how seriously the volunteer
manager take him/herself. A professional appearance
sends messages about the organization and about the role of volunteers.
needs to be positive. The new person has permission to gripe about others
in the organization, if that is what they hear the professional staff
- Meet people
in a timely way. Being prompt
sends the message that this organization expects people to arrive on
time and avoid lateness.
has come into the world, and everyone must decide whether he/she
will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive
hospital volunteer coordinator had been recruiting volunteers for several
years to work in the dialysis unit. The position description listed duties
such as visiting with patients while they spent hours on the dialysis
machine, or reading to people. Volunteers in that area began quitting
or asking to be transferred elsewhere. She decided to visit the unit and
learned that the staff was asking volunteers to help in lifting patients
onto hospital equipment and off again. Some of the older people had not
bargained for this and needed a change in location. The truth was the
staff did need assistance on occasion and the duties for a
volunteer in the dialysis unit had changed by necessity. If this happens
how can you handle the fall out?
all position descriptions on a regular cycle. No more than a year
should go by without evaluating all positions. Staff and volunteers
need to review the current position description and suggest changes.
enthusiastic. If there are changes, the support of the volunteer
manager for the new duties can help motivate people to meet the new
challenges. Griping or complaining about the changes and the terrible
people out in the organization is no way to energize volunteers.
available. Make sure that there is staff support for volunteers,
related to the new duties. If not, spend some time in the work unit
to make sure volunteers know how to carry out the new duties.
volunteers. Get volunteers ready. Offer to organize training.
In the example above, some training in lifting and team lifting of
patients could likely have stemmed the outflow of volunteers. The
volunteer office can organize that training for volunteers who have
added new duties.
priorities. Help volunteers stay focused on what is important.
The volunteers in the dialysis unit were only occasionally lifting
patients, but it became the most important issue because it was new.
Help volunteers list all duties and the ones they do the most. It
is called keeping your eye on the ball. Do not lose focus.
in assessing volunteer and staff relations in your program?
State University offers a Volunteer Management Certification Program through
the Internet. Individuals around the world can earn a certificate in managing
or coordinating volunteers, without leaving home.
For more information, visit Volunteer Today's Portal site, Internet
Resources. Look for the Washington State University listing. There
is a hot link to their Web site.
FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER MANAGERS SEEKS MEMBERS
Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) is an association
of administrators, coordinators and directors of volunteer programs in
local government. Its purpose is to strengthen volunteer programs in local
government through leadership, advocacy, networking and information exchange.
NAAVPLG is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and is
seeking affiliate status with the National League of Cities.
Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local government membership.
An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended for those who are not local
government members but may have an interest in the group. There is a quarterly
newsletter, national network, and access to NACo's Volunteerism Project.
For more information contact Robin
Popik, who is a Volunteer Resource Supervisor. She can be reached
by phone at 972-941-7114. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer