| MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION
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.
What Does the Consumer Think?
Many volunteer programs have consumers; clients, customers,
patrons of services provided by volunteers. One role of the manager of
volunteers is to ensure that the volunteers are providing needed services
to those consumers, eliminating services no longer needed, and keeping
the volunteer and the consumers well informed about the mutuality of their
relationship. How can you do this? Try this technique.
Once you can answer the questions listed above, you are in a position to change the things volunteers do. And it is likely that needs will be met to a greater degree.
Interested in more information? Check out our online bookstore for Handling Problem Volunteers and Best Practices for Volunteer Programs, both authored by Steve McCurley and Sue Vineyard.
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Coaching involves delegating--giving to another person tasks or duties to complete or organize a task, event, or project. It is a means to train a volunteer to take on more responsibility. And it is nerve wracking. The manager of volunteers can lower his/her anxiety level by asking the right questions. Try these.
Your Image Is Important!
The manager of volunteers can increase levels of influence by some attention to his/her image. Getting ahead in a organization, building credibility for the work of the volunteers, getting a raise, becoming part of the management team, and engendering respect can be enhanced by more than just showing up to do your job. Here are some tips to create some positive "spin" on your image.
1. Do more than is asked. When was the last time you clipped a newspaper or journal article related to the work of the organization and circulated it to leaders in the group? Have you volunteered to help another staff member with a pesky problem lately? Supervisors notice that type of behavior. Think of those people in the organization who are willing to go the extra mile . . . everyone appreciates them.
2. Find supporters. If you are uncomfortable "tooting your own horn" then ask others who appreciate you to do so! And make it reciprocal. "Gosh, Marla, if you think that I had a good idea I wish you would say so at staff meeting. Ill do the same for you."
3. Tend to your image. Image is not about clothes, although looking professional sure helps! Are you on time? Do you follow-through? Can others rely on you? Are you courteous to everyone? Do people describe you as gracious? Those are image issues and fixing them doesn't mean buying a new wardrobe.
4. Act like a professional. A true professional stays current in his/her field. Would you go to an attorney or doctor who said, "Gosh, I am so busy I don't have time to attend local meetings of my professional association or read journal articles." Of course not! Join a local professional association of managers of volunteer programs. If one doesn't exist, contact colleagues in other organizations and get one started. Read about your discipline in one of the journals designed for those who work with volunteers. Budget for training.
5. Build your reputation outside the organization. Visibility is part of your image. Become an expert in managing volunteers. Be the person everyone goes to when the question is "volunteerism." Offer to speak at conventions or conferences; local, regional, national, or international. That visibility boomerangs back to the leaders in your organization. It makes the organization look good and you too.
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Washington 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.
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