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.
Workplace Skills of Volunteers Go
Workplace volunteers report their skills as being unused in volunteer
assignments. A study released in April outlines the problem. For more
details see the report on the News page of Volunteer
Today, with hot link to the actual report.
Interested in more information?
Check out our online
bookstore for Secrets of Leadership by Rick Lynch & Sue
Vineyard and Risk Management: Strategies for Managing Volunteer Programs
by Sarah Henson and Rick Lynch.
Pull more visitors to your Web site by hyper
linking keyword laden-text , rather than just hyper linking the
phrase "Click Here." The hyperlink is more interesting
to visitors and the search engines that bring visitors in the first
place, will also come to the site. Don't understand this? Take it
to the person in charge of creating the organizational Web site.
He/she can tell you if this is being done.
You can speed up brainstorming sessions by changing
the way you record things on easel paper. Use script, not print
in the writing down what people say. It is 30%-50% faster.
Project that you are a professional.
Never asks permission to ask a question or make a comment. Banish
the phrase "May I add something?" from your lexicon of
sentences. When you have something to say, wait for a break in the
discussion and say, "I have a comment on that," or "I
have a question about that."
Have a hard time saying no?
Here are two phrases to help you when the answer really needs to
be no. "If I do this, I won't be able to finish the other things
I've committed to do." "I am sure I won't do as good a
job as I would like on this, because of my other commitments, and
that would disappoint both of us."
Want to build good volunteer
meetings? Start with something that gets everyone participating.
Ask each person to take 30 seconds to express expectations for the
One way to create an edge in
your recruiting is to offer flexibility. Remind people that the
one thing your organization prides itself on is the ability to be
flexible and find the right tasks or services for anyone who wishes
to volunteer. And mean it!
Screening volunteers for challenging
positions can be difficult. If you use references, look for the
tepid or luke-warm response to questions. Ask the person if they
would allow a family member to work with the person. The answer
could be revealing.
Are you having a down day?
Slump? Ask yourself, "If I were gone to Cancun, Mexico for
two weeks, who would complain?" It is a way to remember just
how important your contributions are to the organization.
Most managers of volunteers are comfortable with a wide array of personality
types. There are, however, certain people who push our "buttons"
and are more difficult to cope with than others. Here are some of those
personality types and strategies for coping with them. Read the list and
identify your personal "button pushers." When you know which
type it is, you can likely cope with them more effectively.
Distract group or meetings by chatting
with their neighbors when others are talking.
Confront directly about behavior.
You should continue talking, but move physically closer if you
Stop talking and wait until they stop talking, then pick up
where you left off.
Want to establish their authority by
arguing with you or anyone else in a leadership role. Their aggression
often masks personal insecurities.
Acknowledge comments without being defensive.
Play to the challengeinvite more comments and information
from them and the rest of the group.
Long-winded answers come from simple
questions. The person never seems to get to the point.
Do not allow them to go on and on. When they take a breath,
summarize their points and conclude with some observations.
Get others opinions on the topic.
Earnest & Eager
Know everything and are the first to
chime in with opinions. Always have ideas and suggestions. Do not
let others in on the fun.
Never squash the enthusiasm. Groups need energy he/she often
Invite others to build on the persons ideas.
Interested in assessing volunteer and
staff relations in your program?
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