|VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism|
| ASK CONNIE
VT readers ask questions about volunteer management
and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant
and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
I’ve been asked to speak to volunteers at a correctional facility. What kind of recognition do you think is best?
Personally I think that recognition should always be as specific as possible. This can be difficult to do when you’re speaking to a group. I suggest you talk about specific outcomes that volunteers have helped your facility achieve: number of families served, hours given both annually and by volunteer position, range of services volunteers provide, etc. Most important is to place these outcomes in the context of the mission of your organization so that you can show exactly the important roles volunteers play in achieving the mission. Volunteers want to know that they’re making a difference and exactly how. So it’s up to you to connect the dots for them both at the task level and the organizational level.
I have a couple of questions for you. I will be doing a training on supervision and a couple of things I have been Googling are: coaching tips for volunteer managers and samples of performance/evaluation reviews for volunteers. Do you have any samples or tips you can share? Thank you!
Coaching volunteers and employees is both an art and a science. The “art part” depends on a person’s personality, leadership style, experience, personal goals, etc. The science is something we can all learn to do effectively. Here are some characteristics of effective coaching techniques:
This last point speaks to your question about “performance/evaluation review” of volunteers. There are many resources, some even free, on the Internet so I encourage you to take advantage of what’s out there. Be sure to check out the books and articles available at VolunteerToday and Energize, Inc. . Some good general advice comes from the Volunteer Manual of the Halifax Regional CAP Association (Canada): [http://hrca.ns.ca/volunteer/manual/section7/section7.htm]
What are the benefits to measuring performance?
When should performance appraisals be conducted?
Even if the position is unchanging and the volunteer is happy in the position, an appraisal should be completed at least once per year. Please note that the frequency of appraisals is dependant upon:
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie
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