Volunteers are critical to the successful running of any sport and recreation organisation and the implementation of contemporary and effective volunteer management practices will ensure a well organised, trained and happy volunteer workforce.
A quick reference guide to managing your volunteers better
* Appoint a volunteer co-ordinator to your organisation; someone who is responsible for recruiting managing and recognising your volunteers. Someone who is a point of contact for volunteers.
- Develop a volunteer management plan. This plan should address:
- Number of volunteers required and the roles they are required for
- Identification of skills already in the organisation (ie: conduct a skills audit of existing members and volunteers)
- Recruitment strategies
- Roles and responsibilities of volunteers
- Roles and responsibilities of the organisation
- Training that can be offered to volunteers
- Ongoing day-to-day support that can be provided
- Recognition strategies.
- Develop job descriptions outlining volunteers' duties.
- Job descriptions enable potential volunteers to understand what is expected of them before taking on the position.
- Provide new volunteers with an orientation, including:
- A welcome to the organisation
- Details of their position
- Information on the day-to-day operations of the organisation
- Support that will be provided to them
- Introductions to key people in the organisation.
- Identify the training requirements of your volunteers
- Keep up to date with the training that is available for various positions in the organisation
- Include an allocation for volunteer training in the organisation?s budget
- Provide volunteers with a central point of contact ie: volunteer coordinator
- Ensure open channels of communication are available to volunteers. Provide them with the opportunity to ask questions, discuss problems, raisie issues, put forward complaints
- Make sure that volunteers are not out of pocket; where possible cover their expenses
- Ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the volunteers and the organisation are clearly defined and communicated
- Keep volunteers regularly informed about what is happening in the organisation
- Ensure that recognition of volunteers is ongoing.