You have volunteers… Now KEEP them!!
Volunteers are eager like beavers to start on new projects. They show energy and excitement to join your group to make it the best possible experience. They are looking for instant gratification to make a difference.
If they are there, they are there to learn and work. Give them something to do!
But volunteers are also difficult to show appreciation to, for a number of reasons.
They may not come around very often, they may come to help weekly, monthly or maybe just for special events. Each time they come to help after a period of time, a run down of large number of new tasks needs to be gone over. If the manager is busy dealing with a large number of people, then the lack of information and time put in could cause discouragement. Unless, they have been volunteering for a long time, the persons who are supervising don’t typically get to know the individual volunteers very well therefore will not learn how to best encourage them.
Some suggestions of how to encourage and support your volunteers, here is a list you can implement immediately:
Give positive verbal acknowledgement
Catch them doing something good, and show praise.
Tell positive stories about them to others - pubic praise.
Tell them Thanks often and immediately.
Say their name 3 times.. learn it…. USE IT often.
Use eye contact while talking with them.
Find out their time frame they are there for and give them suitable projects.
Greet them as they show up and say good-bye when they leave.
There are many more steps to showing appreciation to volunteers in our busy worlds. Volunteers are special and we need to cheer loud for them. Not only this week but every week.
Thank you to all of you who volunteer.
Now that makes me Smile Inside Out.