The secret to retaining your volunteers is ensuring that they feel valued and motivated.
Remember that people take up volunteering for a whole host of reasons and it is important that you recognise these reasons. Some of these include:
- Learning a new skill
- Utilising existing skills
- Helping the community
- Giving something back
- Wanting to fill time
- Wanting to meet new people
- Assisting with studies
And many more
Try to match the volunteer to a role that suits their reasons for volunteering. For example, if someone wants to meet new people they will not be happy sitting by themselves working on a computer. However, having them on reception or in a day centre might be perfect.
Supervision and Support
Regular supervision and support is vital. This may be in a formal style, but also may be as a group. Check that the volunteer is happy in the role that they are doing. Someone who wants to develop work skills might be very happy to learn about databases, but keep them in the same role for too long without any new experiences and they might question the value of volunteering.
Recognition and Thanks
‘Thank you!’ It’s very simple.
Make sure that the volunteer feels that you value their input. ‘Thank you’ is the easiest everyday way to make volunteers feel valued.
However, listening to their needs, interests and motivations makes sure that volunteers get the opportunity to develop.
1st-7th June is Volunteers’ Week, every year. Hold a party, present certificates, link into your local Volunteer Centre’s activities.
Invite volunteers to have an input into the planning of the organisation, this might be through planning events or team meetings.
BE CAREFUL. DO NOT TAKE YOUR VOLUNTEERS FOR GRANTED
easier said than done.