Previous article in this series:
Volunteer Management Assessment: Introduction
Scenario: A new event volunteer is trying to assist event participants but gives incorrect directions.
Scenario: A volunteer is unclear on his duties. He would like to check with a team leader but has not been introduced to anyone who appears to be in charge.
Scenario: A volunteer team leader is asked about the title event sponsor by a guest. The volunteer has no idea what service the title sponsor provides.
These situations are strong indications of poor preparation by the volunteer manager and supporting team leaders.
Good training sets the stage for volunteer confidence, competence and camaraderie. This training should be comparable to an employee job orientation with a lot of enthusiasm.
The distribution of volunteer guidelines, shirts and waivers are often the drivers for conducting training. Newcomers need to be instructed on job specifics and formally welcomed to their team. This is also prime time to update all volunteers on lessons learned from the previous year and to emphasize the standard operating procedures outlined in their volunteer guidelines.
Team leaders and veteran volunteers have the opportunity to share job tips, safety precautions and their enthusiasm with newcomers. The volunteer training program is often the first impression of your organization and sets the tone for the overall volunteer experience.
Good organization never goes out of style but the age of your volunteers will impact the training presentation. The more mature volunteers of the Boomer and Veteran generations will often look for clearly structured management and specific directions. Generation X and Y volunteers (Mid 40s to teens) will seek additional information that gives them “event insider” status and a sense of job ownership.
Make the most of your opportunity to create a well orchestrated team atmosphere with a motivational training program. Please share your volunteer training ideas. What makes your training a hit?
Next articles in this series:
Volunteer Management Assessment: Realistic Job Descriptions
Volunteer Management Assessment: Adequate Risk Controls
Volunteer Management Assessment: Volunteer Management Technology
Volunteer Management Assessment: Evaluation
Volunteer Management Assessment: Conclusion/Questions