Volunteering is a common practice in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 41 per cent of people having donated their time and efforts last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Unfortunately, volunteers unexpectedly leaving an organisation is also relatively common. The most cited reasons for departures are poor management and lacklustre leadership, according to research published by the British Psychological Society.
To ensure that your organisation is able to effectively retain its volunteers, consider adopting the following three best practices:
1. Be clear about performance expectations. When volunteers join your organisation it’s important that you clearly outline their responsibilities and provide them with any necessary training. In addition, be sure to thank them for donating their time and efforts to your organisation.
2. Check in with volunteers regularly. This not only ensures the quality of their work, but also makes sure that your volunteers feel actively engaged in the organisation’s efforts.
3. Manage every volunteer individually. Each volunteer is unique and it’s important that you conduct a quick assessment to determine the best way to work with and motivate them.
Volunteers clearly need to be respected, trusted and valued. Having open communication to spell out how individuals can contribute and feel a part of a team is crucial to keeping people who are giving up their free team happy. Offering flexibility for volunteers and recognising their achievements are also important in creating a strong bond between charities and volunteer workers.