Retention & Recognition
- Make sure they are trained thoroughly and feel empowered to do a good job as a volunteer
- Discover a volunteer's skills/abilities and match them with tasks to maximize their strengths
- Give feedback and ways to improve
- Show appreciation or give recognition
Show your appreciation for the time, talent, and work that each volunteer gives. Recognition may be in the form of a simple "thank you", formal and public events, or gifts, but the most effective recognition is frequent feedback to each volunteer. Too many large-scale or generic recognition gestures may appear insincere to some volunteers. Most volunteer programs use events or certifications that generally satisfy only praise-motivated volunteers. Design a recognition practice that will help motivate all volunteers, not just a few.
- Keep brief, regular, objective notes on each volunteer’s performance. Provide all volunteers with feedback on their performance to assess future training opportunities or possible changes in assignment.
- Be objective and concrete in your feedback. Solicit the observations of other staff who work with the volunteer, but respect confidentiality.
- Create a pleasant and welcoming work environment by giving them a well-lit and comfortable work space, having food or drinks available occasionally, and providing ample supplies
- Treat them as part of the site team
- Find ways to show them and others you notice their accomplishments
- Listen and act on their ideas and suggestions; use feedback from your volunteers' spring surveys to improve your site
- ASPIRE Thank You Note- Print double sided
- Volunteer Recognition Tips- List of fun ideas to recognize your volunteers
- Business Cards: Use these to hand out to community members, current and prospective volunteers, students, and parents.