Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the enormous contribution volunteers make across the UK, that takes place every June.
The dedicated week is a great time to say thank you to volunteers and show how much they are valued, but of course it’s not the only time to let volunteers know they’re appreciated! But how best to do that? Here are some ideas...
• Involve your volunteers in your group's planning and seek their perspective. Most of the great ideas come from the people actually doing the work - not just those planning for them.
• Set up regular informal meetings where volunteers can express views, suggest ideas and provide feedback on the job.
• Make sure you know your volunteers. If someone puts hundreds of hours into your group, the very least you can do is learn their name. Make sure your Board or committee knows. In some groups it's impossible to know everyone personally but you should know the names.
• Recognise and reward effort. Let people know when they have done a good job - in fact let the group know when they have done a good job. Even better, let the community know!
• Set up a system where milestones - whether it's 10 years, 20 seasons, 100 exhibitions - are acknowledged and applauded. Let your local newspaper know about the milestones.
• Hold an annual event - function, morning tea, barbeque or simple gathering - that is
devoted to your volunteers.
• Nominate your volunteers for awards/scholarships or other external programs.
• Tell the world how good they are and why they perform such a valuable service to your community and your group.
• Let their peers, family, employer, friends know how much their help is valued. If you are paying tribute to a volunteer invite all those people to make sure they know how much you appreciate their efforts.
• Feature your volunteers. Make sure your newsletters mention your volunteers and profile them.
Most importantly, say Thank You. Whether it's verbally, a phone call, an email, a letter or a certificate. Let people know their work is valued.
If you don't practice any of these initiatives - then now is the time to get started. Write in your diary today a note to put in place a system that gives your volunteers due recognition for their service.
(Thanks to www.ourcommunity.com.au)