One of the main messages I took back to my office after Andy Fryar’s recent workshop on Getting from Basics to Advanced in Management of Volunteers, was the importance of DELEGATION. As managers of volunteer we work with an ever-changing teams of diverse, variously skilled – often short-term – volunteers.
The induction interview (your first meeting with a new volunteer) is all-important. You are introducing the values and vision of your organization; and the specific tasks required to be done by the volunteer. In turn, you will learn about past experience, skill range, perhaps hidden talents and career dreams.
Here are a couple of examples of putting our learning into practice from Volunteer Wellington. Amy is doing her Masters in social history. She is on the administration desk for the late stint on Wednesday evenings. (A time for full-time workers to come in for interviews to find volunteer roles). She wants to learn about social outcomes happening ‘on the ground’. She’s a quick learner. We double her responsibilities so that she feels challenged and interested. She is therefore releasing other staff members to do more strategic planning, writing – and thinking.
Lucy is here from Australia for two months with her husband who is on a short-term contract. Her past experience is vast. She wants to be active and useful during her time in Wellington. We shall do some speedy interviewer training (another fast learning) and fill those two empty shifts we’ve been anxious about for so long. Lucy is also proposing a reception role with a new ‘against violence’ organization. She says that when she goes through her introductory interview with them she will suggest that as her departure time looms, a further reception volunteer is taken on and she will do the training.
Mutual learning on all sides when informed delegation takes place.For more information ring Volunteer Wellington on 04 499 4572.