How to retain your volunteers: Be Human

Post by Dani D Picture of Dani D
Ixis Service
Reading time 3 mins clock

We are all human and have our limits.

Being understanding and kind costs nothing, but will benefit you greatly. 

According to GoodTherapy ‘Humanistic’ is defined as psychology. Through this pyschology, it is believed that people are born good. It views morality, ethical values, and good intentions as the driving forces of behaviour. 

Each person and each experience is unique.

We’ve all taken very different paths to get to where we are.

If someone’s journey has brought them to the doorstep of your charity with the intentions to promote your cause and grow your organisation, welcome them with open arms!

Did you know that people are 10x more likely to stay in their job for friendships rather than a pay rise?

This relates to volunteers too.

Volunteers devote their time to create relationships with like-minded people, feel valued and be passionate about a cause that they can align themselves with.

Share stories, bond over the work, and find the good in other people.

Explain the tasks and expectations you have to your volunteers. 

For example, create a booklet or online guide for your new recruits before they come on board so they know what to expect without any sudden surprises when they become involved.

One size doesn’t fit all, but here are a few examples of volunteer handbooks from other charities to get you started:

dog with shoes by blur canine

By setting the scene from the beginning, your new volunteers understand their role within your organisation.

Combining an employee handbook to set out your charity’s expectations with a skills questionnaire similar to the template we shared in our blog on breaking the ice allows your volunteer the opportunity for them to set expectations with you too.

Everyone will be singing from the same hymn sheet leading to better working relationships.

All energy will be focussed on promoting your mission and working towards your cause.

Many people volunteer to express their passion or connection to the organisation they are working with and to bond with people of a similar nature to them.

Create an atmosphere which promotes the building of friendship, bonding and teamwork!

Happy employees are typically the ones who care about the company and are driven to make it achieve its goals.

They are the only ones who even bother to find out these goals in the first place.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French aviator and writer

Looking for other tips on how to retain your volunteers?

Check out Tip one on breaking the ice complete with a skills questionnaire to get the most out of your volunteers.

To read the rest of our series, you can find them here:

1 - Breaking the ice

2 - Be Human

3 - Power of the Digital Age

4 - Two Simple Words To Make All The Difference!

5 - Make it Worth Their Time

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