Working with volunteers can be a beneficial option for businesses, but it is vital to have a system in place that cares for the well-being of everyone involved. Here are the steps to creating a volunteer work environment that promotes a quality experience for everyone.
To create a cohesive workplace, screen your volunteers to the same level that you would an employee. You are inviting them to represent your business. Make sure to background check volunteers so that you have a firm grasp of how they will work with the group dynamic.
It is also important to welcome new volunteers and clarify their specific duties. Smart practices for laying down the ground rules are:
- Registration forms
- Introduction packets
- Concrete job descriptions
- Chain of command
Thoroughly screen any volunteer who will work with sensitive material or specialized groups. Make sure to obtain volunteer insurance to reduce exposure to liability if an injury occurs.
Build a community that grows with open communication. From the offset, be very clear about expectations as well as organizing a chain of command. Volunteer work should respect the same boundaries as those of a paid position. Remember the inherent value of a volunteer. Maintain amicability and respect.
Volunteers can bring many benefits to a business that chooses to work with them. Take care of your volunteer workers, and you will see the rewards paid back tenfold.