If your company utilizes volunteers, the volunteer induction and training process is crucial. It’s an opportunity for you to connect with your volunteers, get them on board with your organization and mission, and ensure they have everything they need to be successful in their roles.
A positive induction and training process that’s fun, organized, and educational will get your volunteers excited and committed to your project, while a boring, disorganized, or uninformative process can lead to volunteers leaving your program in droves.
But how do you create a positive volunteer induction and training process? What is the best practice for training your volunteers in a way that gets them excited to partner with you?
The first thing you need to consider when designing a volunteer induction and training program is the differences between volunteers and employees.
Unlike employees, volunteers are freely giving their time to your organization without asking for anything in return. They may or may not have experience in the role they’re volunteering for, so it’s important to make sure the induction and training process gives them everything they need to feel comfortable in the role and to diminish any anxiety they may have about the role.
Because volunteers aren’t paid like employees, there are no monetary incentives associated with their job, so it’s important to develop alternative incentives to keep them engaged. A fun induction and training program that creates buy-in for your corporate mission is a great way to incentivize volunteers and get them excited to work for your company.
The induction and training process is an opportunity to bring your volunteer team up to speed on your corporate mission, your policies and procedures, and the responsibilities of the volunteer role. You want to make sure you cover any important information volunteers will need to be successful during the training process, including:
Key points of contact, like their manager or supervisor
Make it fun
If you want your volunteers to be engaged in the training and induction process, you need to make it engaging. The more fun you can inject into the training process, the better. Play games, perform skits, and keep things laid back.
Test for retention
The entire point of training volunteers is giving them the information they need to be successful in their role. But if they don’t retain that information, the training process was a waste of time. As you go through each training, take the time to make sure each of your volunteers understands the content and how to apply it to their volunteer role.
Make sure to say thank you
Volunteers are donating their time to help you achieve your goals, so it’s important to make them feel appreciated and valued throughout the induction and training process.
Keep things organized
To maximize your induction and training process, stay organized. A volunteer management tool can help you collect relevant paperwork and manage the training process.