Engaging Volunteers

Assessing an organisation’s capacity to engage volunteers can ensure that the functioning of the organisation is well-thought out, with persons in volunteer positions that are both valuable and meaningful, benefiting both the volunteer and the organisation. An organisation should pride itself on its membership which is made up of volunteers whose commitment to the cause is largely responsible for the success of the organisation. However, over time, interests may decline and there becomes a need to recruit more suitable agents to represent an organisation.

If your ultimate aim is to engage in continuous improvement and awareness for your cause, then you must take a deeper look into the criteria you use for recruiting volunteers.

An organisation, although voluntary is held accountable to all stakeholders – paid and unpaid. It is therefore necessary that the organisation manages itself with a professional standard and moral and ethical code of ethics.

When utilising a volunteer labour force, there will always be a need to review the quality improvement processes in assigning personnel in suitable positions and streamlining the distribution of works and processes that considers time, effort and skill of each individual and department within the organisation.

As always, we utilise SMART goals for attracting, recruiting, training and managing volunteers for an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

  • Specific – An NGO should be should be focussed on improving the quality of the output of volunteers. This requires that volunteers provide a service that is professional and ethical to the highest standards.
  • Measurable – The organisation’s success will be measured by the improvement in quality standards, using various tools and techniques.
  • Attainable – Stakeholders should agree to focus on assessing quality in the organisation via its volunteers and improving upon this quality. With a clear plan for the organisation, the desired results can be achieved.
  • Realistic – Volunteers are motivated by intrinsic rewards and the organisation should be confident that the right type of projects will attract the right type of interests and labour to get the job done.
  • Timely – The implementation of quality improvement processes should be achievable within an agreed timeframe.

A proper management system is required in all organisations, regardless of the size or the type of the operation. A good quality management system will help your NGO to learn what improvements can be made, which are not limited in its scope.

An NGO must find ways to encourage its volunteers who work in the organisation. Volunteers need to be motivated and satisfied to perform well. The Management team should ensure that there are clear and defined roles for everyone, with accountability in place. They should also institute established training systems and team-building exercises, as well as a clear understanding of how their roles affect the quality and the success of the organisation.

With proper monitoring and controlling, any NGO is poised to stand out as a premier business model in the Caribbean.

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