1b. As to being threatened by volunteers:
- It is a normal trait to feel threatened by anything that we think can adversely affect our job, paycheck, job performance, or role in life.
- Rather than view volunteers as threatening or as a possible competitor we can view them as part-time co-workers whose role can materially enhance ours. The difference is literally in our head - the way WE think about it; our reaction.
- The roles of staff and volunteers can be designed so they do not overlap.
- Staff can be included in developing a volunteer program which can make a major difference in how staff interacts with either volunteer group.
- Also it helps all to assure that the staff clearly understands WHAT the volunteers will be doing and the role of the respective volunteer category.
- As staff openings develop it is very possible that a future employee may come from a volunteer contact. One who has an interest and strong ability to work full time for our agency as a co-worker, one whom we already know and enjoy working with, so it's a pleasure to bring in such a person over a total stranger.
1e: As to how to manage reserve or on-going volunteers:
- Treat them as you do paid staff, within the realm of their specialties. They are motivated by what those with whom they work do in response to their work: if it is good, say so, and if it needs to be improved, say so, why, and how.
- Above all else, be SURE to include them in all activations and emergency responses...they expect this and it is very much a part of their motivation to be actively utilized. Only the degree varies within a unit, some able to be much more active than others.
- Recognize them and find ways to let them know that.
Series continues next bulletin.