Assistance and resources


Daily supervision of volunteers

This item is divided into the following parts

  • welcoming new volunteers
  • what to look out for in order to motivate volunteers
  • the impact of volunteering
  • regulation interviews

Welcoming new volunteers

When volunteers start out, they may be unsure of themselves and their skills, and unsure of what the organisation expects of them. It is therefore important to take time to :

  • welcome them
  • explain how the organisation works
  • introduce them to the work they will be doing

A welcome letter can be one way of letting the new volunteer know that they are an integral part of the organisation.

Before giving a volunteer a job, it is important to re-assure them that this is what they want to do. It is also important to agree on a trial period with the volunteer, during which the volunteer is supervised either by another volunteer or by the volunteer manager.

At the end of the trial period, a regularisation meeting is held. During this interview, the volunteer is offered training.

What to look out for in order to keep volunteers motivated

There is no real secret to motivation, it is simply a matter of letting the volunteers do what they like and are capable of doing, if this is in line with the objectives of the organisation and the tasks of the staff (volunteers and employees) in place. Of course, it is important to keep the volunteers' morale high and to stimulate their motivation.

  • Make yourself available
  • Give volunteers a reason to take part in your activities
  • Recognise their contribution
  • Invite volunteers to communicate with you and each other
  • Have both staff and volunteers attend your meetings
  • Be clear about what you want to achieve
  • Never belittle either your employees or your volunteers
  • When you have to make remarks to someone, choose the moment carefully: do not delay, do it on neutral ground and face to face, be precise in formulating the problem
  • Recognise when the discussion has gone on long enough
  • Do not play favourites
  • Be sensitive to others
  • Be honest and sincere in your compliments
  • Be receptive to the views and opinions expressed
  • Delegate, but do not offload your obligations
  • Be constantly looking out for your own personal growth and that of your volunteers and staff

Motivation is a very personal inner force. It gives people the impetus to meet their needs. People cannot be forced to do things they are not interested in.

Motivation can be compared to :

  • A watch - once you take the time to wind it, it runs by itself for days;
  • A flower - it flourishes when cared for and dies when neglected;
  • A ball - it needs help to bounce.

Impacts that arise from volunteering

Impacts on the association :

  • it achieves its objectives,
  • it achieves its short-term plans,
  • it benefits from teamwork,
  • it benefits from the final result,
  • we work in a good mood.

Impact on the volunteer :

  • he/she gets recognition,
  • they do interesting work,
  • he/she acquires responsibilities,
  • they have a sense of accomplishment,
  • they feel useful.

Regulation interviews

Internal communication within the association should be clear and succinct so that everyone is aware of important decisions or activities. In addition, it is important to have regular meetings with individual volunteers.

The purpose of these meetings is to:

  • to adapt the volunteer's schedule, tasks and expectations to what is possible within the framework of volunteering
  • to inform volunteers about new projects and ask for their opinion
  • help them during their moments of hesitation
  • help them to take on more responsibility
  • have volunteers sign a contract that is renewable from year to year after an evaluation interview
  • to check how the collaboration has worked so far, whether it has been successful for both the organisation and the volunteer, and to assess the efficiency (comparison of time invested by both parties and the return).
  • to check whether the objectives set at the previous meeting have been achieved (if so, how, if not, why not)
  • to make a new appointment for the next interview.