Managing Volunteers

Leadership and Management

Effective leadership ensures the aims and values of volunteer involvement are promoted within the organisation, whilst effective planning and development ensures that there are processes in place to support volunteers to perform their roles effectively in line with organisational requirements.

Support, Development and Training

The right support and development ensures that there are processes in place to ensure that volunteers perform their roles effectively in line with organisational requirements. This can include orientation and information, skill development, training and ongoing support. Organisations must be able to manage situations fairly and consistently when a volunteer may not be meeting their requirements.

Workplace Safety and Wellbeing

Organisations must have systems in place that meet the obligations of health and safety of its workforce as well as managing risk and providing a supportive and responsive workplace. A new Work Health and Safety (WHS) flowchart has been released by the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia.

Conflict Resolution

Dealing with volunteers who are underperforming or behaving inappropriately can be a difficult situation. There may be times when issues need to be addressed and resolved and it is helpful when processes and documentation are in place that clearly state the guidelines outlined in your organisational policies.

Best practice recommends that organisations should provide volunteers with information about how to make a complaint or raise a concern to relevant bodies. Grievances from volunteers need to be managed consistently, transparently, equitably and in line with principles of natural justice. If you have a grievance procedure you need to follow the steps outlined in response to issues and always document each stage of any process.

Please note: Volunteering SA&NT does not provide an individual advocacy service for volunteers or volunteer involving organisations or mediation services. For more information

Volunteer Recognition

Volunteer recognition is vital in best practice management of volunteers, and greatly assists in attracting and retaining volunteers to your organisation. There are a number of ways to recognise volunteers both formally and informally and we recommend you include all your volunteers in any recognition or celebration.

  • Are people at all levels of the organisation involved with the recognition and celebration?
  • Does your organisation have a policy and procedure for celebrating and recognising volunteers?
  • How does your organisation measure the contributions the volunteers make?

National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

If you co-ordinate or manage volunteers or have management or governance responsibility in a volunteer-involving organisation the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement will be a useful resource for your organisation.

The National Standards provide best practice guidance and benchmarks to help volunteer-involving organisations attract, manage, recognise and retain volunteers and to manage risk and safety with respect to volunteers.

Organisations need to consider the role of volunteers and the impact effective volunteer involvement can have on achieving their strategic goals and aims.

The National Standards also help in improving the overall volunteer experience.