4 Tips for Forming Positive Relationships with Volunteers
As a property manager or community association, you've probably had to form and manage relationships with volunteers- and this can either work really well or it can be a struggle. On one side, having volunteers brings extra hands to the table, as well as new ideas. On the other side of things, it takes time to get volunteers up to speed and it is often faster to just have someone on the staff get the job done. While many people think volunteers aren't the worth trouble, we're here to say they often are- but only when you take the right steps to form positive relationships with volunteers.
Here are 4 tips for forming positive relationships with volunteers
- Support from the staff level: It's not enough to just say you want volunteers and to bring them in, you need to build support at the staff level. If volunteers come in and permanent staff don't want them there, it's not going to be an easy transition. Sit down as a group and really discuss the pros and cons of having volunteers. It may not be for you or it might really take you to the next level.
- Make a plan: Do not just hire volunteers and have them start before you have a plan in place. Part of the reason relationships with volunteers don't always work is because management doesn't take the time to plan for them to be there. What is the point of having volunteers if you don't really have anything for them to do? Figure out what you can pass on to them immediately, what needs a bit of training, and what you may want to pass on in the future depending on how the volunteer program goes.
- Create a volunteer mentoring role: There should be at least one person on your team in charge of the volunteers. Volunteers need to know who to go to when they have questions and it's best to have some sort of structure within the program. What will the volunteer mentor be responsible for? How often will they meet with volunteers? Will they have help or will they be the main contact? These are all things you need to think through before you actually bring volunteers in.
- Give them something to do: This goes along with everything above, but we really want to stress that you need to actually have something for volunteers to do. If you have them cutting paper all day, you're not going to get out of the mentality that they aren't doing anything for you. Volunteers are there to help so take advantage of them and give them real work to do.
Volunteers can do wonders for your community association, but only if you take the right steps to form positive relationships with them. You want to make sure everyone on the team- management, staff and volunteers- benefit from a volunteer program and the only way to do that is to ensure that you have a plan and a need for the volunteers. Click here to learn more about forming positive relationships with volunteers.