Not all event volunteers are the same. The very best volunteers for your event are reliable, tech-savvy, eager to learn, and wonderfully adaptive to the public and to an environment with swiftly changing priorities. However, top volunteers have lots of options, and find what they're looking for elsewhere in a volunteer experience if they can't find it at yours. Here are five strategies for retaining your very best volunteers:
1. Offer self-signup.
Today's high-performing volunteers love immediate responses. Providing an online application with clear details on each role allows users to sign up quickly and efficiently. And that's exactly what stellar volunteers expect of themselves when they're working at your event. In addition, have space on your online application where they list their experience and interests so that you can assign them to tasks that suit them best.
2. Post the benefits of volunteering as part of your online recruitment.
Let potential volunteers know straight up what's in store for them by listing everything they'll enjoy if they devote themselves to your event. Tangibles are an important motivation -- uniforms,tee-shirts, and other wearables bearing your logo; frequent breaks, available snacks, access to fresh water; and full meals for long shifts. But also, you'll want to communicate from the very start the long term benefits volunteers will receive, such as experience they can put on their resumes and valuable training they can use at a real job.
3. Have all policies and procedures available online.
Today's younger volunteers in particular are independent problem solvers. Have all general policies and procedures for your event, including your volunteer manual, accessible online so that your volunteers can find exactly the information they're looking for -- whether they're working at the information table or serving as ushers or parking attendants.
4. Provide online training, tutorials, and schedules for on-site orientation.
Let your volunteers know from the outset what they need to learn, and have self-tutorials available online. When the training has to be done in person and onsite, make that information available from the start so that your volunteers know from the start so they'll be ready.
5. Post an online schedule with options to change shifts.
A successful event is planned out down to the detail, offering flexible solutions for surprises and emergencies. So it runs best when you have an online schedule of shifts already assigned, but with options for volunteers to find their own substitutes if they run into an emergency.
6. Map out your incentive and rewards program online.
Finally, have a clearly spelled-out plan for acknowledging exceptional employee performance during your event. List the goals you want your volunteers to achieve, as well as prizes, rewards, and acknowledgements they'll earn once they achieve them. If you have a special awards night, announce that occasion online as well and make all the information available during signup. The results? Serious volunteers will appreciate that your event is well organized and well managed, and they'll be motivated to provide you with their very best performance.
Use InitLive as your all-in-one event planning, safety and communication tool. It provides easy document storage and retrieval, real-time communication, and multiple levels of user access, all through one device. For attracting, engaging, and retaining your best volunteers for your next event, please contact us.