Daily Buzz: Get Ready to Bring Your Volunteers Back

How to prepare volunteers for a different work environment. Also: Train yourself to put work aside when you’re at home.

The ways in which associations engage volunteers has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will continue as organizations get ready to reopen. What should volunteer engagement look like during this phase?

“While things are opening back up, we are not just returning to life as it was before March,” says VolunteerMatch’s Jennifer Bennett.

When considering how you’ll re-engage with volunteers in person, let them inform your decisions. “Get a sense of what your volunteers are worried about, or what they need from you, before they come back,” Bennett says. “A survey, facilitated conversation, or focus group can be a great way to identify volunteer concerns or needs.”

Organizations must also remain agile in the face of uncertainty.

“Unfortunately, none of us have a crystal ball, but we can be prepared to continue to find new solutions as the situation evolves,” Bennett says. “But what we can do is continue to ask ourselves, how can we move forward, keep our volunteers safe, and respond in a way that makes sense for our organization and the clients we serve?”

Remote Work Shouldn’t Be 24/7

When you work from home, it’s easy to slip into an unhealthy around-the-clock work routine. To avoid burnout, incorporate a specific activity into your routine that triggers the end of the workday, such as a short walk or meditation.

“Triggers (or cues) can be a powerful way to form new habits. Having a routine that you do every day when you finish work will send a signal to your body and brain that work is officially over,” says Deanna deBara on The Muse. “What you do is less important than doing it every day.”

Other Links of Note

What’s in store for face-to-face events? The future is cloudy, says Velvet Chainsaw’s Lisa Block.

Onboarding techniques don’t have to be pricey. Smooth the Path’s Amanda Kaiser offers several low-tech ways to onboard new members.

The recent switch to remote work may strain existing work relationships. On the MIT Sloan Management Review, Daniel Z. Levin and Terri R. Kurtzberg explain how managers can reinforce a sense of connection.

(Chansom Pantip/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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