Recruiting Union Volunteers
Nobody has enough time anymore. Gone are the days when families sat down, all at the same time and enjoyed a relaxing evening meal, then spent the evening watching TV together. Nowadays, everything happens on the fly. Between the demands of work and family, the average member may feel stretched to the limit and feel unable to add another thing to his or her schedule.
On the other hand, there appears to be an increasing amount of volunteerism in general in the United States. One out of every two adult Americans, a total of 90 million people, is estimated to work as volunteers in not-for-profit organizations. With so many organizations and causes that need help, how do volunteers choose where to donate their limited time? Unions need to learn from other organizations that have studied this question. Some of the factors that seem to influence that decision, according to a newsletter published for not-for –profit organizations, are:
- The goals and mission of the organization must be clear and relevant.
- Volunteers must believe in the purpose and mission of the organization. The organization must clearly and frequently communicate that mission to its volunteers.
- The organization must have successes.
- Volunteers must feel that they are contributing their time and talent to an organization that will make a difference.
- The organization must be well managed. People must be assured that their time and resources are being used effectively and efficiently. The organization must have clearly defined roles, responsibilities and communication channels.
- The organization should offer the opportunity for individual empowerment. Many of us work in organizations that are so large; our individual voice doesn’t seem to make a difference. We may want to volunteer for an organization where we can help in decision making. (However, don’t force people to be part of decision making if they don’t want to be. Many members, after exhausting days at work, only want to stuff envelops, they don’t want to be responsible for heavy decisions.)
- The organization must demand accountability. Expectations for each volunteer should be clearly communicated and volunteers should be held accountable. At the same time, appropriate recognition should given when expectations are met.
- The organization should provide training where necessary. People can’t work effectively without the proper tools and training.
Those are the characteristics of organizations that attract volunteers. Why does the individual choose to volunteer to begin with? What does the individual get form volunteering? Some of the factors that commonly motivate individuals are:
In general there are a few things to remember in recruiting: