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Some nonprofit organizations or volunteer programs face challenges in trying to build effective teams. Team building helps to create powerful work environments, which enables the organization and individual to become high performers (Connors, 2011). As the new Volunteer Manager I would initially have a team meeting for introduction purposes, then have individual meetings with each volunteer in order to learn more about the work culture from their perspective. During these individual meetings volunteers will have the opportunity to voice their issues and concerns in private, they can also help share insight into the work culture. The next techniques I would use are, reviewing of the volunteer policy and procedures and the company’s Mission Statement, identify and clarify each volunteer’s role, identify where any conflicts may be and encourage feedback, ensure effective communication, ensure appropriate training is in place, work on team building activities, and showing appreciation. According to Lee, Won, & Bang, (2014) “research finds that the success of a volunteer program depends on finding the right volunteer, placing them in the right positions, and retaining them through effective management” (pg. 230).

Coaching can help improve the performance of the volunteers by meeting with each one and allow them to be heard. This setting will allow the manager to provide constructive feedback, supervision, and guidance. According to Rosenthal & Baldwin, (2015) when people feel that the organization is well managed they are likely to volunteer.

There’s value in a reward and recognition program because they help to create a pleasant work environment, help to increase retention rates, and improve the quality of work for volunteers (Rosenthal & Baldwin, 2015).

The following reward and recognition programs can be applied to help avoid volunteer problems:

  • Employee of the month
  • Birthday recognition
  • Work anniversary recognition
  • Private recognitions during supervision
  • Email blast to entire staff for individual congratulations or kudos
  • Daily or weekly kudos over the company’s intercom system
  • Gifts cards ($5) value for recognition of going above job description requirements
  • Non-monetary tokens of appreciation such as staff lunch


Connors, T. D. (2011). Wiley nonprofit law, finance and management series: volunteer management handbook: leadership strategies for success (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN-13: 9780470604533.

Lee, Y., Won, D., & Bang, H. (2014). Why do event volunteers return? Theory of planned behavior. International Review on Public and Non-Profit Marketing, 11(3), 229-241. doi:10.1007/s12208-014-0117-0

Rosenthal, R. J., & Baldwin, G. (2015). Volunteer engagement 2.0: Ideas and insights changing the world. Somerset, NJ: Wiley & Sons. ISBN-13: 9781118931882.

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