For Better and For Worse
Which volunteer management practices make for happy employees?
Volunteers are the lifeblood of many a nonprofit organization. But what if the volunteers—through no fault of their own—think, speak, or behave in ways that make the actual paid employees crazy?
If this description sounds familiar, your shelter may be helping itself with one hand but hurting itself with the other. Staff’s bad experiences with volunteers can turn the lifesaving work volunteers can do into a major headache, one that can actually undermine the mission of an animal shelter.
A recent study in the journal Nonprofit Management & Leadership aimed to shed some light on the management practices that can affect employees’ attitudes toward volunteers. The researchers analyzed responses gleaned from surveying 270 animal shelter employees who work with volunteers to examine how their organizations’ volunteer management practices affected the employees’ rating of their experience with volunteers.