ACHE Volunteer Engagement Manual

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1 ACHE Volunteer Engagement Manual 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION 1 Volunteer Recruitment... 3 SECTION 2 Volunteer Orientation.5 SECTION 3 Volunteer Management..6 SECTION 4 Volunteer Recognition 7 SECTION 5 Recycling Volunteers..8 SECTION 6 Special Groups of Volunteers 9 2

3 SECTION 1 VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT Are you ready for volunteers? Are you in need of many volunteers to fill several open positions or are you recruiting for a key position? Prepare for Volunteers Before you can recruit volunteers, you need to be prepared. Step 1: Review the chapter s upcoming initiatives to identify volunteer needs. Step 2: Create brief position descriptions for each volunteer role, including the benefits of volunteering. Step 3: Decide which recruitment strategy to use; are you developing a new board, task force or a committee or are you in need of finding a person with specialized skills for a key role. Broad-Based Versus Targeted Approach There are two basic methods to recruiting volunteers: broad-based and targeted. The volunteer engagement program detailed in this manual is broad-based. For instance, an is sent to your membership recruiting volunteers and assessing their interest in joining various committees or the board. This encourages members who have not stepped forward before to raise their hands. But, your chapter may need to pursue a targeted effort to fill a specific position such as a President-Elect or an education committee chair. If so, for each assignment, answer these questions: Who is qualified for and interested in this position? Who is able to meet the time requirements of the position? Where can you find these people? What motivates them to serve? What is the best way to approach them? Who should ask? 3

4 While targeted recruitment is useful for filling positions that call for special training and distinct skills, broad-based recruitment is effective for assignments that require a number of people and minimal training. The goal in broad-based recruitment is to keep your chapter s volunteer needs in front of the general membership on a regular basis. By instituting the volunteer interest survey annually, your members will be reminded of the constant need for new volunteers. Effective Strategies for Recruiting Volunteers Your nominating committee and board members should all have ownership over the process of recruiting volunteers. It is a good idea to have one board member or committee own the process, but everyone should be accountable for recruiting. Make the process easy with these tips: 1. When a current volunteer sees someone step up or ask to help, this is a perfect opportunity to discuss if they are interested in volunteering. 2. Every chapter event should include an announcement about volunteering and thanking those who have helped. 3. There should always be an article in your newsletter listing your committees, committee chairs and contact information, and where you need additional volunteers. To engage more of your members list the project each committee is currently working on. 4. Volunteer opportunities should be listed and detailed on your Web site. Consider including an interest form that can be completed electronically. 5. Each volunteer has a reason for volunteering. What motivates one will not motivate another. Ask your volunteers why they volunteer. Their answers will help your recruitment efforts. Members usually volunteer to further the cause, for the recognition, the challenge, and the interaction with peers. 6. Ask current volunteers to bring colleagues to a chapter activity or committee meeting. 7. Ask for help early. A new member who is excited about joining may want to jump in and get involved. The #1 reason a person volunteers is because someone asked them. 4

5 SECTION 2 VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION Is your chapter ready to get to know its new volunteers? Consider organizing a volunteer orientation on a yearly basis as the chapter transitions to a new board. This event could be geared to those who have already shown interest in becoming involved, or used as an open invitation to members to learn about leadership opportunities within the chapter. Target new members (those who joined within the past year) to help them learn how they can make the most of their chapter membership. Also, try marketing it not as a volunteer orientation but perhaps as leadership development or bench development. Here are some tips for organizing a fun and effective volunteer orientation for your members. 1. Find a location that allows for a more informal environment such as a room with couches and comfortable chairs. 2. Schedule in networking time beforehand. 3. Have key board officers greet members as they enter by introducing themselves and introducing members to each other. 4. There should be a mixture of formal and informal presentations. For example, the first part of your orientation may be a presentation on the chapter given by key board members. The second part of the orientation could include committee break-out sessions. If you have affiliates who are not quite sure where they fit in, have each committee chair provide a 10-minute overview and then move to the next session. 5. Ask attendees, why are you volunteering? Their reasons will help you figure out the perfect way to thank and reward them. 6. Try to pair every new volunteer with an experienced one. 7. Make sure you capture all contact and volunteer interest information. 8. Have someone follow up with new volunteers within two weeks of attending your orientation. 9. For more details tips and ideas, check out Patricia A. Hudson s Membership Orientation Facilitator Guide Template and the Chapter Governance Manual. On page 11 of the Governance Manual, there is a helpful list of discussion items to be covered in a board orientation. An orientation session should be informative, upbeat and short, but most of all, it s a way to excite members to get involved! 5

6 SECTION 3 VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT Are you prepared to train your volunteers so they can succeed? Board members and committee chairs need to know how to recruit, manage and retain volunteer teams. Do not assume that volunteers know how to perform a task. Few volunteers ask for training. Mutually agreed upon expectations, timelines and realistic goals provide a greater chance of success. Have a written description of each volunteer position. Check out the Governance Manual in the Chapter Service Center for Board and Committee Description suggestions. Here are more tips for managing volunteers: 1. Try to match volunteers who have needed skills with those who have a desire to learn new ones. 2. Whenever you can, delegate and encourage your committee chairs to delegate. 3. Allow volunteers to determine the areas that are best for them to work. Not all volunteer service needs to be complicated and time-consuming; being a greeter at an educational program or introducing a speaker still keeps members engaged. 4. Use technology such as teleconferencing, s or shareware to save time. 5. Volunteers are colleagues, not employees. Treat them as equals. 6. Do not micromanage show them the way. But, do not do the work for them. 7. Praise publicly and often and criticize privately and selectively. 8. By following up with a volunteer, you are letting them know the work is important. 9. As the leader, if a volunteer is not working out, the responsibility for finding out why and addressing the reasons lies with you, not the volunteer. 10. Develop a succession plan by involving volunteers in identifying potential successors. Give all volunteers a chance to do meaningful work. Your members need to have the opportunity to learn how the chapter works. If you do all of the work because it is easier, how will future leaders rise up the ladder? 6

7 SECTION 4 VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION Do you have a plan for recognizing your volunteers? People volunteer for many reasons. Recognition is one of them, and it can come in many forms. Some prefer a quiet, personal thank-you, while some prefer public acknowledgement. ACHE s recognition program was established in 2008 to help you formally recognize those affiliates who have contributed nationally and locally, and award them with a certificate and pin. When you host a recognition program at one of your chapter events, it is an opportunity to highlight each person s contributions to ACHE and the chapter. Here are more suggestions: 1. When volunteers complete their tasks or fulfill their commitment of time, thank them and let them go. 2. Thank each volunteer personally with thank-you notes and cards. Do not address the letter Dear Volunteer. 3. Recognize volunteers from the podium at chapter events, and detail why you are recognizing their efforts. Example: We want to thank Ron for serving as our newsletter editor this past year. 4. Thank your volunteers on your Web site and newsletters. Include their photos, if possible. 5. Surprise your board or committee with small tokens of appreciation or treats. 6. Recognition items and awards can be ordered from our preferred vendor at ACHE company store. Overall, recognition should be fun, fair and targeted to meet the needs of individual volunteers. 7

8 SECTION 5 RECYCLING VOLUNTEERS Do you have valuable volunteers that are looking for new ways to contribute? A past chapter president or former Regent may still have valuable skills and energy they would like to give to their chapter. Consider asking them to fill new roles, chair new committees or serve as advisors. Here are a couple of ways to recycle volunteers: 1. Ask your current volunteers what other contributions they would like to make to the chapter. You may be pleasantly surprised by their interests. 2. Develop an organizational chart for your chapter. Volunteers will see where they fit into the chapter structure and how to plan for more responsible leadership roles. Volunteers like experiences that are intellectually challenging and broaden their knowledge. 8

9 SECTION 6 SPECIAL GROUPS OF VOLUNTEERS How will you support your volunteers who are in various stages in their careers? Suggestions for Engaging Senior Healthcare Executives For many of our chapters engaging senior-level healthcare executives is a challenge. They are usually interested in serving their local chapter but because of their busy schedules, they need defined and time-limited roles to play. Senior-level healthcare executives also express concerns about events where they may be openly exposed to job seekers and suppliers. Many C-suite executives are seeking opportunities where they can network with professionals at the same level. Here are additional tips for engaging senior-level healthcare executives: 1. Be respectful of their time. 2. Consider who would be the best person to approach them in most cases it would be a colleague or another C-suite affiliate. 3. Ask them early they are more likely to commit if they are given advance notice. 4. Seek their advice. Ask them if they would like to serve a role in the chapter and in what capacity. 5. Understand that senior-level leaders do not want to be pitched to constantly. Find ways to limit the intrusive sales tactics by suppliers or job seekers. 6. Recognize that market competition exists. Some chapters will host an annual CEO round table. Knowing that their competitors are making an appearance may encourage these executives to also participate. Conversely, few CEOs will want to share their marketplace strategies with their competitors. Suggestions for volunteer roles that senior level healthcare executives can play: 1. Speakers There are several Category I (ACHE education) panel discussion templates that require senior-level healthcare executives to serve as panelists. If you have new CEOs in your area consider having them speak and share their thoughts on leadership or upcoming challenges. 2. Mentors Senior-level healthcare executives may not be interested in a longer mentorship opportunity of six months or more, but they may readily say yes to a one-day shadowing experience. 9

10 3. Nominating committee members In many cases, your Regent is serving on the nominating committee but this role also works well for other C-suite affiliates. 4. Strategic Planning Session An experienced healthcare executive could serve as a facilitator for your planning session or represent the needs and views of other seasoned executives 5. Writers A few chapters have asked seasoned healthcare executives to host a column in their newsletters. An easy alternative is to interview them. 6. Hosts of an upcoming event Do they work at a new hospital or did it just build a new women s center? This may be the perfect opportunity to host an event at their hospital complete with a tour. Suggestions for Engaging Younger Members Before you seek out younger volunteers, review how your chapter encourages younger members to participate. For example, do you offer educational or networking programs geared specifically to them? (Topics might include Careers in Healthcare Consulting or Career Positioning. ) Do you offer services such as resume review or speed networking? Could your chapter offer a scholarship toward Congress registration? Some chapters are developing sub-committees within their membership committees that develop programming for younger members. These subcommittees are composed of members under 40 years old and they plan out-of-the-box events like wine tastings and pub crawls, but they also conduct programs on networking effectively. The more programs specifically geared toward student and early career healthcare executives are offered the more likely they will see tangible benefits and want to volunteer. Here are additional tips for engaging young affiliates: 1. Welcome your younger members. Give them a chance to participate right away and listen and encourage their ideas. 2. Give them opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Running a meeting or introducing a speaker are skills that may help them move up in their careers. 3. Encourage them to rise to leadership positions within your chapter. Check to see if your chapter has a subtle message of paying your dues before assuming leadership roles. 4. Make wise use of technology such as shareware, electronic invitations and social media to communicate and move committee work forward. 5. Team a new younger volunteer with an experienced one. Both should find benefits of this arrangement and learn from each other. 6. Designate a board position for a student representative from an area school. 10