Do You Train Your Volunteers To Stay….?


In the last few blogs we have talked about developing a segmentation strategy for your volunteers. Providing value to volunteers, making it fun and creating orientation packages that are interactive are but some of the strategies you can use.

One of the hallmarks of most organizations is volunteer training. In the past volunteer training was a homogenous, several days in a classroom kind of thing. However, as we have seen, we cannot treat our volunteers as a homogenous unit. People are different. They have different wants and desires. The same needs to happen for training.

Training volunteers of different ages effectively requires a multifaceted approach that caters to the diverse learning styles and preferences that can come with age differences. Here are some strategies to consider:

Implementation Steps:

  1. Assess Learning Styles: At the outset, assess the preferred learning styles of your volunteers through surveys or quizzes.
  2. Design Content Accordingly: Tailor each training module to cater to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners with appropriate materials and activities.
  3. Flexible Delivery Options: Offer options for volunteers to engage with the training material in the format they find most effective.
  4. Feedback and Adaptation: Regularly solicit feedback on the effectiveness of the training materials for different learning styles and adapt as necessary.

This approach ensures that volunteer training programs are inclusive, engaging, and effective for individuals regardless of their preferred learning style, ultimately fostering a more prepared and cohesive volunteer team.

1. Use a Blended Learning Approach

  • Incorporate various teaching methods such as workshops, online training modules, and hands-on practice to cater to different learning preferences.
  • Digital literacy: Provide basic digital skills training for older volunteers who may not be as comfortable with technology.

2. Foster a Mentoring Environment

  • Encourage intergenerational mentoring by pairing younger and older volunteers. This can facilitate knowledge exchange and foster a sense of community.
  • Use peer-to-peer learning opportunities to allow volunteers to learn from each other’s experiences and skills.

3. Customize Training Content

  • Ensure that the training content is relevant and engaging for all age groups. Avoid jargon or references that might be familiar to only a specific age group.
  • Include examples and case studies that resonate with diverse life experiences.

4. Flexible Learning Pace

  • Recognize that learning paces can vary. Allow volunteers to progress through training modules at their own pace, especially when using online platforms.
  • Offer additional support or resources for those who may need more time to grasp new concepts.

5. Encourage Feedback and Adapt

  • Regularly solicit feedback from your volunteers about the training process to identify areas for improvement.
  • Be prepared to adapt your training methods based on feedback and the evolving needs of your volunteer group.

6. Accessibility and Inclusivity

  • Ensure all training materials and sessions are accessible to volunteers of all ages, including considerations for visual or auditory impairments.
  • Use clear, concise language and provide materials in various formats (e.g., printed, digital, audio).

7. Highlight the Value of Diverse Perspectives

  • During training, emphasize the benefits of having volunteers from various age groups. Highlight how different perspectives enhance problem-solving and creativity.

8. Create an Inclusive Culture

  • Develop a culture that values and respects diversity. Make sure all volunteers feel welcome, respected, and valued regardless of their age, background, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

So what needs to be included in our training programs? We will discuss that tomorrow!!!