Imagine if you can for a moment that you are looking for a job.
Imagine you call an organisation and ask if there are any such jobs going at the moment.
The person answering the phone is not too sure if they have positions and also isn’t sure who to pass the call onto.
So you listen to dreary unimaginative music while you are placed on hold.
Until someone with a real voice talks to you and tells you they will send you an application kit and information.
Imagine waiting for weeks for mentioned kit. Nothing arrives and you decide to ring again though your patience is tested. You do like the organisation after all and you would like to be part of it.
You ring again. You get the pleasure of listening to the same music as someone at the organisation scrambles to see if there are vacancies for your preferred role.
Someone offers to send you out an application kit and information. You inform them that this happened weeks ago. So you are booked in for an interview.
Imagine if on arrival the “Interview” consists of meeting someone who appears much stressed and tells you to start on Monday after a five minute conversation.
Imagine said person telling you that you must participate for at least a year as training costs too much and can’t be wasted on people who don’t “commit’! (and you wonder if you must sign a contract or some legally binding document!)
Cautiously optimistic you show up on Monday.
Imagine not being provided with any orientation to your role and to your organisation. Someone, somewhere gives you a task to do. After an hour you are not sure what to do. You ask around and soon feel that you might be getting in the way.
You soon find that your “manager” is managing other areas in the organisation.
You notice that you don’t get much thanks or recognition for what you do. Imagine someone looking at your ID badge and saying “Oh..You are just a (Whatever job title you may have)”
Imagine staying away from your job for a few days to see if anyone notices. And no one does!
Imagine quitting your job and walking out the door without a soul in the organisation asking you why you are leaving.
Doesn’t sound like a very good organisation to work for does it?
Imagine that the role you had was a volunteer position.
Imagine if the person who had experienced this was a first time volunteer. They could be lost forever to volunteering. They could talk to their friends and family about their bad experience and influence others about volunteering.
Generally organisations do not treat their employees in such a manner. They employ HR Professionals, they abide by standards, they rely on accreditation and the processes involved. Many manage a workforce and seek out the best and most innovative ways to do so. They value their staff and leaders.
Why should it be any different for volunteers?
They deserve the best systems, Resources, management, orientation, training and leadership that the organisation can muster! They deserve no less.
Imagine organisations that engage volunteers recognising this.
Imagine Government supporting peak bodies to help facilitate this
Imagine society demanding this.