Whether a big market or a small market, every volunteer manager can feel overwhelmed at times. There may be too many volunteers or a lack of volunteers. There may be too much responsibility for one person, or too many jobs for one person and not enough time to finish the jobs. Whatever the issue, volunteer administrators are motivated by their various missions to provide services and to help others.
Volunteer management is all about the most effective and efficient use of resources in order to achieve the organization’s goals and mission.There are some ways volunteer administrators can decrease the feeling of being overwhelmed, and increase productivity and efficiency.
One of the most important things administrators should keep in mind is time management. That seems like common sense, but many managers overlook it when things get overwhelming. Simple tasks like checking email, project status updates, and organization social media can wait. People often waste the most time from switching from task to task. Thus “mini-tasking” opposed to “multi-tasking” may be the better option. Research suggests it’s more time efficient to stick with one task until it’s completed then move onto the next.
Volunteers aren’t a Burden. Volunteers are actually a means of getting things accomplished. Each volunteer brings something new to the table with wide varieties of knowledge and experience. Volunteers can actually help the organization achieve more in a shorter amount of time if they are allowed. Volunteers allow the organization to do extra things, but only if the organization and administration is willing to see them as an asset at all times, rather than as a hindrance in overwhelming times.
Success starts with the administrator. Volunteer administrators are a key role for nonprofits. If they are burnt out or unmotivated, the volunteers will be too. Many nonprofit experts suggest administrators take frequent breaks and share their responsibility with volunteers. If there’s a job a volunteer can do, filter the responsibility down to help accomplish everything that needs to be done. The administrators must have the right attitude, if the volunteers are expected to have the right attitude.
These three simple, common sense steps can help nonprofit organizations improve morale and efficiency. Taking a short break, sharing responsibility, and a good attitude can increase the overall performance of your organization.