7 Great Ways to Express Your Appreciation at Your Organisation
Here are seven ways to show your appreciation to volunteers. Why don't you go ahead and make their day?
Praise something volunteers have done well. Identify the specific actions that you found admirable. This praise feels sincere since you took the time to spell out details—not just, "You did a good job." You also emphasise the actions that you'd like to see the person do more often and everybody benefits when people experience clear direction.
Say thank you. Show your appreciation for their hard work and contributions. And, don't forget to say please often as well. Social niceties do belong at your organisation. A more gracious, polite, civilised workplace is appreciated by all.
Ask volunteers about their important interests. Questions and acknowledgments about their family, their hobby, their weekend or a special event they attended are always welcome. Your genuine interest—as opposed to being nosey—causes people to feel valued and cared about. Demonstrate this interest regularly by asking questions such as, "How did Jill's tournament turn out this weekend?" It's about knowing your team!
Offer volunteers flexible scheduling if feasible. If work coverage is critical, post a calendar so people can balance their time off with that of their co-volunteers. (Note that a flexible work schedule is a benefit that volunteers desire all of the time.)
Present a personalised gift. Know your volunteer’s interests well enough to present a small gift occasionally. An appreciated gift and the gesture of providing it will light up their day. A greeting card serves the same purpose. You can give a card for no reason at all, to celebrate a special day such as a birthday, or to offer sympathy when someone is ill or experiences a family death.
Almost everyone appreciates food. Home baking is always appreciated. You could get your team to take turns in bringing in something delicious. Or take your team to lunch for a birthday, a special occasion or for no reason at all. Or, order pizza or lunch from a caterer like Eat My Lunch or a store that delivers. Schedule a brunch for a team that has completed a project, been involved in an event, or has done something outside their usual contribution. And remember home baking!
Create a fun tradition for special times of the year. National Volunteer Week [third week in June], International Managers/Leaders of Volunteers Day [November 5], UN International Volunteer Day [December 5] … even Student Volunteer Week [first week in May]. All good opportunities to show appreciation and raise awareness of the volunteering that supports your organisation.
Mad Monday, Treat Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday or Freaky Friday ... any excuse to show your appreciation will be appreciated if matched to the person receiving! Appreciation is never out-of-place. In fact, in many organisations, it's often a scarce commodity. Make your workplace the exception. Use every opportunity to demonstrate your gratitude and appreciation to volunteers!
Adapted from Balance