Have you ever been over-recognized?
You know…you do some small task for an individual or a group, and the accolades and thank you’s you receive are far too grandiose for the service actually rendered? It’s an uncomfortable feeling.
On the contrast of course, there is also the danger of under-recognition. Equally uncomfortable.
When determining strategies to best recognize our volunteers there are two specific factors to consider- intensity and duration of service.
Intensity of Service
Intensity of service ranges from short, intermediate, to major. Short intensity would be a volunteer who judges at County Events for one day whereas major intensity might refer to a volunteer who has chaired your 4-H Association for multiple years.
Appropriate recognition for these volunteers include:
Short: (Verbal)- Thanks, good job, asking for opinion.
(Non-verbal)- Invite to coffee, provide refreshments, short thank you notes.
Intermediate:. Taking volunteers to lunch, providing letters of commendation, post graphics showing progress toward organizational goals, decorating a volunteer’s work area for their birthday, allowing them to produce work as a co-author.
Major: Tangible items (shirts, hats, nametags), send to a conference or training, better titles/more responsibilities, training other volunteers, involve in the planning process.
Duration of Service
Duration of service very simply means is the volunteer service a short-term service (4-H/Tropicana judge) or a long-term service (Club leader)? Appropriate recognition for these types of volunteers include:
Short-term: Portable/tangible item (i.e. a coffee mug), recognition within the work group (recognize at the event with others who are serving).
Long-term: Recognition by way of group symbol, earned status, greater power.
But what does it all mean?
Thus far in this series we have discussed:
* Be sincere, be specific.
* Affiliation, Achievement, and Power motivation
* Intensity of Service
* Duration of Service
Next week we’ll put all of this together to form a year-round calendar of volunteer recognition. I promise, it’s easier than you might suspect!