How to welcome new volunteers

How do you help your new volunteers settle in? From your initial phone call or email to when you meet them face-to-face, first impressions are very important.

Welcoming volunteers
 Dawn Bracken
Dawn Bracken
Volunteer Network Manager, Join In

Dawn's top tips

Join In’s Volunteer Network Manager (and London 2012 Games Maker) Dawn Bracken knows a thing or two about welcoming volunteers. Here are her top tips for making your volunteers feel welcome:

  • Say hello – be there to greet them on their first day.
  • Be friendly and upbeat – they may not know the club, so it’s important to make them feel at ease on their first visit.
  • Have an induction session – it’s a great way to introduce people to their role in the club and discuss what you both want to get out of the experience.
  • Provide a mentor and point of contact – and ensure each volunteer has regular catch-ups with your Volunteer Manager so they can give some feedback.
  • Introduce them to the rest of the club – meeting members, staff and other volunteers is a brilliant way to help new volunteers feel part of your team.
  • Share the news – mention who has joined the club in your monthly club emails, so that everyone will know who’s volunteering.
  • Could you give new volunteers a club t-shirt? It can help them look and feel part of the club.
  • Shadow support – in their first session, new volunteers may find it easiest to learn about their new role by shadowing a current volunteer.
  • Clear expectations – make sure that you and your volunteers are clear about standards expected and what you’re looking to achieve. That way everyone will benefit from the experience.