Volunteer Support and Supervision
Providing support and supervision to your volunteers is key to the ongoing success of your volunteer programme. Ideally each volunteer should have a named supervisor. They should have easy access to this person so preferably it will be someone they work with on a regular basis. The supervisor is the person with responsibility for assigning tasks to the volunteer, providing guidance on a day-to-day basis and providing official support and supervision meetings. Remember, support is about the person while supervision is about the task. Any meeting should focus on both these aspects: 1) Support which is defined as “The interest, understanding and care which is provided for volunteers, which keeps them going all the time and additionally in times of crisis and enables them to satisfy their needs and those of the organisation.” 2) Supervision which is defined as “A way of monitoring a volunteer’s performance to help them benefit from their placement, to make sure they are carrying out tasks appropriately, encourage problem solving and provide guidance.”*
In addition, the volunteer should be aware of whom to talk to if they have a grievance with their immediate supervisor.
*Volunteer Development Agency Northern Ireland, (2001), As Good As They Give, Workbook Three, Managing and Motivating Volunteers, p.13