Volunteer Management: Follow-up

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Here is a list of ideas that I heard proposed or requested at the Volunteer Management Training on Tuesday 3.6.12. Please feel free to add to it if you captured any proposals or requests that I missed when writing these down.

  • Fill in the holes in our current volunteer discipline policy, namely:
    • Staff roles in decision-making on how to implement the policy
    • Which situations warrant which levels of interference and/or sanctions
    • Which staff persons should be implementing each of these levels
    • Ensuring those staff persons get the support they need in the moment
  • Build a training for all existing and new staff members or how to follow this procedure, de-escalate and get backup when needed, or get a problem visitor to leave if no backup can be found, or if leaving to find someone feels unsafe.
  • See where this training might need to be imparted to volunteer instructors (or should we be expecting them to get involved in volunteer discipline at all? If not, they shouldn't be left alone in charge of areas for extended periods of time.)
  • Develop a policy on what information gets written in volunteer profile notes, who can see them, and train/vet Front Desk staff and interns to ensure our confidence in them having access to sensitive information. Possible fixes to achieve this:
    • Nested levels of notes in volunteer profiles so certain parties like FD staff can access the info they need to schedule volunteers appropriately.
    • Build in a pop-up warning when volunteers with records of discipline are getting scheduled, so the FD staff will know to read their profile notes before assigning them.
    • Look into a better system for calling for help (current systems like Toaster Oven, inadequate PA coverage, "get a collective member" aren't always effective and don't espouse universal feelings of safety in the workplace.) This may need to be tailored to each individual work area's geography, typical demographics and "usual suspect" issues that come up.