How to recognise and reward your inclusive cycling volunteers

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Daily Methods of recognition

  • Smile at them.
  • Ask their opinion.
  • Provide volunteer hours certificates.
  • Send thank you emails, notes, and cards.
  • Show interest in their personal hobbies and lifestyle.
  • Tell senior staff / volunteers about their achievements.
  • Recognise positive team behaviours (e.g., wearing volunteer t-shirts)
  • Provide expenses for travel and lunch for longer periods of volunteering.
  • Tell them and the volunteer team that they did a great job, it improves team spirit and unity.
  • Say “Thank You” at the end of their volunteer activity - Make it timely and say what you are thanking them for.

Intermediate means of recognition

  • Invite volunteers to team lunches and meals.
  • Contact them on a regular basis for a health and wellbeing chat.
  • Send a letter or thanks to the volunteer(s) from the trustees or chief executive.
  • Provide representation opportunities for the volunteer at events and conferences.
  • Write about the volunteer in your newsletter, website, blogs, or social media articles.
  • Present feedback from participants about the volunteer, volunteer team and cycling activity.

As a leader of volunteers, spend your time getting to know your volunteers motivations for volunteering and how would like to be recognised, a one recognition method to meet all approach will not work when supporting teams of volunteers.

Major means of recognition

  • Provide volunteering hours recognition certificates.
  • Interview or write about the volunteer or volunteer team achievements.
  • Organise a volunteer recognition ceremony with your Mayor and Mayoress.
  • Purchase equipment for the cycling centre to make sessions easier and more fun for volunteers.
  • Volunteers recognised in / by the local media and social media (e.g., article about the volunteer and volunteer team achievements)
  • Provide the volunteer with additional responsibilities to progress and develop.
  • Nominate volunteers for local, regional, and national volunteer awards.
  • Have a celebration in the honour of the volunteer or volunteer team. (E.g., End of year party, group bike ride, virtual social evening, or picnic in the park

Rules of recognition

  1. Give recognition.
  2. Give it frequently.
  3. Use a variety of methods.
  4. Give it honestly.
  5. Recognise the person, not the task that they delivered.
  6. Make it appropriate to the achievement.
  7. Be consistent and timely.
  8. Make it personal to that person.

By Tom Glynn, National Volunteer Coordinator and Sue Coupland (Warrington Wheels For All, Dave Overton (Marlow Wheels For All) and Chris Fisher (Kendal Wheels For All)

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