Volunteers: Millennials Might Be Your Match

This week we look at how Millennials might be the perfect new additions to your team. We also take a look at refocusing and retaining the passion of past volunteers/board members who still want a foot in the door.

Millennials Might Be Your Match

Finding volunteers can be a daunting and difficult task at times. Millennials will be 50% of our workforce by 2020 so It’s no wonder solving the conundrum of attracting and retaining millennials is top of mind for so many employers and volunteer seekers.

Millenials have a laundry list of stereotypes for why they may not be the strongest workforce so some associations may be avoiding taking the plunge. Millennials usually strive for instant gratification and success so some may struggle in the first few years in the workforce. Leaving college with a large amount of debt and working a low paying entry-level job is not something many millennials can stomach, so they are looking for something besides money, they are looking for something to be passionate about.

Millennials + Work” [PDF]

According to respondents of a survey, “Millennials + Work” [PDF], produced by the strategy firm Department26,  44 percent of millennials say their top priority in a new job is “being in a role they’re passionate about,” edging out “salary” at 42 percent. Millennials are the generation that measures wealth in experiences rather than money itself.

Matching a millennial with a volunteer position they’re passionate about can a perfect fit! Many millennials enter a position in the mindset of it being “short-term”, so they’re either looking to volunteer for a couple years or strive for advancement opportunities. Managing millennials expectations right off the bat can help with retention rates and employee/volunteer satisfaction.

Retain and Refocus Legendary Volunteers

Once a long-standing or senior volunteers term has ended they usually try to maintain a large amount of influence and power within the organization. So instead of learning how to “let go” of these volunteers we just need to refocus and retain their passion.

Jeffrey Cufaude talks about how to explore leveraging and redirecting in his article, “Don’t Cut Off the Caring“.  How can we now leverage and redirect the talent, knowledge, caring, and commitment of individuals no longer holding significant leadership positions in our organization? 

These legendary volunteers power may diminish over time, but just like legends of other areas, they can become valued coaches, mentors, and commentators. Organizations should focus on how to retain the best of what these individuals can bring to their community. It yields a much richer and more respectful conversation.


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