Monday, December 3, 2012

How to Get Better Feedback from Volunteers

Let's suppose you want to get meaningful feedback from your volunteers; the kind of insights that will help staff improve their performance in support of the volunteers. So you ask, "How can we improve?" In response, you often receive comments that are so vague they fail to be of much use. 

The "More? Less? Better? Different?" approach

The goal is to elicit feedback that is specific enough to be actionable. That's where the "More? Less? Better? Different?" approach comes in. It will help volunteers think about their experiences and articulate their feedback in a manner useful to staff.

Begin by asking the volunteer, "Think about a specific area that has major impact on your experience as a volunteer. Now think about what feedback you might give to staff regarding that." Next, ask the following to engage the volunteer in a dialogue.
  • Is something you want more of from staff? 
  • Is there something you want us to do less of? 
  • Is this a specific area where we can do a better job? 
  • Or is there something new or different we should be doing in support of the volunteers?"

The Bottom Line: This approach makes it easier to have a dialogue with volunteers and to probe for useful ideas. Good luck!

P.S. This approach also works with chapters.

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