Retain VolunteersVolunteers are the key to making cricket happen, keeping them is vital.
Volunteers are the heartbeat of recreational cricket and retaining them is vital.
Volunteers are more likely to continue if they feel valued and their experience is enjoyable and rewarding.
Creating a positive environment, one that is supportive, appreciative and values the work their volunteers do is paramount. Not only will this culture be effective in retaining existing volunteers, it will also be conducive to the club’s recruitment of additional individuals and their willingness to step forward.
Research shows how volunteers in sport are far more likely to stop than in other sectors if they feel undervalued, unknown or they have had poor experiences. Existing volunteers who enjoy the role they do will be your club’s biggest asset to recruiting others and will help create and sustain a volunteering culture.
Ways that you can retain volunteers at your club
Establishing a positive relationship with your volunteers combined with regular communication and appreciation is key to retaining volunteers.
1. Communicate regularly
- Keep volunteers up to date on club activities
- Give volunteers the chance to share what they enjoy about their role and to raise any concerns
- Listen to their ideas and encourage creativity
2. Get volunteers involved
- Involve volunteers in decision making and planning of activities
- Consider inviting them to meetings and working groups
- Ask them their opinion and to share their thoughts
3. Recognise their achievements
- A simple “thank you” goes a long way
- Let them know they’re making a difference, whatever their role
- As well as a thank you, share any member survey results, fundraising achievements
- Nominate them for community recognition awards
- Send a thank you letter
- Recognition at volunteer awards evenings, through volunteer of the week/month awards and shout-outs on club social media channels
4. Make volunteering enjoyable
- Volunteers want their time to be spent doing something they enjoy
- Bring volunteers within your club together so they become connected and have the opportunity to work together as a team
- Organise volunteer socials – allow the team to get to know each other better, share experiences and feel supported
5. Continued Development
- Provide volunteers with the opportunity to enrol on courses that will further their knowledge in their given area and think about how the club can contribute to any costs.
- Support volunteers to run effective meetings
- Introduce a mentoring scheme that gives volunteers the responsibility of support upcoming volunteers.
Gareth Dawson / Workforce Development Officer
Gareth joined the GCB in 2016 and progressed into his current role as Workforce Development Officer in 2021. His main roles are being the main point of contact for the ECB on all Coach Development matters and grow the number of active coaches across the County of Gloucestershire.
Additionally, he will support the Gloucestershire Association of Cricket Officials (GACO) in developing an Officials Strategy that aims to grow the number of officials across the game. Increase the number of courses that are available to potential officials and work with GACO to transition volunteers from ‘course takers’ to ‘standing officials’.
Support the Gloucestershire Grounds Association in developing a programme of activity that supports ground staff across each year. Coordinate and manage both national and local Reward and Recognition events for all groups of volunteers. On top of practical delivery in schools, he will work with teachers to enhance their cricket delivery and work with universities/colleges to provide opportunities for students to gain qualifications and coaching experience.
Gareth is a Liverpool FC fan, a big follower of cricket around the world and plays his cricket at Hatherley & Reddings.