Build, Evaluate and Recognize

Volunteer Toolkit

We recognize that most volunteer units should experience the phases of team building, self - evaluation and recognition for their service and achievements by the organization.

In addition, evaluation by others helps us select and prepare new volunteer unit chairs for success.

Volunteer Unit Team Building

The majority of association work is accomplished by individuals working together in teams, so it is important to understand how individuals develop into an effective team that successfully works together to accomplish the goals and objectives of the association.

Here is a helpful discussion on team concepts, development and the responsibilities of both team leaders and team members. It also includes some tips on potential team problems.

From the book Mentoring the Stars: A Program for Volunteer Board Leaders, 2nd edition. Chapter 5, Section 1, Team Concepts.

Volunteer Unit Member Self Evaluation

Taking the time to evaluate yourself as a chairperson or member of a volunteer unit brings valuable insight into your skill as a leader and will aid in your professional development.

Here are some tools that you can download and use for evaluating yourself as a good team member and for evaluating overall team progress.

From the book Mentoring the Stars: A Program for Volunteer Board Leaders, 2nd edition. Chapter 5, Section 1, Team Concepts (Team-Evaluation-Tools).

Volunteer Unit Evaluation

Evaluating the performance of Volunteer Units is an important part of the AMSN process.

Taking the time to assess the experience and leadership of the VU helps AMSN in two ways:

  • Help AMSN improve our processes.
  • Provides feedback to help our leaders develop personally and professionally.

At the completion of a task force or annually for standing committees, we send a survey to VU members and leaders requesting their assessment of the effectiveness of the group, and whether the experience was good. Survey results are confidential and discussed only with executive board members and senior staff.

We have changed our processes based on comments and suggestions from these assessments, including evaluating the assessment process!

View: Sample of a VU Assessment Survey.

Volunteer Recognition

AMSN volunteers are recognized in a number of ways.

The president of AMSN sends each volunteer a formal letter of appointment for their professional file as well as a formal thank you at the end of their service. These letters can be used as proof of professional association involvement for your clinical ladder.

If the work of a volunteer unit is a project that is posted on the AMSN Website, the members of the volunteer unit are credited and acknowledged for their work.

Once a year, AMSN publishes a public thank you in our e-newsletter and on our website where we list all the AMSN members who have volunteered their time and talent during the year.

View the list of past & present AMSN Volunteers.

Recognition at Convention

AMSN recognizes the extra work of volunteer unit chairs with a complementary convention registration and one night hotel accommodation at the convention hotel.

Those volunteers who are able to attend the AMSN Annual Convention, will see that volunteer units and their achievements are recognized on presentation slides and by the President during several of our general sessions.

In addition, the President hosts a Leadership Summit, an invitation-only gathering of all the AMSN volunteers from the past year. It usually includes a luncheon and workshop.

This special time allows for face-to-face networking and peer recognition of volunteers. Each volunteer receives a small gift from AMSN and those volunteers who are unable to attend the convention will receive the gift later in the mail with a thank you for their service.

Listen to the workshop from the Leadership Summit last year.

Selecting the Next Chairperson

Volunteer unit (VU) chairpersons serve for a term of two years. Sometimes they will serve for an additional one or two year term. A good committee chairperson will start looking for and grooming their successor at least one year prior to leaving. This allows for an orderly and successful transition.

For AMSN committees, the chairperson, board liaison and staff liaison should discuss and evaluate potential successors to the current chairperson. The first volunteers that should be considered are those who are currently members of the committee that show leadership skills like organization, timeliness, and good communication.

When the chair and liaisons agree on who might be the best choice, the board liaison will also discuss the potential future appointment with the President of AMSN, as this is ultimately who appoints VU chairs. If the president is in agreement, the board liaison will contact the proposed chair to determine if the candidate is interested and able to take on the additional responsibility.

If the candidate is interested, the chair, board liaison and staff liaison will start to include the proposed new chair in some of the additional planning communications and reports. Depending on the work of the committee, the chair might assign additional tasks to the proposed new chair, allowing for mentoring through the year.  At the end of the current chairperson’s term, the President of AMSN will officially appoint the next chairperson.

This purposeful succession planning and preparation allows time for acquiring knowledge and helps ensure continuity and a successful transition to the new chair. 

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