As part of our on-going Volunteer Research here at Volunteering New Zealand we recognise the growing importance regarding understanding how best to manage and retain Millennial volunteers. At times, their less conventional career progression and work preferences provide new ways of managing and new methods for how we all work.

Struggling to engage with millennial volunteers?

We shed light on this topic through Kathleen McLay’s research Engaging Millennial Volunteers: Understanding a new breed of volunteers, which can be viewed here. This research addresses the predicted rapid growth of Millennials in the workforce over the next few years and how best to manage and utilise this knowledge.

“Millennials expect varied and interesting employment experiences and rapid career progression. This attitude will challenge organisations hosting Millennial volunteers to increasingly offer episodic and project work in place of more traditional volunteer experiences”.

-McLay, Engaging Millennial Volunteers: Understanding a new breed of volunteers.

This research is important as by 2020 Millennials, those that are born from the early 1980’s to mid-1990’s, will account for over 50% of the global workforce, forcing organisations to shape up if they hope to attract the best and brightest of this generation. Millennials seek a sense of purpose, and this desire informs their decision when seeking employment experiences.

Key findings in understanding Millennial working preferences:

  • Provide Millennials with leadership development
  • Importance of coaching and mentoring
  • To view Millennial volunteers as skilled, valuable and capable, rather than an auxiliary resource
  • Provide opportunities for Millennials to use and develop their skills
  • Accommodate episodic and project volunteers.

There are some additional resources in McLay’s findings which are particularly of interest for organisations currently working with Millennials.

Useful resources included in the research:

  • Preparing for your Volunteer’s first day
  • Goals and Aspirations Plan
  • Role Design Tip Sheet
  • A guided approach plan to enable change, to help launch your volunteer program.

Research Author Bio: Kathleen McLay is a Human Resources professional and not-for-profit enthusiast. Currently completing her Masters in Human Resource Management at the University of Queensland, Kathleen is passionate about helping not-for-profit organisations apply best practice frameworks to enhance employee and volunteer engagement.

For those that have read McLay’s article, does this research resonates with your organisation?

If you are a Millennial volunteer, does this research connect with you?

We enjoy hearing your thoughts and providing a forum for discussion, so please share your answers with Sarah, our Marketing and Communications Advisor,