Retention of volunteer MOB Coaches is a topic frequently discussed during our quarterly Master Trainer conference calls. Continuous mentoring and support is essential to retaining your volunteers. It reinforces the fact that you and your organization value their contributions to the community.
You invest time and effort in training volunteers to become Coaches. So first and foremost, be sure that the volunteer will be a good fit for the role. Make sure that he or she has a clear understanding of the time commitment and responsibilities involved.
Once trained, how can you help them remain enthusiastic and committed to the program?
- Acknowledge and praise their efforts
- Assure them that they have access to you for mentoring and support
- Be a good listener
- Debrief after the MOB class - especially with new volunteers
- Establish a system of communication that works for them
- Arrange to have a substitute Coach available should illness or other scheduling conflicts arise
- Gather your Coaches together for periodic meaningful meetings
- Acknowledge them regularly: birthdays, holidays
- Host an annual recognition event
Ideas for Coach Update meetings:
- Inform coaches of your agencies' MOB activity and national program activity
- Invite a guest speaker to the meeting to discuss topics of interest (local physical activity program leader, pharmacist,Tai Chi or yoga instructor, EMS/Rescue personnel)
- Review a topic of the MOB curriculum (brainstorming basics, cognitive restructuring, how to deal with situations that arise in class, etc.)
If you have other suggestions regarding Coach retention and recognition, please share them with us via e-mail PFHA@mainehealth.org. We are fortunate to have your experience and expertise to draw upon to help make this program a success!
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