A New Volunteer Training Strategy

Do you have a hard time getting your volunteers to a "training event?"  Do you spend major time and resources just to have a small percentage attend?

Let's face it.  We live in a crazy, busy world.  People's lives are overflowing and many times they don't have the margin to attend a training event...even if they want to.

So what do you do?  Continue doing the same old same old?  With the same results?  Maybe it's time to try something new.

This year we shifted to a new strategy because we faced these same issues.  Here is our new strategy for initial and ongoing volunteer training.  It's been very successful so far.
  • Initial training
    •  All new volunteers go through an orientation and then 3-4 weeks of hands-on training in the classroom.
  • Monthly motivational video 
    • We shoot a 2-3 minute, big picture, why we do what we do, rally the troops, encouraging video.  
    • Can be done with the web cam on your computer.  
    • We stick it on Vimeo or Youtube, and then email the link to all our volunteers.  
    • We email it out the first of the month.
    • Added bonus:  It's free!
  • Monthly training video
    • We shoot a 4-5 minute, training video that gives specific, practical training in an area of Children's Ministry. (again - a webcam or simple camera can be used)
    • We stick it on Vimeo or Youtube and then email the link to all our volunteers.  We send it out the third week of the month. (again - free!)
    • That weekend, we meet with our volunteers for 10-15 minutes before or after the service and discuss the training video they watched.  These meetings are held in invidvidual areas such as nursery, preschool, elementary, etc.  
    • The key for us is offering these options at a time when they are already at church instead of asking them to come back.
    • You can also get a free blog site and put all your videos in one place so volunteers have access to archived training.  We have ours at www.GodsKidsTeam.com, if you'd like to see an example.
What are you currently doing for volunteer training?  What's working?  What's not working?  What other new strategies do you suggest?  Share your ideas and thoughts with us in the comment section below.