Does anyone do a VOY award? If so, how do you present it? We do ours at a recognition dinner with other volunteers and recently received feedback that it was similar to the "Academy Awards" so we're looking at other options. Thank you!
We stopped giving awards about 10 years ago now. Think of it like a beauty pageant, you make one person really happy, but the rest not so much.
Everyone one smiles and offers congrats to the winner, and then start talking about it to each other...why did she win, I have more hours, I have served more years, she is the staff's pet, I hosted the fundraiser that was our biggest success and nothing. I worked my fingers to the bone wrapping presents at Christmas and all I get is sore fingers.
Also when was the last time someone younger than 45 was recognized? What message are you sending to your younger volunteers who also work full time?
Thanks Frank! Do you do any kind of recognition for individual volunteers or just all volunteers?
We acknowledge milestones the volunteers reach. For example an email goes to our staff when a volunteer reaches 100 hours of service so we can thank them for their service. Starting at 250 hours and each milestone above, the VP for Human Resources (our reporting channel) sends a personalized letter to each volunteer.
Other than that, all events are for all volunteers.
We surveyed our volunteers last fall about recognition and asked them about the Volunteer Service Champion Award and 75% of the those that responded said they thought we should continue with the award. We allow our employees throughout the facility and also our Auxiliary Board members to submit nominations. We have been doing this for about 6 years and so far it has been well received by our volunteers since we have had very deserving volunteers to receive the award. We actually had two this year (one of our pet handlers and his dog!). They received a standing ovation at our annual service awards "mix and mingle." Also as a result of the survey, we changed from our formal evening banquet to this very informal 2 hour get together and they loved it because it gave them time to visit and enjoy great food and fellowship.
We continue the Volunteer of the year award as the volunteers seem to enjoy the excitement and recognition volunteers deserve. Never had an issue of sour grapes or anything like that. Volunteer of the Year is recognized throughout the year with the help of the marketing dept. The award is announced at our recognition luncheon and the volunteer is featured in our hospital publication. The volunteer receives a monetary gift as well.
I should have mentioned that by far the majority of our volunteers are Gen Y and Z.
It is important to know your audience and what are the general likes and dislikes of the generations. For example, Gen Y is team oriented. Individual recognition is not important. They are much more focused on the team results and did the team make a difference.
Gen Z is who advertisers covet. They are the prime spending group. So when us old folks don't understand what the commercial is trying to sell, Gen Z gets it.
Our awards activities have changed as the generations have changed.