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There are many things that can hamper the building of an effective volunteer training program such as; the manner, flow, and clarity in which the content is delivered; not taking into consideration the audience of volunteers being trained; content that does not relate to the tasks and requirements necessary for the success of the program; the setting and environment in which the training is taking place; and not taking into consideration the different learning styles of the volunteers. Training is necessary to build a learning organization in order to; achieve superior performance; provide and constantly work to improve quality services, build competitive advantages, and manage change (Connors, 2011). In order to design a meaningful program, it is important to consider; what are the necessary skills needed by the volunteers to effectively perform their assignments; what knowledge should the training provider, and which types of learning styles should be implemented in the training? When creating a program, it is important to remember the three types of learners; Audio learners, visual learners, and experimental learners. Age and life experiences can affect the way the content received and understood by volunteers, and will influence how much of the information that would be retained. It can be helpful to break up the training time into segments and provide breaks; have the content of the training flow with a beginning, middle and end; and allow adequate time for debriefing so that volunteers are able to solidify the knowledge they have gained in training (Conners, 2011). An effective training program will increase organizational success.

I have attended some training programs in my current position that I have found very effective. Many of our training are all-day training from 9 am-4 pm, and originally my first thought was how long and boring the day would be. I was honestly presently surprised when beginning training because our trainer uses different techniques than I have previously experienced. When we enter the room, she usually has coffee, tea, and snacks prepared for us. She decorates each table with stress balls, and colorful stress-relieving toys because she understands that this may improve the ability to focus. For some. She begins the training by telling us about herself and asking us to introduce ourselves to increase the comfort level of the room. She then explains what the day will entail, what times we will stop for breaks and lunch, and why it is important for us to have knowledge of the information that is being presented and how it will improve our work performance. Training is often very interactive, and everyone is encouraged to asked lots of questions, and share any personal experiences that relate to the training content. I also love that our trainer is very experienced in the field, shares stories of her experiences and mistakes that she has made in the past, and frequently ask if there is anything we need clarification on before advancing to another subject. Our trainer also implements methods that address all the different learning styles by; giving brief and informative lectures; showing videos and photos that relate to the topic, and having hands-on interactive exercises that allow us to learn through experience. I found the training to be fun, beneficial, engaging, and they provide an effective learning experience.


Connors, T. D. (2011). Wiley nonprofit law, finance, and management series: volunteer management handbook: leadership strategies for success (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN-13: 9780470604533.