It is important that the range of volunteer management policies reflect an overall organisational philosophy regarding volunteers and their role in the organisations. This may be reflected in a broad policy statement such as what is suggested by the Australian Sports Commission: ASC Volunteer Management Policy Pg 14.
What are policies?
Organisations need to communicate their values and philosophies, as well as communicating to stakeholders what to do or not to do. In general, policies outline to people what to do while procedures tell people how to do it. Put simply however, any decision made by a sport and recreation organisation is actually ‘policy’.
Sport and recreation organisations should consider the potential impacts of policy on its stakeholders. There are three ways in which policy affects behaviour in organisations:
- Enabling behaviour to occur that would be difficult without policy (eg adopting a rule that sets out the hours and days of operation of a sport and recreation facility).
- Regulating behaviour into routine matters (eg standardising procedures for receipt of cash). This allows the organisation to concentrate more on major issues and reduces the need for repetitive decision making in areas that can be delegated.
- Inhibiting behaviour that might be widespread without policy (eg adopting hours and days of operation restricts the use of the facility out of hours).
Those responsible for policy development also need to be aware that a policy which enables certain kinds of behaviour, may inhibit other forms of behaviour, eg the use of suspensions and fines that might be imposed for foul play, may impact on when a player can be selected for a representative team.
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