Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Is it unreasonable to expect volunteers to act professionally even though they're not getting paid?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) February 21st, 2010

Does not getting paid for a position mean you don’t have to try as hard as you would if you were paid?

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12 Answers

theichibun's avatar

Obviously you’re having a problem with volunteers. What are you expecting them to do? Are there other people who are getting paid for the same thing either in your organization or elsewhere? Are you setting unrealistic expectations? After all, you’re getting free work out of these people. You’re not really in a position to tell them to work harder unless there’s a waiting list of people who would like to volunteer.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

How about showing up on time or letting someone know if they’re not coming?

LunaChick's avatar

I need more information, before I can accurately answer this question. What type of volunteer? How old are they? Is it “mandatory” volunteering? Mandatory volunteering is not volunteering at all, it’s forced community service, so I can see why some people wouldn’t take it seriously, especially teens.

poisonedantidote's avatar

is it unreasonable to expect it? yes. however its just as unreasonable to expect to be able to show up and not do what you signed up for.

if its community service then i side with the “volunteers”. if its actual real charity work then get working or go the hell home, we need real volunteers not people who want to appear kind and sensitive to impress girls.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The volunteers have to feel that they are doing something special. If they are not interested then you will only get uninterested workers.
What is the penalty for not showing up? Nothing? Then you can expect no shows.

Fuchsia's avatar

No, no matter what you do, you should always give it 100% effort. Now if you have people in a situation where they were forced to volunteer for extra credit or community service in lieu of doing time, then the team leader should probably make an extra effort to get them excited about what they’re doing, because it may be unreasonable to expect people in these situations to be professional.

Kraigmo's avatar

Once on a job, a volunteer should work hard as if he’s being paid.
The only real difference is time commitment. Employees have to be there every day. Volunteers can come or go as they please. But they should stick to commitments and work hard while volunteering.

Bad volunteers tend to be bad employees, anyway.

The worst workers/volunteers of all are the socializers. The people who like to pull a chair up, face you, then begin a longwinded personal anecedote about something stupid in their lives, grinding all the day’s progress to a pointless, temporary halt.

candide's avatar

no, they volunteered for the job, they should be prepared to do it properly or not at all

nicobanks's avatar

I don’t think it’s unreasonable, no. This sounds like a communication break-down to me. If people aren’t told explicitly what’s expected of them (even when it seems obvious to some), they won’t fulfil those expectations. Lazy or distracted managers do not good employees make.

shilolo's avatar

Although the question is vague, I believe that my answer would be that unpaid volunteers often are equally if not more professional than those getting paid. If you are getting paid, you could easily write off behaviors as “It’s just a job…” But, if you volunteer, you are clearly motivated by something to volunteer for said project. That internal motivation is typically stronger than the external job related motivations.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, I don’t find that unreasonable. People aren’t very responsible though, paid or not.

faye's avatar

What are they volunteering to do?, I’m kind of looking.

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