6 Tips to Recognize Back to School Student Workers or Volunteers

August 24, 2011

As days become shorter and the air crisper, nature is telling us back to school is around the corner. My first day back to college is less than a week away. Yikes! Back to school for me means: my last year of classes, running my advertising club, volunteering for a professor, and of course enjoying my friends. 



Last year, another student and I volunteered to help a professor put on an advertising competition in Grand Rapids (where Baudville's corporate headquarters is located). Throughout the entire experience, the three of us went out for coffee once a week to meet and talk about what had been accomplished, what needed to be fulfilled, and then how our lives were going. He took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us, see how we were doing, and get to know us a little better. 


On top of the weekly coffee meetings, I received emails once or twice a week with words of encouragement to keep up the good work, and praising me for a job well done. These always brought a smile to my face. The emails motivated me to keep up the hard work, even though I was really busy. 


At the end of the year, Grand Valley State University put on a dinner party recognizing all the volunteers and workers for their efforts. This was a perfect way to end the year! I was told that I did a great job and was thanked for all my hard work. 


Recognizing your student volunteers (i.e. volunteers who are students) whether they're in high school or college doesn’t need to be super expensive or grand.  Trust me; students understand the importance of free!


So, here are six inexpensive tips for acknowledging back to school student workers or volunteers:

1.    Make sure you take time out of your schedule to get to know your student workers, because they are taking time out of their busy schedules to help you. 

2.    Acknowledge your student workers with a fun low-cost note card, pocket praise, email, or ePraise (which are our free eCards). These are great ways to let your student workers know you care.  


3.    Throw a pizza party, have a potluck picnic, bring in cookies, or just have a candy jar. Let's be serious - what student doesn’t like some type of free food! 

4.    Have a team bonding day. If your school has volleyball courts, go out and play a couple games, or get a bocce ball or cornhole game going. Do something as a team that is easily available to you.

5.    Take your student workers or volunteers out for a cup of coffee. Coffee shops are a nice relaxing area to learn more about them!

6.    For more free ideas, check out our Recognition Resource Center.

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