Manage and Oversee Work

In the most informal of organizations there is little or no supervision, and sometimes this works well. But the bigger and more complex the event, the more necessary it becomes to ensure that all staff receive appropriate supervision to ensure job performance and satisfaction. Although some good workers prefer to be left alone, many flourish only when someone more experienced or with authority is available to give instructions, solve problems, and reinforce excellence. Supervision should therefore not be viewed as unnecessary or intrusive.

If a team approach is taken, the need for supervision is not eliminated. Rather, its form changes.

More emphasis is placed on consensus-building and constant improvement through mutual criticism and reinforcement. But someone must still make difficult decisions and take responsibility for team actions.

Conflict Resolution – When interpersonal conflicts occur, the manager has a number of choices, which are

  • denial (refuse to acknowledge a conflict exists)
  • avoidance (ignore it and hope it goes away; give the problem to somebody else)
  • informal resolution
  • formal resolution

Here are key options

  • edict (the manager listens, then determines what will happen)
  • arbitration (a third party is asked to resolve the problem, either in a binding or non-binding format)
  • hearings (all affected parties state their positions, discuss possible resolutions and work out the acceptable solution; the manager can act as consensus builder or in the end make a final decision)


Motivation is the driving force that causes the change from desire to trying to achieve in life. For example, hunger is a motivation that induces a desire to eat. Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. These inner conditions such as wishes, desires and goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.

Supervisors or managers need to motivate operational level volunteers. While necessary for the smooth operation of an event, some of the tasks that operational level volunteers are required to perform may not be all that stimulating and can sometimes be unpleasant. Some practical ways of maintaining volunteer motivation and enthusiasm are to

  • understand each volunteer’s reasons for volunteering and ensure that those reasons will be met
  • provide an orientation to the organisation staging an event and to the event itself
  • ensure that each volunteer receives uniform and food/drink vouchers where appropriate
  • encourage teamwork and a sense of being part of a bigger picture
  • be enthusiastic and encourage achievements at individual and work unit (team) level
  • be supportive and empathetic when volunteers have genuine concerns
  • ensure event volunteers are trained to do their job
  • ensure that sufficient volunteers are rostered to enable jobs to be rotated and to allow volunteers to take adequate meal and rest breaks
  • rotate event volunteers between laborious or unpleasant tasks
  • ensure that event volunteers have a space allocated which is secure (for their personal belongings) and separate from public areas
  • accentuate individual volunteer’s strengths as well accepting their limitations in a non-judgemental manner maintain a sense of humour.

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