Step 1 of 1
1-2 Months
post arrival

First Month Integration and Engagement

You should be feeling more comfortable by now and ready to take on more responsibility -  show eagerness to demonstrate your ability to deliver on assigned goals. Continue introducing yourself to and building rapport with colleagues and peers across all levels to better understand the organization culture. You should feel well introduced to the system and integrated as part of the team.

Here are some suggestions on how to advance your integration and engagement at the workplace during the first months including points to discuss with your supervisor at the end of the first month.

Attend recurring one-on-one meetings with your supervisor to discuss your deliverables and progress.

Request for informal (and formal) feedback on your performance to date, your strengths, areas of improvement, and actions to address skill-gaps.

Discuss how you are fitting in or having difficulty in understanding your role and what can be done to resolve it.

Request support and guidance from supervisor and colleagues on tasks that are new and/or challenging.

Ask questions, observe, and listen to learn job-specific processes and desirable behaviours from supervisor and other staff.

If possible, request your supervisor to “shadow” her/him at meetings and other relevant events to get exposure to others and learn more about the department and organization.

Familiarize yourself with the Host Entity’s strategic plans, as well as key initiatives and developments in your area.

Understand the goal setting and volunteer performance appraisal process:
  • Also consult the Host Entity on their performance evaluation process, criteria and evaluation form (if different) that will be used to evaluate performance.

Discuss and acknowledge your contributions and achievements thus far.

Learn about conflict resolution mechanisms in place and what to do if you have a conflict with another personnel/stakeholder.

Share insights, ideas, and feedback to transfer knowledge to the workplace.

Tip: Seize opportunities to share ideas. The longer you wait, the faster you will forget transferable knowledge and skills from previous assignment.

Visit Mental Health Matters - A Healthy Workforce for a Better World to improve your health and wellbeing.

Tip: Prioritizing your well-being is vital to learning, working and overcoming challenges effectively. Discuss work-life balance initiatives with your Host Entity.

Develop your schedule of activities for the future, including:
  • Key deliverables and priorities - What is most important to the Host Entity
  • Key resource persons and stakeholders
  • Access to systems, tools, and resources.
  • Foreseeable challenges you may encounter and how to overcome them.

Create a learning plan by:
  • Referring to your work-plan and professional goals.
  • Working backwards from your goals and create a skills acquisition list (learning needs).
  • Identifying the benefits to yourself and the workplace.
  • Identifying potential opportunities for Host Entity specific training and learning including face-to-face training, online platforms, job-shadowing, coaching, mentoring and peer learning.
  • Making use of UNV learning programmes to identify and complete relevant eCourses.
  • Discussing how to apply acquired knowledge and skills to work.

Share and solicit experiences and information on thematic areas with peers on a regular basis to understand different perspectives.

Use the Volunteer Reflection Toolkit activities to understand and document your experience, learning by doing, and interactions in order to recognize and further develop your acquired skills.

Make use of the Volunteer Reporting Application (VRA) regularly to record and report your contributions in terms of volunteer results, beneficiaries, added value, and trigger call for action on opportunities.

Tip: By nature, learning by doing and through day-to-day experience is tacit (silent). You should make a conscious effort to regularly reflect on your experiences to make learning tangible and explicit. This process helps to retain, apply and foster new skills and competencies, thereby contributing to your performance, and personal and professional development.

Any additional questions you might have.