Welcome to the Performance Hub
If you are a Sierra Club volunteer, you will need to create a Google Account based on your email address if you want to access the files here.

This site is intended to serve all Sierra Club volunteer leaders as a five-point framework and a set of key resources for supporting a strong, accountable volunteer structure built on clear expectations.  We define "performance" as our individual and group success at meeting and exceeding shared expectations in our work to improve the world.

  • Have you ever wondered how best to support volunteer leaders and help them to succeed in their roles?
  • Are you struggling with how to manage a volunteer who doesn't "play nice with others?"
  • Do you wonder where to turn to get training and support to understand the Sierra Club's equity, inclusion and justice values?
  • Would you like to implement a system of regular feedback for leaders in your local entity - whether an outings committee, chapter, group, or team?

If you've answered 'yes' to any of these types of questions, this is the place for you.

Pictured: Sierra Club supporters in Liberty Plaza by the Georgia State Capitol for the 2015 Clean Power Plan Rally

The Basics

We've structured this resource around a five-point process for performance. We describe each of the five pieces briefly, below. For more context, specifics and resources on each of these pieces, navigate over to the appropriate page on this site - or just click on the link in the list, below.

I. Setting Expectations

Strong performance begins with clear expectations. As an organization that seeks to create change in the world, we maintain a core set of values. Being clear both about our foundational values, and about the expectations of a specific volunteer role is the essential first step.

II. Coaching & Training 

Some people will take to values and expectations like a fish to water. Other people will have questions, or may have trouble navigating without clear guidance. Providing clear and supportive coaching and training demonstrates how we value volunteers as people who can learn and grow as a part of their experience with the Sierra Club.

III. Feedback

Structured conversations with volunteer leaders, where we share clear information about their performance, demonstrates our interest in and commitment to the shared work. It also provides opportunity for dialogue.  As leaders, feedback comes from those we lead as well as those we are accountable to.  Feedback is the opportunity check the map and see how far we have progressed to our destination. Sometimes it means changing direction, and it almost always is a chance to celebrate the progress we have made.
Different volunteers have different motivations that bring them to this work, and that keep them involved. But one thing almost everyone appreciates is being recognized for their efforts, and praised in front of their peers. Providing recognition serves both to demonstrate our appreciation to the individual, and also to raise their example up in the eyes of others.

V. Accountability

Sometimes a specific role is just not a good fit for a particular volunteer. And sometimes, a volunteer is not a good fit for an organization. In either case, it's important not to brush it under the carpet. A volunteer leader who is performing poorly and not responding well to coaching, training and feedback, will do damage - both to the organization and to their peers. Acting decisively to hold volunteer leaders accountable is one of the most challenging, and most important, responsibilities we hold.

Making this Real

This site lays out a simple framework and a wide set of resources, but every volunteer brings a rich set of knowledge, motivations and values to their work. The first step to strong performance is demonstrating respect and appreciation for what each volunteer has to offer.

So, as a leader remember that each of these steps comes alive as part of a conversation. You, as a leader, have ideas to contribute, and so does the volunteer you are working with. Don't allow this or any structure to get in the way of dialogue and finding common ground. Our shared goals are to succeed in our mission, and to support one another in that work.