Sunday, June 9, 2013

OOIE Polls Volunteer Advocates in First-Ever Satisfaction Study

Late last year, the OOIE initiated a comprehensive satisfaction study among its approximately 200 volunteer advocates. This survey was critical to OOIE’s continuous improvement process and provided a formal way for volunteers to provide their feedback and suggestions to the Volunteer Advocate Program.  The survey was developed by the OOIE State Coordinator with input from the Regional Volunteer Coordinators.  Communications were put forth in advance of the survey distribution to notify the volunteers  and to encourage their participation.  The survey was anonymous and all results were analyzed by an independent research firm.

Here is what the Office of the Ombudsman learned from our Volunteer Advocates: The volunteers were asked about their employment status and length of time with the program.   Almost 55% of our advocates have been with the program for more than four years, more than 67% are retired and about 24% work full
or part time.

Training and Professional Development
The initial section of the survey gathered feedback on the support given to the Volunteer Advocates in the form of orientation for new volunteers, ongoing training opportunities and preferences for future training and development programs.  The comment section provided great insight into the training needs of the volunteer and, with the exception of the interest in webinar-based trainings, the volunteers largely agree with the quality of trainings.

Communication and Support
 Nine questions were included to evaluate the communication and support between the volunteers and OOIE staff.  On a scale of 1 through 5 (1= strongly disagree; 5= strongly agree), the average ratings range from a low of 3.91 (facility staff understanding the role of the volunteer advocate) to a high of 4.59 for support received from the program’s regional coordinators.  The OOIE was encouraged to see a 4.46 rating in response to the question:  I am clear on my roles and responsibilities as a volunteer advocate.

Overall Satisfaction
The final ratings on the survey gathered feedback on “big picture” items such as the volunteer’s overall
satisfaction, passion toward the work and likelihood of recommending others to serve as an OOIE Volunteer Advocate.

The OOIE has never surveyed our volunteers in this way before.  Based on this survey, it appears that the Volunteer Advocates are highly satisfied with their experience.  They are very passionate about their work and are likely to recommend the volunteer work to others.  We will use these results to improve support for our volunteers and will inform of future trainings as we enhance the quality of life of New Jersey’s nursing home residents.

(For the complete Volunteer Advocate Satisfaction Survey, please visit our website at

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