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‘It’s the values’: HR exec on retention at Greater Boston Food Bank

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Volunteer retention crucial to GBFB

“The work that we do requires money and government support, and… that doesn’t give us an opportunity to become a much larger organization… but the need is going to continue,” she said. “So we’re not just looking for volunteers to help us to package food and deliver, but we also look for volunteers who are experts in their field or industry, to help guide us as we continue our work.”

Filling in that staffing gap is crucial, making retention and recruitment, as with many other employers in the for-profit sectors, an important part of Wallace’s role at GBFB. She cites internal diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) measures as well as “team member life-cycles” as critical components of the organization’s retention strategy.

“We are going through a cultural renaissance at our organization,” Wallace said. “From a people standpoint, we are being more intentional.”

To keep things organized, her human resources team coordinates with a “community engagement team” that works on the day-to-day operations and administration of the volunteer force, while human resources steps in to offer the “human being standpoint,” as Wallace describes it. This includes creating and enforcing protocols.

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