In any organization that depends heavily on volunteer workers the great task of the leader is to recruit these volunteers and motivate them to stay on the team. Really, this is true of any organization. It often seems that for everyone I find to fill a role on a team, there are one or more ready to jump ship to another team or just stop volunteering.
Here are some reasons volunteers or employees are quitting.
- I don’t make a difference
- I get bored
- I don’t see a chance for personal growth
- I get very little chance to demonstrate creativity and/or initiative
As leaders how can we be proactive in making sure these questions do not become a reality in our teams? How about:
- Help them clearly understand what they are volunteering for
- Present them with clear expectations of their volunteer role
- Give them opportunity to be active in the decision making process for their role
- Communicate often your appreciation that they are on your team
- Ask often how you can support them in their role.
- Help them see how their role fits into the bigger picture of the organization and how without them fulfilling their role. the team would not function properly.
- Hold them accountable to their commitment.
When a team and its volunteers are functioning in a ministry/church role there are some other important points to communicate to the volunteers.
- You are not a volunteer but someone called by God to fill a position of ministry.
- When you say ‘yes’ to participating in this ministry your accountability is not just to the team leader but to God.
- Every position in a church/ministry has the same value, therefore your position is important.
Finally, there will be persons who say yes to a volunteer/ministry position who cannot fulfill the requirements or expectations. Then it becomes the responsibility of the leader to help the person leave graciously, even support them in finding a way to serve the organization in a role more appropriate for their gifts and talents.