This is not the end all be all to this topic. I love starting conversations and getting people thinking. I was just thinking about when I was a volunteer leader for two years and how I now lead a few of our volunteer leaders. I know how easy it is to become unmotivated when it comes to being a volunteer. So I thought I’d write some ideas on how to keep them motivated. I’m pulling from my experience as a volunteer and also as a person who has and is managing volunteer leaders.
Here are a few ways to keep your leaders motivated and engaged in my humbled opinion:
- Allow your volunteer leaders input into the planning process. – This does not mean that they have to be at all the meetings for something you are programming. You want them to feel invested so figure out an area they can own and allow them to take ownership.
- Try to be specific when you are celebrating and encouraging your volunteer leaders. – When I was a volunteer it meant a lot to me when I would get a complement that was related to something that I did specifically. Example: Ac..it was awesome how you made that student feel so comfortable with being here, even though they didn’t know no anyone. It didn’t mean a lot because I needed the complement, it meant a lot because it was confirming that God is using me just as he created me. We all need that from time to time.
- Be consistent in meeting or connecting with them. – whether it’s a meeting monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. However you connect, be consistent with it. The more you put into your volunteer leader program, the more it shows them that they are valued.
- Make sure that their duties are worth their time being there. – Plan very carefully what they will be doing, if possible let them know in advance. There is nothing worse than showing up to serve and you end up doing something because things where not planned out. I know things are never perfect but just be a wise steward of their time and yours.
- Avoid having them serve at multiple events if at all possible. – As you plan your calendar think about how not to burn your leaders out, because it’s super easy to do.
- Build Community – plan something fun to do together. Plan a picnic and invite their families, bowling night, pot luck dinner, etc. Whatever you do make it informal and highly relational. Which means make sure you all are doing something where conversations can be had.
- Lead by example and not the iron fist. – Don’t tell them to greet, meet, connect and pray with students if you are not doing it. We are in this together, so don’t treat them as hired help.
- Offer Training and/or Resources related to their job – It says you care about their success. I wanted to be the best at what was asked of me as a leader. Training and resources that can better assist them in doing their best is a win win for everyone. Even if you just have people who setup the youth group room, have a time of encouraging them, and pouring into them whatever God lays on your heart.
- Acknowledge their sacrifice and their families sacrifice – They are definitely not looking for you to do this, but when you acknowledge their sacrifice it lets them know that you do not take their them for granted.
hope it helps