Since volunteers are the heartbeat of successful ministries, I knew I needed to give careful attention to their needs by engaging and cultivating their interest and skills.
There are three crucial points I learned about volunteers:
- It's important to keep them informed about the ministry and its progress.
- It's key to keep them involved in the life of the ministry.
- It's essential to thank each one in personal and meaningful ways.
Effective volunteer leadership requires you to
- Communicate why you exist
- Share where the ministry is going
- Invite them to help you meet needs
In training and communicating with volunteers, take into account three basic ways they receive information:
- Visual - charts, graphs and images explain in measurable ways how the ministry is accomplishing its goal.
- Auditory - dialogue and discussion allows people to process and make sense of information.
- Feeling - emotions create a bond and connection with the words and visuals.
Thank Volunteers for Their Commitment Connecting with volunteers one-on-one takes time and effort but the rewards are worth it.
Never overlook the importance of non-verbal communication by:
- Connecting visually - focus on the other person.
- Connecting intellectually - pay attention, ask questions and listen.
- Connecting emotionally - within professional boundaries, offer a touch, pat on the back or hug.
Expressing appreciation for volunteers is a key part of an engaging relationship, so do whatever you can to create a volunteer appreciation line item in the budget.
Volunteers Matter Most Sam Walton, Wal-Mart founder, once stated "From this day forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within 10 feet of me, I will smile, look him in the eye, and greet him.
" This is excellent advice for any of us who work with volunteers.
Have you greeted your volunteer today?