Jul 2, 2013

7 Steps to a Happier Volunteer Team


Have you looked lately at the demeanor of your volunteers?  Are they happy?  Smiling?  Laughing?  Energized?

Or are they just going through the motions?  Frowning?  Complaining?  Irritable?  Burnt out?

The mood of your team is a key indicator of team health.  And no matter how happy or unhappy your team currently is, things can improve. 

Here's 7 steps to creating a happier volunteer team.

Be happy yourself.  It's contagious.  Everything rises and falls on leadership.  You set the happiness tone for your team.  If you're team isn't happy, take a look in the mirror.  Start smiling more.  Don't take yourself so serious.  Have fun. 

Make time for jokes and pranks.  Purposefully build in time during your meetings and get togethers for jokes and pranks.

Place people in their sweet spot.  Nothing will make a volunteer more unhappy than placing them where you "need" them instead of where they are gifted.  When someone is in their sweet spot, they will go home smiling and energized.

Emphasize the "why" of serving more than the "what" of serving.  People are looking for purpose.  They want to be part of something bigger than themselves.  Constantly remind them why they are doing what they are doing. 

Encourage people to use their creativity.  When creative people are not allowed to use their creativity, they will be unhappy.  Provide avenues where they can express their creativity. 

Make time to celebrate.  Set aside time to throw parties.  No agenda but fun, food, games, and hanging out together.  Celebrate off-site at a park, someone's home, or other location.

Share the God stories.  Your volunteers want to know they are making a difference.  When you hear a story of God working in a child or family's life, share it with the team.  Don't just tell them they are making a difference, show them the evidence.

What are some other ways you help your team have a happy mood?  Share your ideas and thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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