Sep 9, 2015

Stop the Revolving Door: 5 Keys to Keeping Volunteers

Does it feel like your volunteers are in a revolving door?  You can't seem to keep them long-term?

Here's 5 ways to stop the revolving door and keep your volunteers.

1.  Place them in their sweet spot.  Make sure you place volunteers in their "sweet spot."  In other words, place them in roles they are gifted in and passionate about.

When you ask most new volunteers where they want to serve, they will usually say, "Wherever you need me."  But don't place them "where you need them."  Place them where they are gifted and passionate.  And a month later, go back and ask them if they are in their sweet spot.  If they're not, let them try another area.

Don't place people where you need them.  Place people where they need to be."
People who are in their sweet spot will stay long term.  People who are not in their sweet spot will hit the revolving door.

2.  Relationships. 
Relationships are the glue that keep people serving in your ministry.  Create an atmosphere of family.  People who do life together will continue doing ministry together long term.

3.  Time off. 
Give your volunteers breaks.  Create windows of margin that will allow them to be gone.  If you don't allow them to take a vacation occasionally from serving, they will hit the revolving door.

4.  Increased responsibility.
Many times volunteers will get bored in their role after a number of years.  Challenge them to go to the next level in serving.  Give them a fresh challenge or more responsibility.  If you don't, they'll hit the revolving door and go looking for it somewhere else. 

5.  Appreciation.
Take time to regularly show your appreciation.  Honor them.  Thank them.  Tell them.  Your thank you's may be the difference between a person serving for 10 years instead of 1 year.

What are some other tips for keeping out of the revolving door?  
Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section below.

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