The Power of Recognition

Did you know that 65% of volunteers say they have never heard the words "thank you."

This is sad in so many ways.  Everyone needs recognition...even those who say they don't need it.  Deep down inside they do want to be recognized.  

They want to know that they are making a difference.

They want to know that their labor is not in vain.

They want to know that they are appreciated.

They want to know that the time they are volunteering matters.

Every volunteer on your team needs to be recognized.  

Volunteers are the backbone of healthy churches.  Without them, you won't be able to move the ministry forward.  To be effective, you must close the backdoor and help volunteers serve for the long haul. Appreciation can make a significant impact on your volunteer retention rate.

That being said...recognition is a key factor in seeing volunteers serve long-term.  It will keep your team members engaged and give them purpose for the future.

What's the big deal about recognition?  When volunteers give their time and energy to something, they want to know they made a difference.  They want to know that their labor was a significant part of seeing guests return.  Even though they don't get paid, they want to be recognized.  

"Volunteers don't serve for the income...they serve for the outcome."

Recognize volunteers by giving them a handshake and hug 

Recognize volunteers with positive words of gratitude.  Each week say to them, "Thank you for serving and making a difference."

Here are some more recognition ideas:
  • Handwritten thank you notes.
  • Phone calls / text messaging.
  • Awards for people who go the second mile.
  • Recognize your volunteers on social media by posting images of them (with their permission) with a list of their contributions. 
  • Free swag.  Give out items with your ministry brand on it.  
  • Gift cards for coffee, lunch, etc.  
  • Tickets to concerts or shows.
  • Flowers for the lady volunteers.
  • Take them out for lunch (if the volunteer is the opposite sex, take someone with you). 
  • A surprise birthday party. 
  • Have an annual volunteer appreciation dinner.  
  • Recognize them on their birthday.
  • Recognize them for each year they have served.              

If you are not intentional, you can get so busy that you forget to recognize the volunteers who make the ministry happen week in and week out.  Don't be that leader.  Put it on your calendar. Recognize your team members. Your team will be stronger for it.

Have you read my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams?"  In this book, you will get more strategies about recognizing your volunteers and building a healthy volunteer team.  It has been called the best book ever written on the subject.  Get your copy today in ebook or paperback formats at this link.