Make volunteers feel special!
When I was a senior in high school, I was a part of the organization called National Honor Society. And though it felt at times that we existed as an organization purely to meet in between 4th and 5th periods, we did do some good.
One afternoon, we took a trip to an elementary school to help them promote their Fall Halloween Festival. We read books to the students, interacted them, and encouraged them to invite their families to the event that night. My main role was to hand out little trinkets to each student as they left the auditorium. I know…incredibly exciting and important. But I took it upon myself to make each and every student feel special.
So I’d act like each each student coming through was the only person on the planet who got that little spider ring. That spider ring was, according to all standards of financial reason, worthless. But according to that student, their little plastic spider ring was more valuable than a brand new diamond ring.
It’s all about perspective and value.
Which relates to all areas of leadership.
Value and Celebrate Volunteers
If you value those you lead, they’ll feel valuable.
Treat them like they’re a hired hand, and that’s exactly what they’ll feel like.
Treat them like without them you’d suffer. Let them know that their contribution matters.
Email them. Call them. Text them. Take them to lunch. Buy them a cup of coffee. Write them a letter. Have a dinner where you honor them. And give them a plastic spider ring while you’re at it.
Whatever you do, make them feel valued. Make them feel like they’re insiders.
Better yet…make them insiders.
*image via Creation Swap user: Amber Sprung