Its been said,
that every healthy body has an open back door.
As team leaders we often try everything under the sun to keep our volunteers happy, motivated, committed and excited to serve in our teams and departments.
Yet somehow, we lose people.
Even some of our best. And we find ourselves in leadership baffled and scrambling to fill positions.
What if the problem isn’t so much WHAT we are doing or not doing…
but WHO we are as leaders?
Here are my top 5 reasons to why I believe volunteers drop out and how to prevent it!
1. Leaders talk but don’t walk
Welcome to orientation!
In order to be a part of this team we expect you to be on time, prepared, rehearsed and be a team player!
Meanwhile Johnny leader strolls into practice just in time for his soundcheck, makes the team wait while he learns his words/chords and leaves practice as soon as it’s completed because his time is apparently more valuable than the rest of the teams time.
Nothing is more repelling than a leader who asks their team to do something they themselves never follow through with.
Too many leaders demand and don’t demonstrate.
Bottom line – If we have any hope in leadership, it is imperative that we meet or excel the standards we hold our volunteers to.
By doing this they will automatically see you as a leader in the trenches WITH them. Which creates a foundation of teamwork, relationship and most importantly,
2. Leaders talk but not enough
There is an epidemic amongst the church and business world today and it goes by the name of Under-communication.
In any organization with multiple moving parts there is bound to be communication issues.
The antidote to this issue is not to conceal information or build silo’s -its actually the opposite.
A good couple of questions to ask yourself as a leader in the process of communication is, “Who needs to know?” and then ask, “Who else needs to know”.
Your volunteers will never complain about over communication. If they do its because the information isn’t pertinent to them specifically.
There’s a reason we have alerts and notifications on our devices, it’s because we need to know. We want information at our fingertips the moment it comes in, in this information overload society.
Make sure your volunteers know what they need to know by the time they need to know it and they will repay you with commitment.
3. Leaders Talk, but don’t listen.
Leaders manage their teams too often with a one-way communication.
When there is a problem, as a leader we feel its our job to repair the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Sometimes this is just not possible.
Sometimes your team is trying to say something is wrong, but you as a leader don’t take the time to listen.
I’m no longer impressed by leaders that can grow a team. A leader that can help his team grow is rated at a higher caliber.
If the majority of our communication is non-verbal its going to require you as a leader to inspect what you expect.
Meet your team at more than just a surface level.
Create an environment and culture of open healthy conversation and teach them how to challenge the process properly. You will add value to them when you listen.
4. Leaders talk, but too loud
Have you ever confided in a leader only to have the same sensitive information come back to you through someone else?
It is impossible to follow someone you can’t trust.
Information is powerful.
For a leader, it is necessary to filter which information is time sensitive, circumstantially sensitive or people sensitive.
There is a difference between gossip and information.
Gossip is complaining to someone who has no power to change it.
Information is what our uplinks and overseers need in order to make decisions for the health of the whole.
The last place a leader should ever find themselves is releasing information that isn’t theirs to share and withholding information that isn’t theirs to keep.
Be available to your team and honouring to your overseers.
Check your surroundings before you pull the information trigger.
5. Leaders talk, but lack passion
Come one, come all! Follow me on this grand adventure of mediocrity.
Is it just me or does this casting call sound all too familiar in the church?
I’ve been under leaders where the only excitement or passion that they displayed was when they rolled up the rim and won a free coffee.
Personally I believe passion is the most overstated yet underexposed trait of mankind. Passion is what exists past your feelings.
If you currently have the PRIVILEGE of leading people you have a God given responsibility to lead and disciple them into being a better version of themselves.
This requires you to be continually creating a better version of yourself.
If leading people is a job for you then you are in the wrong position.
Let your passion flow from your heart to your words and actions. Put it on display for your team to see everyday and you’ll be surprised who follows you.