Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Motivating volunteers

"A Cub Scout helps the Pack go", and they do.  One of them can match the energy of all the adults put together.  It doesn't say "A Cub Scout makes the Pack go".  That takes the volunteers.  Both in uniform and not.  Leading a Pack means leading not just the boys, but the volunteers, and the families.  Today is International Volunteer Day, so I'm thinking about the Volunteers.

There are three reasons that people volunteer: influence, socialization, or accomplishment.

Influencers like to have some control.  In a Cub Scout Pack or Den that means that they will care about the details of things like their child's safety, schedules, where the group will go for an outing, or who gets to lead the flag ceremony.  They want to have some control over those details.

Socializers want to have time with other people.  It might be the kids, it might be other adults, or it might be just their kid.  To feel fulfilled they need to spend time with people.  That can be working with someone or just free time.  If they don't get time with the people they want they will feel stressed and unfulfilled.

Accomplishers want to get something done.  They want to get requirements signed off, badges award, trails hiked, crafts built, or boys character improved.  They usually have good things in mind to accomplish.  If they feel like things aren't getting done they can feel stressed or discouraged.

Effective motivation will mean letting volunteers find what they are seeking in your group and in a way that makes the group better.  It might be as simple a letting someone volunteer as a Den Leader so that they can make sure there is a den program for their son.  Sometimes it means figuring out what the volunteer wants when they won't (or can't) tell you what it is.

How do you know what that is?  If they get what they are seeking, you will see them more enthusiastic or relaxed.  If they don't, ask them what stresses them about what's going on.

When you know what they care about and things go well, be sure to take a moment to share smiles with them.  Help them enjoy the moment.  If you can honestly do it, complement them.  Those positive feeling help build to them taking on more challenges.

If you can see to it that your volunteers' felt needs are met, they will like volunteering with your group.  That can only help you!

Scouting is more than just one unit (Pack).  It's all of us.  Thank you for what you do for scouting.  What you do there helps it everywhere.

And thank you for volunteering where ever you do.  You're making the world a better place!

No comments:

Post a Comment