There's a lot of talk about leadership succession planning for chapters. It regularly comes up as the top 1 or 2 pain points for chapters. Most associations provide a succession planning guide and tools for chapters. Many offer training at the chapter leadership conferences and webinars. So what's missing here? If we're doing all this talking, why is still the pain point?
Could it be that all this talk is missing the point? That these tools don't get to the point?
Those Gen X and Y won’t get involved in our chapter!
There’s a mantra I’ve heard repeated over and over again.
When I spoke to Ben, I was inspired. I think that there are many more Bens – but we have to open ourselves and our chapters to all generations.
Volunteers really don't want us to enable bad behavior on their parts.
Jamie Notter got it best in his latest post "Stop making it worse." At the ASAE Ideas Swap on volunteerism one asked how she possibly not give a reward to the dysfunctional outgoing chair. The group's response "stop making it worse!
Peter and I led an energizing discussion at ASAE's Great Ideas Conference last week and I'm still digesting the good ideas. The session was on embracing the unofficial volunteer leader. Who is this person you say? Well it's the hell-raiser and the quiet saint. It's the person who is doing work for the profession and maybe even the association -- but unofficially. By ignoring these folks, you could miss out on some good work or inadvertently fuel a disruptive force. Here are two examples we talked about where associations embraced the unofficial leader.
Peggy’s post about thanking volunteers makes a valid point. I have another story, and although not about a volunteer, it’s emphasizes the importance of a sincere thank you. My son works at a local Giant Food store. Last week, his grocery manager came to him and a co-worker thanking them both for their hard work and dedication to the job. He then gave them a $50 Giant gift card, which he had purchased, to split.
It's not how much you spend on recognizing me that counts.
Conducting a series of focus groups with volunteer leaders, I heard loud and clear they were being asked to do more and more, and were recognized less and less. Later, a staff member approached one of the volunteers who had been in a early focus group and praised the person. The next day, that volunteer mentioned in a group that perhaps they had misspoken as they were a-glow from the thanks. You see, it's really the personal thanks that counts!
Yes, younger professionals volunteer - if you have room for them!
I criss-crossed the US over the past 12 months meeting with volunteer leaders of chapters, divisions, SIGs and all types of components. Most common complaint/question - why don't younger pros volunteer / what can we do to get younger pros, we've tried everything!? Well, maybe not everything if you don't have them engaged. Want a suggestion - let your young execs take "it" over ala
Manuals don't impress volunteers - they frustrate them!
Just talked with one of our chapter volunteers who was complaining about the 85-page membership manual national provided her to give her membership chair. "Like he's not busy enough? I'm not going to ask him to read that." Who can argue that - I mean really who?
One college professor finds a way to combat the dreaded “classes cancelled due to inclement weather” scenario. After her experience with the Snowmageddon of Winter 2010 when the university shut down for a week, R.S. Zaharna, associate professor of communication American University, decided to find a way to make the current technology work for her and her students. She got the chance this past week when classes were cancelled.
It is so unpleasant. But I noted in a recent post, it is more unpleasant to live with the consequences of not firing – or at least addressing – a poor-performing volunteer.
I did in fact have to fire a volunteer. In most cases I have been able to work around the situation with some counseling and shifting of positions. But there came the day, where firing was the best option. I followed the basic HR recommendations:
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