Published: 1 year ago

The Two Things You Must Do Before You Fire A Volunteer

We’ve all dealt with ’em: people who are simply a bad fit for a particular team. Maybe it’s because of a lack of training. Perhaps it’s a result of a loss of direction. It could simply be a bad attitude. But whatever the reason, they no longer jive with the team vibe, and they need to go.

However.

I’m afraid we might be missing a couple of key steps before we jump to lifetime banishment. If these two things are missing, we might need to rethink our pink slip distribution:

1. We must show grace in the way we assimilate. Too often, we roll into a new initiative with our guns blazing. And while vision is vital, we can get so wrapped up in what’s ahead that we forget what’s behind. In other words, we ignore the fact that many of our volunteers have been in their roles since before we were hired (born?). Before we assume we have all the answers, we need to ask a lot of questions. We might be surprised at the buy in our “new ways” will get if we take time to listen to the “old ways.”

2. We must show grace in the way we communicate. We have to take time to ask: does this person lack cooperation? Or do they have a lack of understanding? Our volunteers may really not grasp what we’re asking. That’s why there’s no good substitute for time, patience, and grace when it comes to defining their role. Trying to take a shortcut will always come back to bite us…and those on our teams.

Take a moment and think about someone on your team that needs to go. Have you been gracious in your assimilation and communication? If not, try it this week. You might be surprised at how they improve.

 

Only one week remains to sign up for our One-Day Workshop on Volunteer Culture, coming up on September 30. We’re going to dig deeper on how to know when a volunteer needs to go (and how to keep from getting to that point in the first place). Space is filling up and spots are limited. Get more information or RSVP today!

 

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