Laurie KennedyA Leader asks. I’m a volunteer leader in my church. I don’t have a budget to encourage the many volunteers who work with me. How do I motivate them to keep on keeping on?

Encouraging and motivating staff is like catching butterflies. If you go in like a bulldozer, running, shouting and demanding, the butterflies will be gone long before you arrive. The same with people. You cannot demand, force, or coerce staff to be motivated. Remember the old cliché, ‘Terminations will continue until motivation improves’?

Volunteers will develop and flourish in an atmosphere of security and trust. Encourage employees to innovate, and be creative without fear of failure. Ask staff and volunteers for their ideas. Praise staff when they perform well. Set realistic and accomplish-able goals. Then, follow through on suggestions and build on the positive aspects of the work.

Motivation can only be built and encouraged in an environment free of threats, put-downs and accusations. Staff need to freely express ideas and concerns without fear. Do you encourage new ideas? Look at your rules or policies. Do they unduly restrict and inhibit? No one is going to be enthused, excited or motivated to work within an organization full of criticism and put downs.

Your most important step is to pray for your staff daily and be available to listen. Say, thank you each and every time your volunteers, customers or future customers give you an idea, suggestion or concern.

The very key factor in motivating staff is you the supervisor. You must live the example. Be the best leader you can be and your staff will follow your lead willingly.

“To increase motivation in your organization, create an environment for passion. People will work hard and achieve great results when they have passion for the task.” (Dr. John Townsend Leadership Beyond Reason)

Leadership is … living positive character values daily.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group