You just had another volunteer quit your team. Ouch. That hurts every time.
Your frustration with your team is mounting. Who will leave next? And what will be the excuse next time?
Before you go blaming their lack of commitment, first, take a step back and evaluate if you’re experiencing any of these three common leadership pitfalls that can lead to volunteer dropout:
Lack of preparation.
You’ve developed the habit of doing things at the last minute or are totally winging it.
Lack of preparation leads to poor performance. Poor performance leads to finger pointing. Finger pointing leads to excuses. Excuses lead to low morale. And low moral leads to a higher dropout rate of volunteers.
Lack of communication.
You’ve developed the habit of assuming people know what’s going on. As a result, people are feeling left out, frustrated and confused.
Lack of communication leads to confusion. Confusion leads to mistakes. Mistakes lead to lower confidence. Lower confidence leads to a higher dropout rate of volunteers.
Lack of systems.
Your team does the same work every week, but you don’t have a written system for how you do it. As a result, things are done at varying levels of excellence (or non-excellence) every time.
Lack of systems leads to inconsistent behaviors. Inconsistent behaviors lead to mediocrity. Mediocrity leads to lower levels of enthusiasm. Lower levels of enthusiasm lead to a higher dropout rate of volunteers.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort it takes to break the bad habits that lead to these common leadership pitfalls, not only are you likely to see a lower dropout rate of volunteers, you may just find yourself having more volunteers than you know what to do with.
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