Summary: Appreciate volunteers in a way that registers to them and is directly related to what they are doing. Stop the empty “We appreciate you!” comments.
A volunteer was recently quoted as saying, “I’m a little tired of hearing “We appreciate you.” It’s exhausting like small talk. It almost feels desperate. It is like they’re scared I’ll quit if they don’t constantly remind me how much I’m appreciated. I’d be more likely to quit to get away from that phrase. Tell me specifically what I’m doing right or wrong or what you want changed.”
Specificity matters. We must appreciate volunteers in a way that registers to them and is directly related to what they are doing. Leadership is won or lost in the details. Period. Notice the small stuff. Mention the small stuff. Do you see them come in with a 20 oz Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper each and every week? Notice that. Bring them a 6-pack of chilled 20 oz Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper next week. Be specific. So much is won or lost in the execution of personalized details.
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