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The Power of Recognition

When it comes to building a volunteer team, recognition is a key factor.  It is a sign of a healthy team.  It's part of the DNA of a great team.

As you recognize volunteers, it motivates them to continue giving their best.


Every person on your team should be recognized and feel valued. They should be reminded how important their role is and feel appreciation.

If you are going to establish a culture of recognition, you need to get to know your volunteers on a personal basis. 


When you recognize volunteers, it motivates them to go the second mile.  Keep in mind that the recognition doesn't have to be extravagant. It just needs to be personal.


There are two levels to recognition.


One includes simple gestures like personal encouragement and hand-written notes. 

The other level of recognition may include going out to eat together, a team excursion or some kind of team building activity, a special gift, etc.

Team members who feel heard and recognized will do their best in their area of responsibilities.

When was the last time you said "thank you" to a volunteer who was serving?  

They should personally hear the words "thank you for serving and making a difference" every week. 


When was the last time you gave your volunteers a small gift of appreciation?  It doesn't have to anything extravagant. It simply needs to be an item that means something to them.


Here's what I would encourage you to do.  Have each volunteer fill out a short form that tells what their favorites are.  Favorite restaurant.  Favorite candy bar.  Favorite drink.  Favorite color and more. 

When their birthday, serving anniversary, Christmas, etc. rolls around, pick out something from their list and use it for an appreciation gift. 

I have a friend who shared this story with me.  He had a volunteer on his team that needed nothing. She was very wealthy and could buy anything she wanted. 

As he looked at her list, he noticed that she had written down a specific brand of candy bar. He jumped on Google and discovered that it was made in another country. It was not for sale in the United States.  It would have to be shipped from overseas if he purchased it for her. 

He decided to go the second mile and show her how much he appreciated her.  He bought the candy bar and had it shipped to the U.S.  When he gave her the candy bar for her birthday, she was blown away.  The power of recognition meant a lot to her. 


The power of recognition...will you use it this week? 


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