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Why You Should Be Listening to Your Volunteers

If you want to improve your children's ministry, listen to your volunteers. They are on the front lines and can provide you with great feedback.

If you want fresh ideas, listen to your volunteers.

If you want volunteers to take a more active role in the ministry, listen to what they say. When you listen to your volunteers, it makes them feel valued and important.

The number one reason why volunteers don't take more initiative is because their leader fails to get their input before making decisions. Volunteers want to be heard and feel valued. When we make big decisions without getting their input, they will begin holding back their ideas.

If you want to keep your Millennial volunteers, you should especially listen to their input. In school and college, they have been taught to question things.

Here are some more benefits that come from listening to your volunteers.

Volunteer retention - listening to your volunteers will improve your retention rate.

Trust - listening to your volunteers gives you the opportunity to build a better relationship with them.

Valuable information - your volunteers can provide you with insights and input about what children and families think about the ministry.

Avoid burnout - listening to volunteers can enable you to help them avoid burnout.

On a side note - when you ask for feedback, you must be prepared to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. Don't take it personally. See feedback as a gift that can help the ministry improve.

Here are some ways you can gather feedback from your volunteers.

Ask volunteers directly. After the event, program, class, etc. personally ask a few of your volunteers for their input and thoughts.

Hold a volunteer focus group meeting a few times each year. Bring in 8 to 10 volunteers and ask for their input and ideas. You will gather valuable information by doing this.

Do surveys. Take a survey with your volunteers. This can be done with hard copy paper or online.

Remember this - great leaders are great listeners. They know how to ask great questions and then listen for answers.

Do you have a culture that values feedback? Do volunteers feel free to share their input and ideas? What are you doing to gather feedback?

The answers to these questions can help your ministry get to the next level.

If you are looking for help in leading volunteers, you can get lots of great ideas from my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams." It's available at this link.

I'd love to listen to your ideas and input on how you gather feedback from your volunteers or any other questions or input you may have. Feel free to share this in the comment section below and I will respond to you.


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