It can be challenging to manage the morale of church volunteers. There are many reasons why volunteers may experience low morale; from burnout, to stress, to interpersonal conflicts. However, a church’s success often relies on volunteer engagement, and it’s impossible to achieve much without happy, motivated volunteers. In fact, their happiness is often reflected in the other members who come in contact with the volunteers! Here are some tips on how to manage morale with church volunteers and ensure they’re gratified when serving in the Kingdom.
- Communicate openly and regularly
Open communication is crucial in any relationship, including pastors and church volunteers! Keeping your volunteers in the loop on church decisions and plans will help them feel engaged and informed. Regularly invite feedback and let them know their opinions are valued. Also check on them while they’re serving and answer any questions about tasks they may have.
- Create a positive work environment
Volunteering at church may be seen as a calling but that doesn’t mean it should be dull. Begin by creating a friendly, welcoming environment for your volunteers. Encourage them to take ownership of their tasks and help them understand how their work is essential to the church’s overall mission and thread. Next, ensure the work environment is conducive to productivity with the right tools to fulfill their tasks.
- Recognize and appreciate their work
Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it can go a long way towards building morale. Thank volunteers regularly and recognize achievements. Celebrating moments like birthdays and other special days also contributes to making volunteers feel appreciated.
- Develop a volunteer retention plan
Losing reliable volunteers will affect your church’s effectiveness in the long-term. So, invest in a volunteer retention plan, focusing on a regular review of workloads, expectations, outcomes, and scheduling. We all know a high workload may lead to burnout, leading to loss of volunteers. Be mindful of pairing volunteer talents with the correct opportunities! And offer training and development programs to ensure volunteers feel confident in their work and understand how meaningful it is.
- Be flexible with church volunteers
Volunteers come from different demographics, circumstances, and schedules. To manage morale, stay flexible with schedules and work within their life’s restrictions. Perhaps, with online services, it might be helpful to create virtual volunteer opportunities, giving more flexibility concerning time and schedules.
Mark MacDonald is communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and Executive Director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.