I’ve mentioned before that my wife and I love going to explore and find new restaurants. Whether it is a brand new local joint, or a chain restaurant that has finally come to our area – we are almost always game to check out the new place in town. Sometimes the new place we are visiting is a nice place where we should get dressed up and prepare for a night on the town. Other restaurants are just fun new places that rank slightly above fast food. While we love trying new food options in our area, I have found a number of them create anxiety in me when I walk through the door.
You might think it strange to get anxious about food – but I am in a new environment and I am looking to understand how it all works. Do I go straight to a table or do we wait to be seated? Do we order and pay ahead of time, or do we pay at the end? That is why I love it when servers ask, “Is this anyone’s first time with us?”
See when I enter into something new, I am ignorant of how it all works. I need someone to show me the way – to help me engage in the right way so I can have the best possible experience.
That is the Value of Process – it helps those on the outside become part of the inside.
For volunteer teams having a process in place is essential when it comes to connecting new members of the team. Processes ensure that people don’t fall through the cracks. Without a clear process in place, you are rolling the dice on people landing long term on your team. There are a number of things you should pay attention to when building a process, here 2 that I think are most important:
- The Process must be Short and Easy – The longer your on-boarding process, the more people you will lose along the way. Make the steps or process short so people don’t have to wait too long before they are on the team. Remember to make whatever process you put in place easy (unless you are intentionally trying to weed people out). Your process should serve to open the door wider for people to engage as a volunteer with you.
- The Process must be Obvious to your team – A process only works when the people on the team embrace it. That doesn’t mean everyone has to clearly and succinctly list out every step, but the team should have a good basic idea of what it looks like for new people to connect. In many cases, the people on your team are the gateway for new volunteers, so it matters that they understand the process a new volunteer must go through.