When you consider priorities for the teams you lead, where does training fall on your list? How much importance do you place on training for your teams? One of the greatest pitfalls you can have in working with volunteers is to shortcut around regular trainings. Training is not just for those who are new on the team, it is for everyone.
Think of training like taking care of your car. It does not matter if your vehicle is new and fresh off the lot or passing major mileage milestones; your car needs attention to help it go the distance. The same thinking is needed for your volunteers; whether they are new or carry years of experience they all benefit from regular trainings.
Here are 3 people who benefit from regular training:
- New Volunteers – Think of new volunteer trainings like an oil change. When you drive a new car you do not think about your next trip to the mechanic because new cars feel like they work without defect. However within just a few thousand miles your vehicle will require an oil change.
There are a number of tools and relationships we offer through training that have great value for new volunteers. However, The greatest gift you can give a new volunteer in training is a glimpse of the big picture. New volunteers want to understand the vision. They want to see how their effort and energy contributes to something big and they want to know the “tools of the trade”.
- Current Volunteers – When considering your current volunteers think of a tune up and alignment on your car. Driving eventually puts wear and tear on a vehicle. Slowly over time the car becomes less efficient; internal processes start to break down and the tires change to the point where they allow drift on the road.
The old adage is true; the squeaky wheel gets the oil. When current volunteers are consistent and faithful it is easy to overlook their need for ongoing training. Without regularly training your current volunteers will eventually slide out of alignment. We all experience drift – the greatest gift you can offer current volunteers is to help them stay aligned with the purpose of the team.
- Leaders – Leaders need training just as much as those they oversee. When you think of leaders think of refueling. No matter how large the gas tank, eventually you have to stop and get fuel for your car. Fuel makes it possible for the car to travel at high speed. Without fuel the best you can do is stand behind your car and push.
Spend time fueling up your leaders through training. While things like alignment and retooling are needed for leaders, there is something greater that you offer leaders through training. The greatest gift you can offer leaders through training is passion. Cars run on gas, leaders run on passion. Regular training allows leaders to be refueled with a passion for the team.