One of the most important things you can do as a member of a team is know the way new people connect on your team. If you are a leader, make sure you have a clear process for new people. If you are a volunteer, make sure you know the process and lean into it for your friends.
Here is the 3-step process that produces maximum volunteer engagement as people join your team:
- Give Them Someone To Know – Relationships are the key to connection on a team. The most important thing someone gets when they show up to serve is a new friend. Introduce them to multiple people on the team – make them feel valued and welcomed. Relational connections create a solid foundation as the first step to belonging on any team. (click to tweet) When a new person shows up on your team go out of your way to introduce yourself. It gives them a name and a face to remember when the serve again.
- Give Them Something To Do – People show up because they want to be in the game, not sit the bench. People want to get their hands dirty. At first a new person on the team might not carry a ton of weight, but they can make their presence known and have a chance to feel useful. We learn our personal strengths and weakness through experience. (click to tweet) Give people a way to contribute as soon as possible. Activity helps us build habits as we serve.
- Give Them Something To Own – A person is fully engaged on the team when they have something they can own. Having your name on the schedule, a position that you consistently play is essential for long-term engagement. We serve at our best when we have responsibility and awareness that what we do really matters. (click to tweet) You know you are fully on the team when someone anticipates you being there, and when they suffer from your absence.
Under pressure we could be tempted to operate outside of this 3-step process. However if you want to have a great connection rate on your team – lean into the process and give people someone to know, then something to do and finally something to own.