Let’s cut to the chase. Odds are you took a bit of a break from meetings this summer while board members were on vacation and juggling kids’ schedules, etc. Good for you! Its nice to take a break and reset from time to time.
So how are you planning to do that reset thing?
Or are you expecting your board members to jump back in enthusiastically and just pick up where you left off?
By the way, did you bring on any new board members in the interim? Hmmmm.
Here are 5 Power Tips to Re-Energize Your Board so you have the best chance of enthusiastic engagement:
1. Socialize. Yes, your volunteers love to interact with each other outside of the normal business at hand. So allow space for them to build relationships. You don’t necessarily have to hold a special event, but you could go to a ballgame, host a barbecue in a member’s backyard or a million other things. At least be sure at your first fall meeting to host a reception before or after it and allow your volunteers to mingle and hang out. Provide a fun activity to get them talking to those they know least well.
2. Restate your goals and priorities. They have lives outside your organization and let’s face it, a reminder can’t hurt. In fact, it can inspire! Tie your goals to impact and connect them to the mission…..they love to hear your success stories. This is likely the initial reason they agreed to serve.
3. Ask what’s needed to be successful. Now that they are inspired, provide opportunities to discuss how they see themselves plugging into the work. They may want to talk about committees, or a new strategy or how to engage community leaders. Be open to listening and then commit to what makes the most sense and equip them for success.
4. Empower them. Once you’ve confirmed alignment around goals and identified how you can work together to achieve them, let them at it! You don’t want them to micro manage you, so don’t micro manage them. They are smart and passionate partners who can make the magic happen, so step back and let them own it.
5. Set up feedback loops. That’s right – you’ve sent them off to do good and now you are required to hold them accountable and make sure they feel successful. See #3 – It’s possible something was overlooked; it’s possible they are crushing it and you get to celebrate with them; it’s possible they’ve learned something along the way that requires an adjustment. It’s so rewarding to see volunteers work alongside you and be successful!
Trust me – when you invest in this type of discussion (it can all happen in one meeting!), you’ll see an enthusiastic and re-energized board!
And if you don’t get the results you’re hoping for, call me. You may have the wrong people on the bus.