Friday Buzz: Let’s Talk Appreciation

Make sure you're giving your volunteers the right kind of love and appreciation. Also: A pastor offers tips on how to bridge the generation gaps in organizations.

April is National Volunteer Month, so it’s definitely a good time to give your hardest workers some love.

But are you really offering it in the right way? In a blog post on LinkedIn, nonprofit consultant Hardy Smith notes that although it’s obvious you have to give some love to volunteers, doing it in a way that motivates them is key.

“Different personalities naturally respond in different ways,” he explains, noting that shy and outgoing people each have different expectations of appreciation. “Therefore, depending on the individual, your attempt to motivate could have the opposite effect.”

His suggestion: Customize your approaches based on the person. That requires a little more work, but it could have stronger results.

“Before blindly handing out recognition or tokens of appreciation, first be certain that your efforts to praise and motivate will inspire continued and enthusiastic involvement,” he adds.

How are you giving your volunteers the respect they deserve this month?

Make Room for Your Whole Flock

You may not be running a church, but you can certainly learn a lot about closing the generation gap from pastor Ed Stetzer.

In a blog post for the Christian meetings magazine Rejuvenate, Stetzer, the executive director of LifeWay Research, notes that unity between generations that want different things can be difficult to achieve—especially as their thought processes can vary.

“Those with experience who try to encourage stability are seen as out of touch,” Stetzer writes. “Sometimes they are, but from my experience, they often just have a different view. Those who push the envelope to make an immediate impact are seen as aggressive. But often the two groups are just talking (or shouting) past each other.”

Stetzer’s points, while focused on religious communities, nonetheless highlight the need to find—and embrace—the overlap between different generations.

Other Links of Note

“Business and social trends can be important clues to opportunities on the horizon. Visionary leaders embrace trends and use them as launch points for imagining a new future for their organization,” Ohio Society of CPAs CEO Scott D. Wiley, FASAE, CAE writes. He shares a few of those trends, fittingly, with Association Trends.

The association technology firm DelCor is gearing up for the 13th edition of its annual .org Community Food Drive for the Capital Area Food Bank, in Washington, DC. Interested in taking part? Learn more details on its website.

Don’t forget to make room for connections: Conferences That Work author Adrian Segar discusses the issues many events have in offering attendees opportunities to connect with new people.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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