How to Motivate Your Volunteers on Your Next Zoom Call
The world dealt churches, nonprofits, and other organizations that use volunteers a tough hand when coronavirus hit the scene. Activities where face-to-face interaction seemed necessary in the past suddenly shifted towards a more virtual outlet. This left many pastors and other leaders wondering how they could motivate volunteers on Zoom calls and other remote communications.
Engaging volunteers is an essential aspect of any charitable work. Knowing how to talk with these individuals – particularly when video chatting – involves a similar skill set to donor communication. This is one of our primary focuses at DonorWerx, so check out how our system works once you’ve finished this guide.
Foster a Culture of Recognition
Studies have consistently shown that recognition is one of the easiest ways to keep the best volunteers. Even when someone performs a service or gives out of the goodness of their hearts, they still appreciate it when their efforts get acknowledged. When speaking with volunteers on your Zoom calls, make sure that you take time to recognize commitment.
Not only will this make your best volunteers stick around, but it will motivate others to work harder. A few minutes at the beginning of each call to recognize those who have gone above and beyond can go a long way.
Give Everyone a Voice
Zoom structures calls in such a way that it’s very noticeable when everyone isn’t speaking. You no doubt have a purpose for every call, but set aside some time for others to speak as well. Volunteers can go over their current workload, ask questions they may have, or share ideas they have for improvement.
Doing this can turn your Zoom call for volunteers into an opportunity. And since volunteers will realize that you value their thoughts and opinions, they’ll be more likely to continue donating their time for the cause. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Hold Frequent Zoom Meetings
Humans are social creatures, and the coronavirus pandemic didn’t change this. In fact, it merely drove up reported rates of loneliness. If you want to keep your volunteers happy and effective, scheduling frequent Zoom calls can help. This will give everyone an opportunity to interact even when they’re unable to do so in-person.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to hold a weekly Zoom call for volunteers. This ensures everyone knows when the meeting takes place, and they can plan out their attendance far in advance.
We often hear how important it is to use visuals in church social media strategies, but that’s not the only place people respond to images and videos. Like your donors, volunteers want to see what their hard work has accomplished. Do this by sharing visuals during the presentation that show achievements or specific needs that you’re still trying to meet.
One thing to remember when doing this is that you shouldn’t switch back and forth from yourself to visuals. This can distract volunteers on Zoom calls. Instead, provide images and videos that display while your face is still on the screen.
Focus on the Necessary
Scheduling frequent Zoom meetings with volunteers can help keep your people motivated, but it’s important not to drag things out. Just because most of your meetings have lasted 30 minutes in the past is no reason to drone on after you’ve covered essential topics. If you’re done talking and no one has anything else to add, let folks get back to their days.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
One of the most important aspects of motivating volunteers on Zoom calls is being clear with them. Well-defined expectations and tangible goals give people something to work towards. You shouldn’t make a habit of criticizing volunteers for perceived shortcomings – especially in a video meeting with their colleagues – but you also want to avoid celebrating goals that have you’ve yet to meet.
Research has shown that premature praise for a goal decreases motivation and follow-through. Celebrate completed milestones, but remain clear on the eventual goal. This will give your volunteers the drive they need to see every project through to completion.
Soliciting feedback is one of the many things you could do when you open the floor for volunteers to speak. Just like with in-person meetings, though, volunteers aren’t always forthcoming when in larger groups. One way to get valuable feedback is to send out an email to the call participants to see if they have any feedback for you.
While this won’t increase motivation during a Zoom call for volunteers, this is another instance where people feel they’re heard. Whether you’re recruiting volunteers or speaking with someone who’s donated their time for years, everyone wants to know that you value their opinion. Make sure you give them an opportunity to express it away from the Zoom call.
Encourage Social Connectedness
Face-to-face interactions with your volunteers on Zoom can brighten spirits and excite folks to give their time. Of course, you can’t be there all the time. Encourage your volunteers to reach out to each other when in need. This will be much easier once things return to normal after COVID-19, but even before that point, your people shouldn’t be afraid of reaching out to each other.
Foster a sense of community among your volunteers rather than simply looking at them as individual resources. It’s much easier to stay motivated when we know there’s a team of support by our side.
Volunteer Engagement on Zoom is Possible!
COVID-19 might have thrown the world a curveball, but we’ve now had plenty of time to adapt. Unfortunately, statistics show that many churches and nonprofits didn’t make it to this point. If you’ve come this far, though, there’s still time to make essential changes. While engaging volunteers on Zoom might differ from what we’re used to, it’s possible when you make the effort.
At DonorWerx, we strive to improve how pastors and church leaders communicate with those around them. Whether this is a donor or a volunteer, the dynamics remain the same. People want to know that they’re heard, and if you offer this, your parishioners will happily contribute to helping you do God’s work. Schedule a Discovery Call with us today to learn how we can help.