Friday, May 06, 2011

Motivating Workers With Thanks

Tonight we are having our annual Worker Celebration. It's one of my favorite events of the year. When I first met the WOC folks was when they attended a conference I was hosting in April 2006. They ask if I could come and help them with their new building and they booked me for December 2006 and also May 2007. By the time I showed up in May 2007 to speak at the Worker Celebration I had begun a new chapter in my life.  Who new that in just 7 months later I'd move to Tennessee. Tonight will be my 5th Celebration in a row. My good friend Johnny Rogers is going to be speaking and I'm excited about kicking off our new recruiting year. I think one of the best way to motavate others is with thanks! Having a Celebration is just one way here's some others...

It is always the right thing to do to give thanks and be thankful.

It’s not just a seasonal thing. It should be a way of life for the Christian. Not only should we practice thanks living but we should also practice thanks giving. All of us like to hear thank you that includes your volunteers.

Here are some practical ideas to motivate your workers with thanks:

1. Begin to say it. Get in the habit of saying thanks. If the Apostle Paul can tell people he thanks God for them every time he thinks about them we can too! Walk around before service & thank workers personally. When you are in front of a group of workers- say thanks. Be on the lookout by catching people doing things right.

2. Begin to write it. The best purchase any children’s leader could make is a box of thank you notes. Write a heartfelt note to your leaders when they’ve done something thanks-worthy. A couple of times a year as well as after every major event send a letter to say thanks. Even a form letter is better than no thank-you at all. Always sign each letter personally and write a short note to personalize it.

Don’t forget Christmas cards, Valentine cards, Birthday cards and Anniversary cards. I’ve found that when I write a personal note on all reports, forms and checklist workers complete so they know you read them and know what they are accomplishing.

3. Begin to show it. Candy treats and little sayings are cute but nothing says thanks better than letting your actions speak louder than words. Things like special worker parking places, breakfast for your volunteers and their families before your earliest service, Worker Appreciation Day as well as a free CD of the service they work shows volunteers you really appreciate them.

4. Invest in them. Plan a retreat or special training event for your workforce that includes training, inspiration, and fun. Bring them as a group to a conference or seminar. Give them training products as gifts. I’m always purchasing books and teaching CD’s for my workers. If a book has blessed you bless someone else with it. I gave every key leader and coordinator in my ministry a copy of my book “Children’s Ministry Leadership-the you-can-do-it guide” sure they enjoyed the book but the fact that I invested in them spoke volumes to them. But the greatest investment is when you give them your time. I take key workers with me all the time; I look for ways to invest myself in them constantly.

It’s never the wrong time to begin to show thanks!

Make thanks giving and thanks living a part of your yearly calendar planning. Look for every opportunity to say thanks, write thanks, show thanks, and invest in your children’s ministry team! 

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