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Buy In Isn’t Bought (part 3 of 4)


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Managing Others
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By Tom Davidson

In case you missed them the last time, here are 10 tips for motivating the paid-volunteer workforce. In this blog entry, we’ll discuss tips #4-7 and elaborate on the rest next time.

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? 

– “The problem around here is that nobody’s ‘buying in’ to the concept!”
– “We’ve had so many programs of the month; nobody’s ‘buying in’ to this one.”
– “The first step is to get everyone’s ‘buy in’ before we get started.”
 
The first mistake most new managers make when it comes to “buy in,” is to assume that it can be bought at all. The fact is that “buy in” isn’t bought; it’s earned, especially with the brave new workforce of today. 

In case you missed them the last time, here are 10 tips for motivating the paid-volunteer workforce. In this blog entry, we’ll discuss tips #4-7 and elaborate on the rest next time. 

Ten Tips (not tricks) for Motivating the Paid-Volunteer Workforce 

1. Treat them with respect.
 
2. Put them in jobs that interest them the most.
 
3. Show them how what they do, matters. 
 
4.Give them as much choice as possible.
One reason people don’t cooperate with new ideas or initiatives as much as they might is because they feel that control has been taken away from them, and in many cases, it has been. So restore as much control as possible by offering options.

5. Get them involved in the decisions that affect them.
When people aren’t consulted about their opinions before change is brought down on them, it’s only natural for them to be resistant when it does. After all, they’re the ones closest to the action and the ones who will have to execute the change!

6. When something has to be decided without them, then get their fingerprints on it anyway.
When a decision has been made, there’s no point in “going through the motions” of getting advice and input; in fact, that exercise is usually transparent and insulting. Therefore, when a decision as to “what” will happen has already been made, you can still get advice, input and involvement about “how” it will be accomplished. This is what I call “getting their fingerprints on it.”

7. Get them the training and tools they need.
Adults are naturally motivated to do a good job but are demotivated when they don’t have the skills or tools to do so. Provide a baseline amount of tools, equipment, skills and training so that people are empowered to do the work they already want to get done but are being prevented from doing.

8. Ask for their help.

9. Trust them to do their work but verify that they are on track.

10. Hold them accountable because the rest of the team is watching.

In the next blog, we’ll summarize all ten points for easy reference.


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