Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stop Burnout - Provide Support!

As we continue to look at burnout, yesterday I said, "When we are understaffed, the volunteers we have are in a situation where they may feel tired, worn out and decide they are burned out." If we want to avoid burnout, we need to be sure we are not understaffed. 

Today I want to think about another thing which may cause our volunteers to think they are burned out - if we do not have a support system in place. Life brings its challenges and difficulties to all of us . . . volunteers included. When they experience these challenges and difficulties, they may feel serving overloads them and they are burned out. But, if we have a support system in place, then we can come to their aid and be a source of encouragement to them. For example, if a volunteer experiences illness, we can arrange for meals, visits and rides to appointments. Most importantly, we can support them in prayer.

To provide this type of support, you have to . . . 
  • Be watching and alert. Pay attention. Talk to your volunteers so you know what is happening in their lives.
  • Have a team of people who are able to pull together the people and resources needed to provide support when it is needed - for example, people who will fix meals, pray, drive, visit, etc
  • Develop relationships so volunteers will share their challenges and difficulties.
Another way we provide this support goes back to what we talked about yesterday - if we have a full volunteer staff who know one another and who work together then they will feel supported and encouraged by one another. If we have volunteers who serve by themselves and who do not know the other volunteers, they will not have this support they need when they face challenges and difficulties.

So, as you think about ways you can help your volunteers avoid burnout, be sure you have a support system in place!

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