The leader of a volunteer group once asked me, “What can we do get people involved and committed. How can we move people from the fringe of the group to the center?”
It is easy to hang out on the periphery. There are few risks. You can come and go as you want, relatively unnoticed. And you can avoid any sense of commitment.
As a leader, you want to attract the right people and get them committed to your company or your cause. Lookie loos might be nice people, but they don’t make great team members.
So how can you bring more committed individuals into the inner circle?
1. Get to know the person.
People will perform best when their skills and interests are matched to opportunities. Find out what people do well and like to do. That will give you clues on how to engage them.
2. Understand his or her desires and aspirations.
Knowing what people want to do is important. Even more important is knowing why they want to do it. Motives matter.
3. Introduce them to others.
Proximity promotes progress. As people get to know more people and build relationships, they will naturally move from the fringes to the center of the group.
4. Ask them for ideas.
People are invested when they get to provide input. You show them you value them when you ask for their perspective and suggestions.
5. Request their help.
Based on what you’ve learned and the relationship you’ve developed, ask the person to take on a job or lead a project. Explain whey you’re asking them and not someone else. Present the request honestly in terms of time and energy needed to be successful.
6. Give lots of encouragement.
After you’ve gotten someone involved, check in on their progress, how they’re feeling and any problems they might be encountering. Make sure to give plenty of encouragement.
7. Express appreciation.
Nobody wants to be taken for granted. The quickest way to move someone back to the fringes–or to destroy their commitment for the group–is to inadequately express your appreciation for them and what they’ve done.
What will you do to bring people in from the fringe and engage them in the important work of your group?