Jasmine, the Volunteer Coordinator for a non-profit “Let’s Rise Above” organization, found herself in a difficult situation, as the institution in crisis due to the absence of donations. The 50% decrease in financing is likely to wreak havoc on the organization’s ability to perform.
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No wonder that the volunteers at “Let’s Rise Above” have concerns about losing the building. They are afraid that the space to teach classes will be taken away and they won’t be able to encourage students to explore the medical field. Desperate times have already resulted in downsizing the number of courses. However, there are still some things Jasmine can do to boost her volunteers’ morale and probably save their building.
First of all, she should not let stress get to her. According to Harms, Credé, Tynan, Leon and Jeung (2017), “it is undeniable that stress can cause leaders to make bad decisions” (p. 179). Jasmine should come up with a clear step-by-step plan of action. It would be very helpful in the long run as Jasmine would see which points she has already tried and which are still to be used. It would be safe to assume that these are the most important things to include:
- Recognizing the contribution of her volunteers. Everybody wants and needs to be appreciated at his or her job, nevermind the amount of benefit they bring to the organization. Awarding her workers with a “Volunteer of the month” trophy or some token of the sort will amp up their enthusiasm and willingness to succeed.
- Giving the volunteers a clear picture of the goal they need to reach. Although it may seem that it is crystal clear what they are striving to achieve, Jasmine has to explain the specifics. They do not just need to get the donations; they need to improve their communication skills, creativity, teamwork to get that done.
- Being there for her team and treating them with respect. A good leader should not only coordinate his people at work but also be available to them in case some difficulties come along. Supporting them with advice and necessary information will earn Jasmine points among her staff.
- Including the volunteers in decision-making. Creating a team and involving them in the process of figuring out solutions to existing problems will make the volunteers feel important and encourage them to fight for their goal.
- Suggest taking part in organizing an event that could bring more donations. Perhaps, one of the best things Jasmine can do to kill two birds with one stone – it will bring people’s attention to the organization and energize her employees. Almost everybody nowadays uses social media; letting the world know about “Let’s Rise Above” can contribute tons to the financing of the organization and, therefore, to the volunteers’ morale.
According to Hancott (2017), the leader is responsible for communicating “the vision developed in such an inspiring…way that people want to follow and help make the vision reality” (p. 14). Jasmine has to set an example for her volunteers by working as hard as they do and being just as involved.
In terms of leadership style, she should incline towards democratic and coaching ones the most. It is important to note that with democratic style “the leader forges consensus through participation”, and with coaching – “develops people for the future” (Hancott, 2017). In simple terms that means that treating the volunteers as equal teammates, listens carefully to what they suggest and proposes certain techniques instead of enforcing them upon people.
Hancott, D. (2017). Leadership Is What? The Importance of Vision, Integrity and Developing Others. Lulu Publishing Services.
Harms, P. D., Credé, M., Tynan, M., Leon, M., & Jeung, W. (2017). Leadership and stress: A meta-analytic review. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1), 178-194.
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