We are all influenced by a combination of preferences for thinking (head), feeling (heart) and doing (hands). To truly engage people research suggests we are most effective when we tap into all three.

Give your people a reason why – not just a description of how to do it or what to do

Previously an email to a volunteer might have looked like this:

“Hi Joe, the court walls are looking dirty again. Do you have time this weekend to clean them?”

Using the head, heart and hands model, why not try something more like this?

“Hi Joe, thanks for all your help so far this year. As you know, we are passionate, positive, sport enthusiasts who simply love the game. We’re committed to providing a safe and healthy club environment for our members. And we need some help. We need like-minded people who believe in hard work, who are hungry to make the game better and who know to have some fun along the way. We’re not interested in robots who do and say the same things. We want creative, passionate people who think for themselves and who love the game. Everyone in our club brings different skills and experiences but shares the same commitment to making our club great and improving the game. The court walls are dirty again and could use some attention from someone with your skills. It shouldn’t take longer than an hour and we have all the required cleaning tools for the job in the cupboard. There will be some other volunteers to give you a hand if needed. We hope you can join us.”

The sports environment is facing a number of challenges that directly affects volunteers – increased compliance risks, changing social dynamics and competing priorities. Within our clubs, people play a vital role in the delivery of sport throughout New Zealand – many of whom are volunteers. By leading with the head (reminding your members of the club’s purpose), the heart (knowing your people’s motivations) and hands (providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools), successful clubs are able to adapt to these changes and remain relevant.

More information

For more ideas about how you can look after people who form the backbone of your club click here.