Let me first explain the difference by giving you a hypothetical situation to ponder. Assume you are the manager of a building supply company, and at the end of the day you fire a paid employee. As a result of his dismissal, that person will probably not show up to work tomorrow. More than likely no future effects of this situation will be seen.
However, lets assume you are in leadership at your church and you have to fire a volunteer. That person will more than likely show up to worship next Sunday. Therefore, if the dismissal of the person does not go well you could have to deal with enormous amounts of tension, possible gossip about you and your leadership, and future fallout because of the influence of this person. To me this is a major difference between paid and unpaid staff.
Just as there is a difference between the two groups I believe there is a similarity. That similarity is how people react when they are appreciated. Appreciation is like compound interest, the more that is added over time the greater the benefits compound and grow.
Lets go back to our hypothetical situation. If the management at the building supply company lead with the attitude, “his paycheck is all the appreciation he needs”, or “she will do it because she needs a job” then they will constantly have staff turn over. Admittedly, the “boss” does have some leverage when the person is a paid staff member, however, research has shown that a person’s pay is not the number one factor in being happy and productive in his job. The research I have seen reveals that appreciation and job satisfaction are at the top of the list.
Also in our hypothetical was the church volunteer. This person is not motivated by pay or other financial benefits, he is motivated by the difference he is making and the appreciation given by those in leadership above him. A little appreciation goes a long way with this person.
Therefore, regardless if you are in management at a business or a leader at your church all your paid and volunteer staff perform better and will stay in their positions longer if you show consistent appreciation. The College Dictionary defines appreciation this way (I have added some examples for you to apply this week).
The bottom line is, “Are you appreciating your staff, paid or unpaid?” Do you have staff members that regularly work diligently to make sure excellence is achieved? Do you regularly show them how much they mean to you and the organization? Set yourself a goal to apply at least one of the above three items to your staff this week.
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