Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to keep people involved in your group. Once your group is seen to be consistently active, you'll find recruitment gets that much easier.
- People want to do things. They don’t want to sit in endless meetings. They want to be productive and have an impact.
- People want to have a good time while they have an impact. Often, many want to see friends and socialize. Be friendly and positive! Celebrate your successes and don’t always feel like you have to be attending to ‘business.’
- Keep your meetings light – don’t get too bogged down in process and minutes – remember that people are doing this for fun, people don’t want to feel like they are at work!
- People want to feel listened to. Very few people just want to follow what you want to do.
- The best way to keep people is to support them to get involved in ways that are of interest to them. Some people might be great on social media, but dislike running stalls and vice versa. Always try to find out what each person is passionate about / what they want to do, and support them in doing this. This is a key principle of ‘organising.’
- However, occasionally, you will find people who need direction and don’t mind being led. Don’t be afraid of giving these people tasks to do, but also be prepared to step back if they stumble across their passion.
- Of course, there is always the balance between people working according to their ‘self-interest’ and working together on a coherent projects. Achieving this balance is an artform. Don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes.
- Be wary of taking on too much and be sensitive of what people can and can’t do. Your group can’t do everything - don’t be afraid of saying no! Keep an eye open for burnout and encourage people to take some time off if they need to.
The single greatest thing that will keep people engaged with your group is a strong sense of social bond. So make sure to make time to grab a coffee with different local group members, really get to know each other, share your personal stories and find out what makes the other person tick.