How to get People to Participate

When you need more people, thank the ones you have.  And here’s the key – thank them publicly.  I served on a conference planning committee for a year.  The conference was a success.  But we, the committee, were not mentioned.  A year of volunteer work and there was no time in the conference schedule for us to be introduced.  Later, we did receive an email thank you (when we were being asked to come to another meeting.)


 A sage once asked, “What is a human beings greatest support?” 

The answer was “Gratitude.”


So if you need support, express your gratitude VERY PUBLICLY.  It is an easy way to get more people to participate.  When you publicly thank those who do support you, new people want to get involved. – Shar McBee




4 thoughts on “How to get People to Participate”

  1. Shar,

    Your story was a great example about how a simple “thank you” can make a difference, especially for volunteers. A few years ago, an organization I was part of did not mention a person’s name who provided an incredible amount of volunteer time and money for the organization at our annual meeting. I was unaware about how the volunteer felt about this until 2-3 months later when I was trying to recruit her for another activity. She mentioned to me that she spent an inordinate amount of time “covering for the person” who was in charge of an event and was never privately or publicly acknowledged. She was in tears on the phone after relating this story to me. I felt terrible and sent her flowers as a thank you, but she resigned from the organization and I’m sure will never come back.

  2. Employer loyalty: a leadership performance support tool. Public and private organizations are into a phase of creative disassembly where constant reinvention and adjustments are constant. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being shed by Chevron, Sam’s Club, Wells Fargo Bank, HP, Starbucks etc. and the state, counties and cities. Even solid world class institutions like the University of California Berkeley under the leadership of Chancellor Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer are firing staff, faculty and part-time lecturers. Estimates are that the State of California may jettison 47,000 positions.
    Yet many employees, professionals and faculty cling to old assumptions about one of the most critical relationship of all: the implied, unwritten contract between employer and employee.
    Until recently, loyalty was the cornerstone of that relationship. Employers promised job security and a steady progress up the hierarchy in return for employees fitting in, performing in prescribed ways and sticking around. Longevity was a sign of employeer-employee relations; turnover was a sign of dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply today. Organizations can no longer guarantee employment and lifetime careers, even if they want to.
    Organizations that paralyzed themselves with an attachment to “success brings success’ rather than “success brings failure’ are now forced to break the implied contract with employees – a contract nurtured by management that the future can be controlled.
    Jettisoned employees are finding that the hard won knowledge, skills and capabilities earned while being loyal are no longer valuable in the employment market place.
    What kind of a contract can employers and employees make with each other? The central idea is both simple and powerful: the job or position is a shared situation. Employers and employees face market and financial conditions together, and the longevity of the partnership depends on how well the for-profit or not-for-profit continues to meet the needs of customers and constituencies. Neither employer nor employee has a future obligation to the other. Organizations train people. Employees develop the kind of security they really need – skills, knowledge and capabilities that enhance future employability.
    The partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor. Employee loyalty to management is dead – Rx for employee loyalty reform.

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