In Chris Mavity’s book, Your Volunteers: From come and see to come and serve, he includes a chapter on creating positive energy within your organization.
Energy is needed to get things moving and keep things in motion … One of the primary jobs of a ministry leader is the creation, allocation, and conservation of energy. Leading volunteers requires spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental energy … and a lot of each!
The author includes ideas about how to create energy through celebrating victories, creating energy through training, adding rewards and awards, and matching the right person with the right job.
Chris also addresses the topic of how to deal with
an energy-robbing volunteer, or a NAG—someone who is continually negative, arrogant, or grumpy (or a combination of the three). Left unchecked, NAGs can consume so much energy that others will mock them, avoid them, quit the team … or worse, become NAGs themselves.
What is the solution to a NAG?
NAG them back.
No, you don’t become like them! Let me explain. The appropriate treatment of a NAG is to neutralize them, advise them, and give them specific options.
As Chris explains, you neutralize a NAG by limiting their exposure and influence on other volunteers. This may entail reassigning them or positioning them in a role where their behavior is of little to no effect upon others.
The next step is to advise a NAG through a private conversation where you are honest about their attitude and how it is affecting others.
As a last resort, you give them specific options to either comply with the ministry standards, correct the unwanted behavior, or give up their ministry role.