Six tips to rejuvenate committees

Resources to aid 4-H clubs and volunteers working with committees.

Committee meetings are a fact of any organization’s life but can often become tedious. Youth or adults can implement these helpful tips to transform their 4-H committees and renew members resolve to finish their tasks.

  1. Make sure you really need a “committee.” If the task only needs two or three willing workers, don’t form a committee. Instead, consider forming a “project team.” It’s amazing how changing the title can change attitude. Complete the “project” and then the team is done.
  2. Don’t rush to fill a vacancy. Screen candidates carefully to assure the committee has the skills it needs to function effectively. It is better to live with a vacancy than to put the wrong person into a key position.
  3. Have a written description of committee goals and other information. Write a job description for all members. Use tools like meeting minutes to document who agreed to do what, by when, to keep everyone informed about the committee work in progress.
  4. Avoid burning out your dedicated members. Enforce a rotation policy for committee membership. Take some risks. Recruit new and untried people. Be welcoming to newcomers. Orientate recruits with historical materials and an explanation of how the group works internally.
  5. Don’t delay recognition until the end of a project. Recognize and thank people for their efforts as they move through the process. Watch for low enthusiasm and do things to regenerate interest. Something as simple as applause for an accomplishment can lift spirits and refocus energy.
  6. Document procedures so they can be passed on to successors. Besides minutes, keep track of policies made or changed, sample forms created, and other tools that might be useful to those who serve next. If possible, schedule a transition gathering between incoming and outgoing members.

With these simple tips from Michigan State University Extension, you can transform any committee to renewed action. Continue to benefit your 4-H club by further exploring organizational resources and checking out upcoming trainings and events!

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