The side hug

Continued from previous post…

The creepy guy who is only there to flirt with the female volunteers. The guy/gal who thinks that your organization is their personal gossip room.

You all know who I am talking about, and you probably have a few of these people in your organization’s volunteer pool. Your volunteer coordinator has tried talking to them, he/she has even tried reassigning them to different task with no success. These individuals are not only unproductive to your organization, with enough of them, they have a side effect of turning productive volunteers away -think the creepy guy scaring all your female volunteers away-. We shall call these people “destructive volunteers for this post”.

In the carrot or stick expression, it is widely accepted that organizations should not use the stick on its volunteers. Therefore most volunteer organizations utilizes bigger carrots to attract productive volunteers -think boy scout badges-, hoping that the increase productive volunteer count will offset the destructive ones -there are entire academic fields dedicated to this-. However, as an organization matures, this usually becomes an increasing challenge as the destructive volunteers have a way sticking around while other organizations compete for the attention of your productive ones.

Back to the carrot and stick expression. It might not be kosher to use a stick on destructive volunteers, but we can certainly deprive them of the carrot. Thus, one of the organizations, Renovo Ministries, implemented “The Side Hug” -the side hug has been made fun of as a Christian fundamentalist moment, but it is also extremely useful in removing the carrot from those who joined the organization in hopes of getting in close physical contact with those of the opposite gender-. *And just to be clear, if you read two articles down, you will realize i really appreciate, and have nothing against, front hugs among close friends.*

Another carrot removal policy that could be employed is limiting the organization’s contact list to “key” individuals (key=those less likely to spread gossip). These two policies have personally been successful in removal of destructive volunteers without overly offending them. This destructive volunteers gradually stopped coming because they were no longer able to find the “incentives” that got them there in the first place.

So what carrot removing policy do you need to employ in your organization to get rid of the few destructive individuals? *Warning: As necessary as these policies are, you will probably look like the bad guy/gal. Maybe that is why it is such an unpopular discussion to take about, as even less commonly implemented.