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Quit

“Leaders, in both non-profits and for-profits, lose out when they fail to align assignments with the talents, interests, and needs of their teams.”— Misti Burmeister

Soon after retirement, Bebe found herself bored and incredibly lonely. Seeking to “be with people,” she signed up to volunteer at a retirement home.

On the morning she was scheduled to start, Bebe headed to the retirement home, feeling excited about spending the day connecting with others.

Upon arrival, she met Janice, the woman in charge of volunteers. After finishing some paperwork, Bebe was given her assignment for the day – cleaning the bathrooms … alone.

“As I scrubbed that floor by myself,” Bebe said, “I couldn’t help but think about the woman I was paying to clean my bathroom.”

“Did you keep volunteering?” I asked.

“No, I jumped at the opportunity to organize a crew of workers to renovate five bathrooms for another organization.”

Yes, someone had to clean those floors, but had Janice taken the time to find out why Bebe was motivated to volunteer, she wouldn’t have assigned her a solitary task. Instead, Janice would have found an assignment that enabled Bebe to spend the day with others, and that tapped into her skills and talents.

Volunteers and employees quit for similar reasons. They want to share their talents in environments where they feel valued and appreciated. They want to work with leaders who care enough to find out what truly motivates them and to learn about their goals.

Leaders, in both non-profits and for-profits, lose out when they fail to align assignments with the talents, interests, and needs of their teams. And there’s only one way to find out why people show up to work: Ask them.

Join the Conversation: Do you know what inspires and motivates each of your team members? How have you aligned their skills, as well as their career goals, with the tasks you assign to them?

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across GenerationsHidden Heroes and Power Suck.

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