Friday, July 27, 2012

Your Most Important Two Words: "Thank You"

Building an effective team is essential to any museum's success.  One of the most crucially important ways to help people feel that they are part of the team is to devise strategies to effectively thank and salute those who help your museum in any way. Saying thank you often and creatively in person, by a phone call, through an e-mail, or in your publications is one of the most important ways to insure your success. Little gestures of kindness can go a long ways toward motivating your team. Remember – it is not about you. Banish the word “I” from your vocabulary – give your team the credit they deserve for all that you achieve together!

Saying thank you can also be a group team-building activity. Have the staff spend 15 minutes at a staff meeting writing personal thank you notes to people who helped at a recent event. Or ask the Board to write personal thank yous on annual fund thank you letters to people they know at the end of the board meeting. Or, nominate a volunteer for a statewide award. Get others on your team to write letters of support. Pack up a car load of people to attend and applaud. Bring your cameras and make sure to send copies to all who participated as well as to the media. People who feel their efforts are genuinely appreciated are more apt to want to continue to help and to offer their financial support.

Showcase all that has been accomplished (or 10 great things that have been done this year) in an upbeat presentation at your annual membership meeting or holiday staff-volunteer gathering. This can help generate enthusiasm, encourage participation by new volunteers, and build team spirit for working together to accomplish your mission.

Patricia Murphy is the first executive director of the Oberlin Heritage Center which attained American Association of Museums accreditation in 2005 under her leadership.  She has a B.A. in history from Grinnell College and a Master of Architectural History degree from the University of Virginia.  She is a graduate of the Seminar for Historic Administration and the Getty Museum Leadership Institute.  She serves on the American Association of Museums Accreditation Commission and is the past President of the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums.

No comments:

Post a Comment