There are a million reasons a committee comes to pieces, and they’re all sad and incredibly inconvenient for you, the association leader. After all, you still need tasks completed for which the committee was formed!
Whether it be fundamental conflicts of personality in members, lackluster leadership, unresolved conflict or simple lack of commitment, you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to worry about that at first. Work these steps, get things under control, and then figure out what happened!
- Step one: Identify the to-do list
When the committee broke up, what still needed to be done? Were they in the middle of planning an event or organizing something? Make sure you know where it is as specifically as possible. Worst case scenario, it’ll fall on you to fill in for awhile but at least you’ll know what you’re doing!
- Step two: Name a new leader
In some cases, the committee leader may still be around. In others, nobody is present. Ask for volunteers or assign the tasks to a staffer with a lighter load. If you don’t have anyone who will step up (or who is able to step up) I’m sorry to say you might have to load up on your workload until a volunteer comes forward or tasks can be reassigned.
- Step three: Find a new committee
Many times members want to volunteer but aren’t aware of the opportunities. Post a call for help EVERYWHERE: in your newsletter, on the login screen of your AMS, in your emails, mention it at meetings, and put feelers out with your friends. Interested parties will come eventually, I promise!
- Step four: Nurture the new committee
Taking on a new responsibility like a committee membership or leadership can be overwhelming, especially for the busy professional. For the first few weeks, be sure to remain close by. Let your new committee know that you’re there for them and you’re free to help and answer any questions.
- Step five: NOW you can analyze what happened
Now that your new committee is on its way, figure out what led to the old one’s collapse. Ask around or see why other members dropped off. Don’t brush off any answer like, “Oh it was just a scheduling issue.” or “Oh this member just had a new baby.” While those may seem like circumstantial excuses, they also may speaker to the larger priorities of your membership as a whole. Discuss your findings with the new committee chair.
Finally, are there any hurt feelings to smooth over? Post-mortems to hold? Conflicts yet to resolve? Now’s the time. As always, keep open communication and find out as many sides of the story as you can, then proceed forward!
Another thing you may want to look into is AMS software. A great AMS build especially for your small staff’s needs can go a long way in helping your committees stay organized and together with emails, calendars, and forums.
What is an AMS, you ask? Download our free guide below to learn!