“Coaching is the universal language of change and learning”- CNN

While we have discussed what it means to participate and the different levels of participation that young people can have vis-à-vis adults, in this session we will discuss what a youth organisation needs to deal with when young people are participating in it.

Many youth organizations face a high turnover of young people. This means that a lot of young people want to join the organization, but they also leave the organization very quickly for different reasons, some personal, some professional. This is a given when working with young people and in fact makes an organisation more dynamic.

To truly remain a youth-led or youth focused organization and not lose, a few things need to be done:

  • Recruitment and selection of new members can be a great opportunity to have new people, ideas and perspective in the organization. You need to have a strategy and budget to continuously recruit new people, for example by making a membership section on your website or sharing membership recruitment through newsletters with your community.

Selection of new members can be done through intake interviews. These give you an idea of potential members, their commitment, their motivations and ideas.

  • Introducing new members to the organization, showing them the in’s and out’s, as well as the core values and principles.

  • Make sure that you document all activities, developments of the organization, not only to introduce new members, but also to make sure that knowledge and experience is not dependent on one person, but on the whole organization. All this documentation will be a huge help to new members and staff as they join the organisation or movement and avoids having to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch constantly.

  • Enabling them to meaningfully contribute. To do this, you need to guide new members to develop their own skills and knowledge to actively contribute to the organization. You can organize regular staff meetings, introduction trainings, internal trainings and information sharing to empower new members and make them stay in the organization!

Take Two Principle is a buddy or coaching system, which helps transferring knowledge, skills and experience to new members. It means that new members team up with older members, to carry out tasks or activities together. It is a great way to learn new skills for new members! Older members are more experienced and have more knowledge about the working of the organization, but don’t forget that less experienced members have knowledge too!

You practice!

Try these tip to deal with turn-over. To make sure new and older members have an equal chance to participate in activities and develop themselves, you can introduce a selection procedure for activities;

  • Being a member for a certain period of time

  • Being active

  • Continue membership after the activity

  • Every time a different group of people will be selected

  • Knowledge and experience of members

  • Learning opportunities for new members

  • Motivation and availability