Second, in most instances the stated reasons for "quitting" are typically given as "due to involvement elsewhere, family, job, over commitment" when in fact that is the diplomatic way of saying that "the program is no longer managed in a way that offers meaningful purpose to my participation".
Only rarely will the volunteer actually state the real reason, such as "you assigned me this work but did not delegate the responsibility necessary for that to be achieved." Or, "You ask us to do what YOU want done but do not really consider the effect of that on the overall program". Or, "You impute wrong intent and purpose to peoples actions/statements." (Another way of putting that is to say that "instead of accepting explicit statements and actions, the person imputes (or implies) motive or intent that was not there in fact.")
Most volunteers - and especially those highly gifted ones so valuable to key positions in program management - stay involved ONLY so long as they feel that they are making a positive impact on the program. When they begin to feel that what they do no longer has beneficial results they invariably start sending "hidden messages" that astute managers discern, but most managers miss entirely.
The precursor to their eventual resignation is reduced time and involvement in the program. They are starting to draw away from it. Although they may express that in statements such as "other commitments", job, children, wife, health" in so many cases that is not the real reason. The real reason is most frequently that of disenfranchisement with the program management--the very program in which that volunteer has been so strongly involved up to that point.
Time and again I have seen that happen in emergency communication units. IN ALMOST EVERY CASE it has been because of a change in management of that unit at the STAFF level of the government that sponsors the unit. That change in management is typically that of a replacement of the chief paid staff position that manages the direction, action and purpose of the unit, whatever that title may be. The person who really understood the volunteers has gone on somewhere else, and the new staff person hasn't the ability or interest of the person being replaced.
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