Managing Your Team When Something Goes Wrong

Last Updated on July 10, 2022

Your event team – volunteers in particular – are an important element of every event you run. It’s imperative that you properly manage your team to ensure you keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, that isn’t always going to be possible. Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, something is going to go wrong.

For one reason or another, members of your team may fail to do their jobs properly.  Don’t let it derail your event. By acting quickly and decisively, you can make sure that a minor problem with your volunteers doesn’t transform into an outright catastrophe. 

But what can you do?

Make Sure Your Team Leaders Are Equipped To Report The Problem

Firstly (and most importantly), you need to ensure you’ve proper communication channels and reporting systems in place. Assuming your team leaders can’t deal with the issue themselves (or if they are the issue), there needs to be some way to contact you in order to request your intervention.  After all, the first step in solving a problem is making sure you actually know one exists.

Full disclosure here: there’s a good chance that your team leaders are going to deal with most situations that crop up unless it’s a severe one. As such, your best bet here lies in preparation: structure your events team into divisions, with someone you trust at the helm of each. That way, unless something goes catastrophically wrong, you can simply focus on running your event.

Talk To The Parties Involved

In the event that something goes wrong enough to require your intervention, you’ll need to talk to everyone involved with the issue – if indeed this is a viable course of action. If someone hasn’t shown up, make an effort to figure out why. It may be that they’re dealing with an emergency of some kind, and actually have a legitimate reason for not being there. If there’s an interpersonal dispute, resolve it.

Finally, if someone simply isn’t adequately carrying out their duties; speak to them and try to work out why.

Consider Whether Or Not The Problem Is You

Now, there’s the off chance that if you run into staffing problems, the issue is the way you do things. It could be anything from not clearly establishing what duties your volunteers have to appointing someone unqualified for their job. The simple point is that if you haven’t structured your teams properly, made instructions clear enough, or scheduled things adequately, it could lead to a fair amount of discontent from your staff.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fire People

Sometimes, there’s no dealing with someone. Either they’re so toxic that they drag everyone down around them, so incompetent nothing gets done, or so lazy they can’t be bothered to work. In such situations, your safest bet is to simply let them go. Don’t be afraid to fire someone who’s not doing their job: you can always replace them later.