Committees are the backbone of every club. Not only are they responsible for decision-making but, in most amateur not-for-profit clubs, they are responsible for the administration and organisation of the club.
A problem that arises with the majority of clubs is the 80/20 rule applies to their committee. The 80/20 rule means that 20 per cent of the people will be doing 80 per cent of the work. This is not fair or sustainable on the 20 per cent who get loaded with the work. However, this is normally a result of poor planning and lack of knowledge among committee members as to what their role includes.
The best way to share the load around is to have formal procedures and job descriptions for each of your committee roles.
One way to achieve this is to create roles for your general committee. These roles include junior, senior or women’s coordinator, member liaison, delegate to other committees (State Sports Association, Council etc), as well as people responsible for the canteen, bar, facilities, fundraising, sponsorship, uniforms and property etc. These roles give general committee members purpose and responsibilities.
From the top down, every position in the club should have a job description. These are no different from professional job descriptions as they represent what that person is responsible for, who they are responsible to, who is responsible to them, if they are paid and maybe even what their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are. Don’t be afraid to share the load – there is no reason the secretary can’t be responsible for setting up the scorer’s area on game days or the registrar shouldn’t mark the lines before the games. These descriptions again give committee members a purpose and responsibilities.
When writing the job descriptions, spend time to note down every little job it takes to run the club from before the season, during training, before game day, during the games and after the season. This allows you to spread the responsibilities around. That way, even if someone can’t do the job, they can be responsible for finding someone else who can.
Below are three job description templates provided by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Descriptions are available for other positions at the Clubs Online web page.
Finally, make sure you run each new committee member through an induction process. Imagine for a second starting a new job without an induction… you don't know what your responsibilities are, what everyone else does, who the other people are and so on. This induction needn't be long and arduous; just a short, sharp chat before their first committee meeting would do. Always make sure you allow enough time for questions as, the more comfortable your committee is, the more they will be able to assist you.