Advice for district, division and county commissioners to manage your team
As commissioner you’re acting in a management role. This means you’ll be leading a team to support you.
Think about what you need in your area before putting together your team. Take a look at the roles you could have in your county on our roles working with volunteers and roles promoting guiding pages.
Job-sharing the commissioner role
Although lots of the commissioner responsibilities can be delegated to an assistant commissioner, there are some tasks that only a commissioner can do. Job-sharing the role helps spread the workload. Plus, it means a wider range of skills and experience are brought to the role.
Everyone sharing the role will be recorded on GO as a commissioner, but only 1 person will be the main contact for the level. If you're job sharing, we suggest:
- Define how the role will be split from the start. Share this with everyone in your county.
- Keep in regular contact with each other and agree times to catch up on county developments.
The administration team make sure the day-to-day running of your county goes smoothly. You can shape the role of this team to meet the needs of your area.
The work of the administration team may include:
- Responding to general enquiries from current members and those interested in joining.
- Administrating county events, producing posters, booking forms, and organising bookings.
- Reviewing dates of appointments and long service awards.
- Preparing and distributing agendas and minutes of meetings.
- Making sure the correct financial processes are followed.
- Sending out the county newsletter.
Communication and PR advisers
This role works with the media to promote guiding in your area. Advisors should keep you informed about any conversations they're having with media outlets. Find out more about communication and PR advisers.
You all need to be familiar working with the media, and know when to contact our PR team for support.
Delegation helps you make the most of everyone in your team and make your workload more manageable.
Think about the tasks at hand. And consider the members of your team and their strengths. These could be skills like communication, time management or people skills.
These areas must be completed by commissioners and cannot be delegated:
- Anything that needs authorising by the commissioner like residential event notification forms, awards forms or starting a new unit grant. If you can't give authorisation, the responsibility can be passed to a commissioner of the same or higher level. Assistant commissioners can't give authorisation in your place.
- Agreeing roles with individuals.
- Confidential matters that may require discreet enquiries.
Not everything has to be covered by a member of the county team. Specialist areas, such as accounts or legal issues, can and should be delegated to someone who has the knowledge and skills needed. This can be a terrific way to involve a wider range of people, including parents of girls or volunteers who can’t commit regularly but want to help.
Remember, you'll need to make sure that the tasks you delegate are done well and on time. Keep track of everything with a list of tasks that your team are working on and the timescales or deadlines.
The county commissioner delegation chart uses a traffic light system, also known as a RAG grid, which can help you keep track. Or you can find a different system that works well for you and your team.
The most important thing is to stay in regular contact with the members you’re working with.
For more information and support, check our advice on managing your team.
Your division and districts
At some point you might need to think about how districts and divisions are divided within the county.
If a district wants to divide, merge, or close the division commissioner should talk with all the leaders in the district(s).
They need to discuss:
- The reason for the change.
- The benefits.
- Any potential problems.
You should be kept up-to-date on all discussions.
If everybody involved is happy with the change going ahead, then you, as county commissioner, should be sent the decision and all the facts in writing.
If a division wants to divide, merge or close then a conversation should take place at a district level. Then district commissioner should share their leaders' opinions at a division-level meeting, which the county commissioner must attend. When a majority decision has been reached it should be sent, with all facts in writing, to you as commissioner.
If you agree with the decision about the district or division, you should inform the country/region chief commissioner in writing. Include:
- The reasons for the decision.
- The potential benefits.
- Potential problems and how these would be addressed.
- Maps with the relevant units, districts or divisions clearly marked.
- The preferred date for the change to happen.
- Changes to district or division names.
You can get advice and support from your country or region chief commissioner and other county commissioners in your country or region. It’s useful to set up a way for commissioners in your region to communicate regularly, like catching up informally after region meetings.