Knowledge transitions: using narrative to understand the issues of attracting & retaining volunteers
Facilitating Knowledge Transfer and Retention in the Modern Workplace The Sebel, Melbourne 19 February 2008 Chris Fletcher—Director, Knowledge Management Asia Pacific region Deloitte Consulting Knowledge transitions: using narrative to understand the issues of attracting & retaining volunteers Source: Flickr: dyjohen
The Future of Volunteering in Australia Fact: Meals on Wheels rely on volunteers Statistic: Average age of a volunteer: 60+ Question: What happens to Meals on Wheels when the pool of volunteers dries up? Question: What motivates / drives people to volunteer?
Some early takeouts Possible link between level of education, type of employment & reason for volunteering Majority of SMI’s are from the 17 – 59 Year group – need to look at balancing the survey community
Some early takeouts Significant no. of respondents have been volunteering for more than 6 years, predominantly on a weekly basis Significant no. of stories were told with the intent to encourage or inform, with an emotional intensity between neutral and strongly positive
Rewards Some early takeouts: Observation: It seems that the more frequently people volunteer, the more likely they are to have minimal rewards . Interpretation: Frequent volunteers are less rewarded (thus unappreciated)? Frequent volunteers are less in need of reward?
Praise Some early takeouts: Observation: The most negative stories involve lack of praise, and the next-most-negative stories involve excessive praise. Positive stories tend to involve neither Interpretation: Praise is definitely preferred, and a lack of praise is considered worse than excessive praise. This would seem to say that praise motivates volunteers more than rewards.
Connectedness/Control Some early takeouts: Observation: Higher peak for isolation in strong negative; slightly negative has a high peak for over-controlling; both extremes tolerated to some extent in the positive stories. Interpretation: With respect to isolation versus control, it would appear that volunteers prefer too much control to isolation. .
Skill use Some early takeouts: Observation: The positive-recommendation story (first question) elicited more essential responses, and the negative-recommendation story elicited both unused and essential responses. The question about the future of volunteering elicited more essential than unused responses. Interpretation: Volunteers associate being essential to the organisation with a positive force in volunteering, although negative stories about being overly essential are also found. (It is a double-edge sword?) Volunteers think that the future of volunteering will include essential roles for volunteers in organisations.
Options Some early takeouts: Observation: For the question about options and opportunities, difficulty of access is associated with negative views, but "too many options" is not, nor is it strongly associated with positive views. Interpretation: Difficulty of access is definitely seen as a problem, but the problem of too many options seems not have registered as a real problem in those surveyed. Perhaps in reality people don't have too many options? Or maybe they don't mind having a lot of options and don't feel overwhelmed by them, or have strong preferences and thus don't mind that there are many possibilities?
Emotional Support Some early takeouts: Observation: People who live with others, whether family or not, are less likely to tell stories in which "excessive" emotional support is evident than people who live alone. Interpretation: For people who live alone, volunteering provides critical social support, whereas for people who have other means of connecting, emotional support is not as important.
Help making choices Some early takeouts: Observation: The prevalence of people having choices "made for them" increases as people volunteer less often. Interpretation: This would seem to say that people who volunteer often both get more say in what they do, and get less help deciding what they should do to help. People who volunteer only occasionally are probably assigned tasks, partly because they don't know what is needed and partly because they don't have a role of permanence. That may be inevitable, but the interesting group is the people who volunteer daily. They may be an underserved group who might feel exploited and unsupported. People who volunteer weekly and monthly seem to have found a middle ground, where they feel for the most part supported but not overly controlled.
People – Over controlled & managed Recognition – False Praise Group: 17 – 59 Years The recognition that people in this story received was -- False praise X The people in this story feel – over controlled and managed Strong positive correlation – patterns starting to identify trends
Summary Statistics for graph: The recognition that people in this story received was -- False praise X The people in this story feel – over controlled and managed Number of items: 48 Correlation Use parametric correlation test? no Spearman ranked correlation coefficient: 0.6432 Spearman ranked correlation slope: 0.6432 Spearman ranked correlation significance: 0.0 Significance threshold: 0.05 Correlation is significant? yes Y axis (The people in this story feel -- over controlled and managed) Mean: 68.7751 Median: 89.9598 25th percentile: 34.9398 75th percentile: 98.7952 Standard deviation: 36.9285 Skewness: -0.8432 Skewness standard error: 0.3536 Skewness z value: -2.3849 Skewness denotes normal distribution: no Kurtosis: -0.9024 Standard error for kurtosis: 0.7071 Kurtosis z value: -1.2762 Kurtosis denotes normal distribution: yes X axis (The recognition that people in this story received was -- False praise) Mean: 68.6809 Median: 85.3316 25th percentile: 41.0714 75th percentile: 99.2347 Standard deviation: 35.5747 Skewness: -0.8268 Skewness standard error: 0.3536 Skewness z value: -2.3386 Skewness denotes normal distribution: no Kurtosis: -0.7283 Standard error for kurtosis: 0.7071 Kurtosis z value: -1.03 Kurtosis denotes normal distribution: yes
Emotional Tone of Story Strongly Positive (3) Positive (9) Neutral (10) Negative (6) Strongly Negative (3) For people in this story, their choice of organisation to volunteer for is -- too hard to choose X For the people in this story, becoming a volunteer would be described as being -- Too hard to access the right opportunity Strongly Positive (1) Positive (4) Neutral (9) Negative (4) Strongly Negative (5) The recognition that people in this story received was -- False praise X The type of organisation in this story is one where -- People have to fend for themselves Strongly Positive (17) Positive (17) Neutral (18) Negative (4) Strongly Negative (4) The People in this story feel – over controlled and managed X For people in this story, their choice of organisation to volunteer for is -- too hard to choose Strongly Positive (11) Positive (15) Neutral (8) Negative (9) Strongly Negative (3) The Recognition that people in this story received was – False Praise X The People in this story feel – over controlled and managed
Linked Characteristics (+ve relationship): 17 – 59 Years Recognition: False Praise Rewards: A complete waste of Resources People: Over controlled & managed Choice of organisation: Too hard to choose People: Isolated & Ignored Type of organisation: Fend for themselves Rewards: Minimal & tokenistic Recognition: Non existent Choice of organisation: Made by someone else Lines denoted show strong positive correlations in the indexes that were applied to the stories. If one factor was high, then the linked factor was also high
Linked Characteristics (-ve relationship): 17 – 59 Years Recognition: False Praise Type of organisation: Fend for themselves People: Isolated & Ignored Rewards: Minimal & tokenistic Choice of organisation: Made by someone else Rewards: Complete waste of Resources Skills & capabilities: Unrecognised & unused People: Over controlled & managed Opportunities: Too many options Choice of organisation: To hard to choose Opportunities: Too hard to access right opportunity Lines denoted show strong negative correlations in the indexes that were applied to the stories. If one factor was high, then the linked factor was low
Balancing the Survey community <ul><li>Low representation of < 17 years - Decision made to not include this group in first iteration of project </li></ul><ul><li>Nil representation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders - Decision made to not include this group in first iteration of project </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal CALD representation - Pursuing local community groups to improve representation </li></ul><ul><li>Small representation from 60+ age group - Targeting specific groups in this segment to increase representation </li></ul>
Some lessons <ul><li>Lead time to generate participation is extensive when dealing with the community </li></ul><ul><li>Do not frame expectations of participation on corporate experience </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rely on community leaders to effectively communicate with constituents </li></ul><ul><li>Different strategies are required for different demographic groups </li></ul><ul><li>Web based tools need to be supplemented by other ways to access community responses i.e. Face to Face, recorded interviews, phone-in service, paper based tools </li></ul><ul><li>Explanation required to participants that this is NOT a traditional survey approach </li></ul>
Next Steps <ul><li>Timeline for project completion: </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops 26 – 27 February 08 </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention Design – implications for policy workshop – 10 March 08 </li></ul><ul><li>Completion of project and recommendations April 08 </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for Project extension </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate sector benchmarking volunteer programmes against Future of Volunteering narrative set - Additional funding from government to access additional representation from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, and under 17 demographics </li></ul>
You can participate too! http://www.cognitive-edge.com/surveys/fov/ Access the survey:
Where else can this process be used? <ul><li>Employment lifecycle - Recruitment - Induction - Succession facilitation - Ongoing culture audits - Exit Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed Research </li></ul><ul><li>Client Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Any where you need to make sense of complex problems in order to act </li></ul>