Jessica Cooper @ Convestival 2013


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  • I started at London 2012 in August 2009 and left in September 2012. I knew what volunteering was, I understood to a certain extent which organisations used volunteers, what I didn’t realise the impact volunteering could have on an organisation and the impact that volunteering could have on individuals and on teams. London 2012 ignited my passion in volunteering. I was privileged to work as part of the team who ran the volunteering programme at London 2012, specifically I was responsible for the Young Games Maker programme, this was the volunteering programme at London 2012 for 16-18 year olds and the implementation of the Volunteering systems used to manage the volunteer application and management process. The London 2012 Games Makers have reached global recognition, many would agree they really did make the Games Noone should underestimate the impact the volunteering has on an organisation and on the individuals who have the opportunities to volunteer. I heard stories of people for whom attending the London 2012 selection centre had been the first time they had left the house in many years, I heard stories about how volunteering at the London 2012 Games helped one man get the motivation he required to fight his cancer battle, volunteering at the Games was the stepping stone that some people needed to get back into employment and for me personally knowing what impact Usain Bolt giving a young 16 year old athlete his favourite beanie would have on the rest of that kids life. Imagine what impact knowing how important the opportunity to volunteer is to people and what a huge part of their life it is, can have on other people in an organisation. I’m here to share some of what we did at London 2012 to manage our volunteer programme and our volunteers
  • - How many volunteers do you need? Too many volunteers are bored. Who do you want to attract? Are you trying to attract a diverse group of volunteers, do you want to target volunteers with specific skills? Are you trying to increase the diversity of your volunteers? Don’t be afraid to have a strategy or targets and use this to shape your approach Depending on who you want to attract – where do you advertise for your volunteers; websites, newspapers, recruitment fayres Make sure that you make your process as accessible as possible; disability, socio economic etc.
  • - The London 2012 volunteer programme undertook research prior to the programme to understand peoples propensity to volunteer and in particular for the Games, the response was overwhelming – over 1 million Although this may not be the same challenge for NT – quality of volunteers I am sure is important and making sure the right people apply Tell potential applicants as early as possible what roles they will be doing Tell them what will be expected of them in terms of time commitment for volunteering & training Don’t just focus on the obvious, communicate the less obvious – what can people get out of volunteering for the Trust, what skills will they get to use or learn, what they would be part of
  • All London 2012 Games Maker applicants who completed a successful application form were invited to a Selection Centre held in London and then in regional venues These selection centres were the first opportunity to engage the potential Games Makers and build the excitement for the Games; retention throughout the application process was important for London 2012, these selection centres began in Jan 2011 and ran throughout 2011, for some people more than a year before the Games The selection centres were also used to assess the applicants suitability to become Games Makers. Each applicant received a short interview of 30 mins – the same interview. These interviews were in the main conducted by other volunteers who had volunteered specifically for this role. We worked with a psychometric assessor to develop the interview questions, they were designed to assess each candidate against the volunteer values that London 2012 had agreed were important to them these were; Open, Team, Distinctive, Inspirational, Deliver, Respectful and Host. The host value represents the customer service and client focus that was to be at the heart of the Games Maker spirit. Games Maker were given the opportunity to ask questions and told clearly what the next steps would be Use templates to communicate information about the interview and make sure all information is given in advance Use the same interview structure for all volunteers and write down the answers provided by the volunteer applicant Think about what information you want to give them or show them If other people will be conducting interviews have instructions and templates they can use to make sure there is consistency Don’t be afraid if you think that they are not the right person to thank them for their time and interest but say that you don’t think they are riht for the role, maybe signpost them to alternative options
  • London 2012 had a very structured training programme for their volunteers; orientation, venue and role specific Materials provided throughout – pocket guide for them to carry day to day Feedback less structured because of the short relationship volunteers had with their line managers ONE TEAM – volunteers should be able to be given feedback and managed in a similar way to other workers
  • London 2012 thought carefully about how, when and what to communicate to Games Makers throughout their Games Maker journey Technology was utilised; email and an internet portal for communication of information and instructions This was managed centrally initially to ensure clear and consistent messaging to all volunteers A contact centre was set up for volunteers to call for information throughout the application process At GT the process was managed by the department where the volunteer was based, communications tended to be more operational and delivered verbally or by text Communications to volunteers need to be planned and well though through – each quarter or year ahead, messages to volunteers need to look & feel the same but have specific information, the delivery mechanism needs to be relevant to the volunteer population and the message Volunteers need to be clear about where they should go if they have a question they need answered
  • Volunteers bring to their roles a breadth and variety of experience that should be recognised and utilised Volunteers however should understand that they are part of the organisation and need to behave as others in the organisation should behave – important that they maintain the reputation of the organisation and don’t bring it into disrepute in any way In London 2012 policies and a code of conduct were written and communicated to all volunteers so they were clear about what behaviour was expected from them In turn this allowed volunteers to behave in a manner that upheld the organisation but allowed their individuality to flourish No different for paid staff or other workers
  • Volunteers motivations are different to paid staff and a reward and recognition programme has to be designed to reflect as such Everyone likes to be thanked for doing a good job or their commitment Be creative about what this consists of – it doesn’t need to have a high monetary value London 2012 were fortunate to be able to utilise their relationship with sponsors to provide recognition items e.g. pizza, chocolates from Cadburys, Certificates signed by Seb Coe, Pin Badges, Batons The distribution of Reward & Recognition items was thought through and planned – distribution after long days, wet days, particular events.
  • Working with volunteers is a hugely privileged position I feel so proud to have met such interesting people from such a variety of backgrounds, people for whom this volunteering experience had such a huge impact on their life There is now a huge pool of people out there who are passionate about volunteering and are motivated to continue to volunteer Volunteers are just part of One Big team, in most part should be treated no different to other members of the workforce at the properties I have shared with you some of the things we did at London 2012 which I feel made a difference to the success of the Volunteering programme I hope I have inspired some of you today I will leave you with this video that just goes to show what an impact volunteers can have – thank you Games Makers
  • Jessica Cooper @ Convestival 2013

    1. 1. London 2012 Volunteer Management in the National Trust Make every day a gold medal day
    2. 2. Introduction & context
    3. 3. “Volunteers make the difference between a good Games and a great Games” Seb Coe Volunteering & the Olympic movement – 1948 London Game saw the birth of the volunteering movement at the Olympic Games – London 2012 volunteering programme launched in July 2010 with the goal to find 70,000 volunteers for the Olympic & Paralympic Games – Received quarter of a million applications – Volunteers, Paid Staff and Contractors made up the London 2012 workforce – Workforce managed at Games time by Workforce Operations Managers based at venues
    4. 4. Attract & select the right people with the right skills to deliver the best games ever Goal of the Volunteer Programme
    5. 5. Outreach & Attraction – How many volunteers do you need? – Who do you want to attract? – How can you reach out to them? Making the difference
    6. 6. Expectation Management – Clear expectations before you recruit – What role will they be doing? – How long will they be required to volunteer? Making the difference
    7. 7. Rigorous Recruitment – Professional – when, where, what the interview will consist of? – What experience do you want to create for your volunteers? – What are you looking for? How will you look for it? – What information do you want to communicate? – How can you build their excitement about becoming a volunteer? – Don’t be afraid to say ‘thank you but no thank you’ Making the difference
    8. 8. Training & Feedback – Equip volunteers with the skills to do their roles – Good induction – Ongoing training – Qualifications? Recognition? Making the difference
    9. 9. Communications – Clear, regular, planned – Appropriate delivery mechanisms for messages; posters, text messages, twitter, email Making the difference
    10. 10. Recognise skills & embrace individuality – Variety & breadth of experience – Code of Conduct – Individuality Making the difference
    11. 11. Reward & Recognise – A good job – Commitment – Thank you Making the difference
    12. 12. Volunteers – truly inspiring Summary