North Lakes is – largest continuous landholding anywhere in National Trust Three remote valleys separated by highest mountains in England, plus a house, plus a stretch of industrial heritage coastline. Two separate properties merged in 2010 to become North Lakes
The Volunteer experience - Terrorist cells The Staff experience – Flying on a trapese pretending to smile but feeling terrified Where we’re moving towards – Volunteers - creating the equivalent to a natter round the kitchen table Staff – putting in a safety net of support to help with all the background stuff
People said they didn’t find out about projects that we’re planning in time to help They came in every week to bang in fence posts but they also had the skills to help us write business plans They didn’t get the opportunity to meet each other to find out who other volunteers were, what they did. They said we could be making much more of them & their skills Many individuals volunteered across 2 or 3 departments in the North Lakes, and even across 2 or 3 properties in Lake District – inconsistent in our approach.
Installing the safety net for staff Lots of things, no one solution Constant communication in all directions! The journey and the basics
Creating a “virtual kitchen table” Fun! Listening again Using technology
The big 3 questions Nuclear option 3 – they and you both deserve nothing less Volunteer Wishlist We ran a short brainstorming session to answer the following questions: 1 - What information would you like included in quarterly meetings (or would a different format be better)? 2 - What training would help you fulfil your volunteering role in the North Lakes? 3 - What would make you more likely to recommend volunteering for the National Trust in the future? Here is a summary of what the volunteers put forward as the answers to these questions: 1 - What information would you like included in quarterly meetings (or would a different format be better)? a) Make the quarterly meetings site visits to discover a part of the property we don't normally volunteer at. b) Make opportunities for informal chats to staff, fewer formal presentations. c) Have fewer meetings & make the e-newsletter more structured, including relevant information from Team Briefs (Jean & Jean already include info in their e-newsletters so we'll find a way to make it more obvious!) d) Tell us what other volunteer teams have achieved in the last 3 months e) Tell us what are the major projects coming up & respond better to volunteers who have helped on projects in the past. f) Tell us what events you've got going on! We might like to bring friends! 2 - What training would help you fulfil your volunteering role in the North Lakes? a) Specialist MapInfo training for Andy's furniture survey volunteers b) We'd like to find out how to use the various blogs & volunteer online areas (including MyVolunteering) c) Manual Handling d) First Aid (some will be arriving soon thanks to the Derwentwater Foreshore project) e) Meeting & Greeting people skills f) Volunteer mentoring scheme similar to Fix the Fells? 3 - What would make you more likely to recommend volunteering for the National Trust in the future? a) Social Life - we'd like more chances to meet each other b) Meetings could be early evening at a pub and we could buy our own meals afterwards. c) Run &quot;All Hands On Deck&quot; days to get a big job done and do a social (like a BBQ) afterwards d) We'd like to find out what happens to new recruits, how many people who enquire actually join us as regular volunteers?
South Somerset – Montacute House, Barrington Court, Lytes Cary Manor, Tintinhull Garden (4 tenanted properties open to public) Approx 500 volunteers – houses, gardens, countryside, learning, retail, reception and others. September 2011 New GM - start of journey & discussions around volunteering Some specific objectives around processes, communication, performance management A clear commitment to working together as one team, staff & volunteers to deliver the property business plan – needed a Volunteering Vision
Had some PBP, targets, very low vol rec score at Montacute 46% - fortunate as we had additional consultancy support to help us move forward Needed buy in from all department heads – gardens & parks, houses, Visitor experience Expertise – VCI consultant, Hannah Jones Lots of responses e.g. Goals – working as one team, offering more flexible volunteering opps, more effective communication, well-supported confident vol. managers, Volunteering is a key way in which we achieve our aims. Reality – lack of consistency in vol practices across properties & departments, clunky systems, poor/patchy communication, admin hugley time-consuming, sheer numbers, lack of confidence in managing volunteers Opps – to reflect & audit all things volunteering & where we are now, get vol management right we’ll be better resourced & can increase opening/develop offers to deliver PBP, develop more efficient systems & processes
Wrote brief – enabled us to call on consultancy support through the process. Looked at vol survey data and put some short term actions in place – communication, involvement, skilling up vol. managers
Hannah suggested recruit intern to deliver the audit & research elements – big piece of work. Intern info. on intranet brilliant, easy to follow. Jess has been with us since then, at stage of collating data & writing report. She will talk about the process she’s been through to get to this stage.
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Volunteeringin the North LakesVolunteering Convestival 2012Jessie Binns, Visitor Experience OfficerAlistair Starling, General Manager
What are our challenges? StronglyHighest Scoring Questions Agree %I enjoy the volunteering I do 73%I would recommend volunteering with the Trust 73%I feel I am trusted by managers to get on with the volunteering I do 64%People (staff and volunteers) work together as one team 64%Staff are accessible and approachable 64%The recognition you receive from staff for the volunteering you do 64% StronglyLowest Scoring Questions Agree %I am kept well informed about my propertys / locations top priorities 18%I understand how plans for my property / location fit with the Trusts Going Local strategy 18%I understand my role in the propertys / locations plans 18%There are opportunities to do new things and take on new responsibilities 18%The level of involvement you have in the way things are done at your property / location 9%The training and development that is available to support you in your volunteering 9%
What we’re doing to fix it!Volunteer Support TeamRecruitment fairsRole descriptionsRegistrationInductionsAdmin – e.g. expenses, name badgesNewsletter
What we’re doing to fix it, have fun and innovate!Social get togethersNorth Lakes Volunteer Web HubVolunteer Blog
What are our future plans - and what’s stopping us?!!1. Wont managing volunteers take upmore time than its worth?2. A volunteer cant help me with thatkind of thing can they?3. We already do brilliant volunteeringhere dont we?Volunteer wishlistMigrating from Hub to MyVolunteering Option C:Options A+B + Volunteer-led Lake District Roadshow to bring good practice examples from NT and external to Properties, using myVolunteering as the delivery platform, building interaction via Roadshow Blog
The future…Not falling but flyingVolunteering Convestival 2012Jessie Binns, Visitor Experience OfficerAlistair Starling, General Manager
Where to start?• Property business plan• Volunteer survey results• Meeting – GM, Portfolio Team, VCI consultant• GROW model to frame discussions Goals Reality Opportunities Way forward
Moving Forward…• Developed a brief• Put short term solutions in place, responding to volunteer survey - newsletter - staff & volunteer forums - training - PDRs - new format start of season meetings - consulted volunteers around survey issues
What next?• January - Recruit intern to focus on audit, gathering evidence• End February 2012 – Intern starts• May 2012 - Complete report & recommendations• July 2012 – develop action plan
Volunteer Vision Internship•What do I do? - The audit: interviews, surveys and dataanalysis - What is it like to be a volunteer?•How am I doing it? - Audit interviews with volunteer managers - Qualitative surveys with volunteer managers - Interviews with volunteers - Volunteering
Results so farNegative Points•Not yet at level one for all standards•Inconsistency in levels achieved•Discrepancy between what is believed to be in placeand what is actually happening•Lack of consistency in processes used acrossdepartmentsPositive Points•Great potential for sharing good volunteermanagement practice•Many of the processes are already being done, justinformally.•Level one practices will not be hard to achieve – thepotential for putting these systems in place is alreadythere.
Issues and Problems Faced•The audit interviews: - Original interview took almost four hours - Audit questions – can need clarifying to getaccurate answers - Audit structure – opt in level three practicescan skew results - Usefulness of audit interview results – best to use it as a basic insight - Finding interview times for managers andvolunteers – can take much longer thanexpected - Physical evidence – impractical to ask for this