Posted by Steve Botham
March 2nd, 2009 | No Comments »
Voluntary groups come in all shapes and sizes from the large corporate organisations with prestigious offices and a national reputation to the small, local community, faith or voluntary organisation - often referred to as the third sector. The challenges remain constant - how do you get good performance out of people who do are volunteers - or have small salaries? How do you tap their expertise and passion to best effect? In short how do you engage them?
Leaders in voluntary organisations have to spend a disproportionate amount of time on engaging their teams. Without this they can not deliver. RNIB have just completed a programme looking at values. They recognise that shared values give people the drive and motivation to come to work, and an ability to make a positive impact on other people’s lives can be a key driver of staff engagement. They have identified six shared values and want to see them reflected at all levels in the organisation. (People Management magazine 26 February 2009)
In our experience many organisations in the voluntary sector have “assumed values”; there is lots of good will around but in reality the values are unclear and that lack of clarity can cause tension. Being deliberate about values has a huge impact on effectiveness. With clear values people know what is expected of them, standards can be encouraged, behaviour can be challenged, and people are energised to make a difference through what they do.
In Caret we practice what we preach and have been reviewing our own values - it is good to see what gets us excited about the work we do, what drives our commitment to go that extra mile, what unites us as a team. It may seem a strange time to be talking about values in a recession, but values give you a constant in times of great change. More than that they can give the energy and passion, and the determination to get through the current difficulties. One of our long established clients is St Basils who work with homeless young people - they will constantly ask how this decision impacts the lives of young people. This can impact the mundane admin as well as complex strategy - values make the difference for St Basils - and give them the determination and focus to succeed. It’s a determination that could make a real difference for all organisations in every sector.