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Applying Employee Engagement Theory To Volunteers: Motivation, Meaningful Work, and Culture Matter. Lindsay Bousman, Ph.D. Presented at the Volunteer Administrators Network Conference June 22, 2011. Today’s Program. Intended Outcome and Benefit to you:

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applying employee engagement theory to volunteers motivation meaningful work and culture matter

Applying Employee Engagement Theory To Volunteers: Motivation, Meaningful Work, and Culture Matter

Lindsay Bousman, Ph.D.

Presented at the Volunteer Administrators Network Conference

June 22, 2011

today s program
Today’s Program
  • Intended Outcome and Benefit to you:
    • The ability for volunteer managers to learn and apply the rich research on employee engagement and organizational culture to their own situations, creating deeper levels of engagement in their volunteers, better matching volunteers to work, resulting in higher quality work and retention of volunteers.
introductions who are you
Introductions: Who Are You?
  • Raise hands if you now or in the past…
    • Managed paid employees
    • Managed Baby Boomers
    • Managed Generation X or Y
    • Worked in an organization larger than 100 people
    • Worked in an organization smaller than 100 people
    • Worked in an organization smaller than 50 people
    • Have knowledge of employee engagement
    • Have knowledge of organizational culture
    • Are challenged in how to motivate and engage employees or volunteers
  • Verbal sample of where you work
systems model
Systems Model

Adaptation

Coordination

Outcomes

Environment

Organization

System

70%

Strategy

Leadership

Climate

30-50%

Culture

People

Business

Results

seismic shifts impacting volunteers
“Seismic Shifts” Impacting Volunteers
  • From: The New Breed: Understanding & Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer by J. McKee and T. W. McKee
from delegation to empowerment
From Delegation to Empowerment
  • Knowledge workers and volunteers want to feel empowered to make decisions, not just complete tasks or refer decisions upward
  • As a manager, practice and develop good ‘hand off’ skills:
    • Keep them informed
    • Break down tasks to manageable goals
    • Ask for their ideas to solve a problem, then give them the responsibility to do it and ‘own it’
      • From: Talk to me first and let me decide, then you execute it
      • To: Discuss it, tell them to execute it (with timeline), then tell you how it went
    • Follow-up and give feedback
volunteers vs employees
Volunteers vs. Employees
  • The “New Breed” of volunteers are much like paid employees in terms of motivation and skills.
  • Volunteers and Employees:
    • Have many obligations and volunteers for multiple organizations
    • Want flexibility
    • Expect to be empowered
    • Won’t tolerate incompetent co-workers
    • Doesn’t want to be micromanaged
    • Want to be recognized for their talent and good work
    • Is tech savvy
    • Doesn’t just want to make a contribution, but wants to make a difference
generational differences in volunteers related to life stages
Generational Differences in Volunteers: Related to Life Stages

Boomers + Gen X/Later in Life

Gen Y + Millennials/Early in Life

Impatient (grew up with ‘on demand’ and instant promotions in video games)

Media multi-taskers

Think ‘digital’/jump to the end

Tolerant

Look for a cause/want to make a difference

Can be team players, but also are used to being isolated

Want to be led, not managed

  • Professional, have experience
  • Lifetime learners
  • Volunteering to fulfill passions, hobbies
  • Want to make a difference, leave a legacy
  • Not afraid of commitment when there is a payoff
  • Socially connected
  • Want flexibility
the engagement value chain
The Engagement Value Chain

Business Case: Research with 65 firms in different industries shows that companies with more engaged employees have higher Return on Assets, higher Profitability, and higher Shareholder Value (measured by the ratio of the firm’s market value to the replacement cost of its assets)

working definition of engagement
Working Definition of Engagement

Engagement is an individual’s sense of purpose and focused energy, evident to others in the display of personal initiative, adaptability, effort, and persistence toward organizational goals.

the look and feel of engagement
The ‘Look’ and ‘Feel’ of Engagement
  • However, there are organizational factors that enable employees to be engaged, it is a two-way/reciprocal system
meaningful work
Meaningful Work
  • As our country became more industrialized, the work became more repetitive, the meaning behind work changed, people became less connected to the work they did, and studying motivation increased
  • Employees and volunteers are motivated by work that is personally meaningful to them:
    • Using their core skills, or specialized skills
    • Aligned with personal values
    • A personal connection to a mission or vision
    • A sense of community
    • Feeling fulfilled
    • Bringing their “whole self” to work
  • Meaningful work is an “inclusive state of being”, part of our identity; how we express the meaning and purpose of our lives in the work (activities) that we choose to spend our waking hours doing
meaningful workplaces
Meaningful Workplaces
  • How do you make the workplace meaningful for everyone?
    • Values-based culture that treats everyone with value (stakeholders, clients, volunteers, employees, etc.).
      • If you treat volunteers as if they make a difference to the organization, then they will make a difference
    • Socially responsible and diverse
    • Focus on engagement and commitment
    • The workplace is a community
    • Focusing on the interconnected relationships:
      • Relationship between employees/volunteers and management
      • Relationship between employees/volunteers, their jobs, and the organization
      • Relationship between employees/volunteers and other employees/volunteers
your turn how meaningful is your work how meaningful is your workplace
Your Turn: How Meaningful is Your Work?How Meaningful is Your Workplace?
  • Examples from attendees
  • What is working for you?
  • What is NOT working for you?
  • Based on the definition of Meaningful Work, WHY isn’t it working?
  • Have you talked about your volunteer’s values and strengths with them? Do they know how to describe their ‘purpose’ to you? Do you know how to match both to the jobs or responsibilities they have?
  • What can you do differently to make the workplace more conducive to meaningful work for everyone?
bringing engagement and meaningful work together
Bringing Engagement and Meaningful Work Together
  • Having meaningful work is a precursor to high engagement
  • Aspects of meaningful work also contribute to engagement:
    • Work aligned with values
    • Control and autonomy
    • Empowerment
  • The culture needs to be supportive and nurturing as a meaningful workplace
  • What is culture? How do you know if the culture is enabling your mission, and employees and volunteers to thrive?
the key an engagement culture
The Key: An Engagement Culture
  • Requires investment from the organization
    • First, basics covered to meet ‘satisfaction’ bar (pay and benefits, safety)
    • Then, managerial and supervisory training to create and earn trustto start the engagement chain
  • Requires creating and sustaining a culture where engagement is the norm, attracts people who will succeed there, ensuring leadership is focused, goals are aligned, employees perform, and more resources can be invested back in the people- creating a positive cycle
  • Engagement happens when the culture supports it, when people feel safe to take action on their own initiative, and when the organization aligns its culture with the attainment of its goals
culture is created by
Culture is Created By…
  • What leaders pay attention to and measure
  • The bases leaders use for determining how to allocate resources
  • The behaviors leaders model for others
  • The bases leaders use to recruit, select, develop, and fire people
  • The way the organization is structured
  • The rituals and rites that characterize the organization
  • The myths and stories told about the organization
  • The focus of the systems and processes
how is it done
How is it done?

If Culture is Created By…

  • What leaders pay attention to and measure
  • The bases leaders use for determining how to allocate resources
  • The behaviors leaders model for others
  • The bases leaders use to recruit, select, develop, and fire people
  • The way the organization is structured
  • The rituals and rites that characterize the organization
  • The myths and stories told about the organization
  • The focus of the systems and processes

Then how do you influence Engagement?

  • Leaders must pay attention to and measure the way they value their people- loyalty recognition, development programs, and anything else that demonstrates people are an asset
  • Leaders must allocate resources that support engagement- though jobs that are designed to be challenging and autonomous, providing training that promotes success, giving specific and achievable goals that align with the organization’s goals, and giving positive feedback
  • Leaders must model the key behaviors of trust- open communication and fairness
  • The systems in place should include employee input and are fair
  • The organization is relatively flat, employees are empowered to approach one another and to take action
  • Rituals and rites promote involvement, celebrations, risk-taking, and innovation
  • Employees are encouraged to talk about and share stories about how belonging to the organization is important to them, how they support one another and customers too.
  • Systems and processes promote accomplishment of desired outcomes
  • On-boarding programs thoroughly introduce the company to employees and start the cultural orientation
  • Managers that are more agreeable, conscientious, and emotionally stable promote a culture of fairness which is necessary for trust
engaging different life stages
Engaging Different Life Stages

Boomers + Gen X/Later in Life

Gen Y + Millennials/Early in Life

Impatient (grew up with ‘on demand’ and instant promotions in video games)

Give increasingly more responsibilities in shorter periods of time

Media multi-taskers

Be tolerant of them doing many things at once and using technology to do it

Think ‘digital’/jump to the end

Tell them ‘why’ first

Use dynamic and media-based training

Tolerant

Give opportunities to work with varieties of people

Look for a cause/want to make a difference

Connect their work to the mission

Can be team players, but also are used to being isolated

Give them opportunities to get to know others

Want to be led, not managed

Be inspirational and earn their trust and respect

  • Professional, have experience
    • Ask about their strengths
  • Lifetime learners
    • Encourage them to build new skills
  • Volunteering to fulfill passions, hobbies
  • Want to make a difference, leave a legacy
    • Connect their work to the mission of the organization
  • Not afraid of commitment when there is a payoff
    • Make sure the tasks are fulfilling enough to get them to return
  • Socially connected
    • Give them opportunities to bring in their connections
  • Want flexibility
    • Ask about their schedules
your turn how do you engage volunteers
Your Turn: How do you engage volunteers?
  • Examples from attendees
  • What is working?
  • What is NOT working?
  • Based on the definitions of Engagement, Meaningful Work and Culture, WHY isn’t it working?
  • What can you do differently?
recommended reading
Recommended Reading
  • Employee Engagement: Tools for Analysis, Practice, and Competitive Advantage by W.H. Macey, B. Schneider, K.M. Barbera, and S. A. Young
  • Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein
  • Meaningful Workplaces: Reframing How and Where We Work by N. Chalofsky
  • The New Breed: Understanding & Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer by J. McKee and T. W. McKee
  • Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow by J.F. Fixler & S, Eichberg
online resources
Online Resources
  • www.energizeinc.com
    • Volunteer management
  • www.serviceleader.org
    • Volunteer managers and special section on virtual volunteers
  • www.volunteerpower.com
    • Volunteer management and aligns with book “The New Breed”
  • www.TheSource4YM.com
    • For youth volunteers
slide32

Thank you!For more information…If you have questions or would like to discuss our services, please contact us: info@parisphoenixgroup.com lbousman@parisphoenixgroup.comWhitepapers and case studies are available online.

diagnostics and the engagement survey1
Diagnostics and the Engagement Survey
  • Building an engaged workforce entails more than just implementing an engagement survey
    • A well-designed survey is a critical tool, but it is what is done with the results that matters to impact engagement
  • A well-designed survey is a first step, which leads to active Interventions
    • Successful interventions will elicit behavior change, which can be uncomfortable
the engagement survey
The Engagement Survey
  • Though not comprehensive, the diagram below illustrates that what drives satisfaction versus engagement is different, so measuring engagement is different from measuring satisfaction.
  • While traditional satisfaction questions may still be important to ask and act upon, an engagement survey (or part of the survey) will be deeper.
  • Drivers analyses can be applied to the results of a survey to uncover the specific drivers of engagement in a particular organization which can be targeted for improvement.
the engagement survey1
The Engagement Survey
  • Questions should cover:
    • Behavioral engagement and be relative to the strategy
    • General engagement such as being proactive, persistent, expanding roles, and adaptability
    • Creating the employee’s capacity to engage including sources of energy, resources, and social support
    • If people have a reason to engage
    • If people feel ‘free’ to engage
post survey action planning
Post-Survey: Action Planning
  • Consider benchmark data (internal and external) and its relationship to your organization
  • Roll-out results differently for different audiences (Executives, Managers, Employees and Volunteers), but be consistent in communicating that the action plans and interventions are what matters and get commitment for action from each group
slide41

For more information…If you have questions or would like to discuss our services, please contact us: info@parisphoenixgroup.com Whitepapers and case studies are available online.

overview of paris phoenix group
Overview of Paris Phoenix Group
  • Vision
    • PPG uses a rigorous, research-based, custom, and holistic approach to helping clients and provides solutions that help them achieve their business strategy
  • Strategy
    • We achieve our vision by working on projects that ensure we use our KSAs, working on challenging/ important/holistic projects, developing ourselves, having fun, and being challenged

…while having a life

who am i lindsay bousman ph d
Who Am I? Lindsay Bousman, Ph.D.

Lindsay Bousman has extensive experience with employee research and focus groups, competency development, validation, and talent management, most recently for Starbucks Coffee Company, and prior to that for Microsoft Corporation. She has consulted on career model and competency development and validation, conducted global all-employee surveys for both Starbucks and Microsoft, culture surveys and assessments, exit survey programs and analyses, developed training evaluation materials and provided custom research services internally for local corporations.

Prior to her Northwest professional career, she worked in the Midwest as an independent consultant providing project support and statistical analyses, developing selection tests and assessments, and worked as a compensation analyst in Human Resources for Central States Health and Life Company of Omaha.

She earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Nebraska, an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a B.A. in Psychology at William Woods University.