The current world is obsessed about innovation, development and becoming the next thought leader. Yet, many of us are happy in the comfort of routine and familiarity, and rarely expose ourselves to new challenges or experiences. We simultaneously crave new technology whilst holding on to tradition and conformity, and have become experts at managing and maintaining such cognitive dissonances.

The organisations we work for often openly encourage innovation and creativity, whilst prioritising regular duties done in the regular way at the regular times. There is little time allocated to focus solely on collaborating with innovation as the desired outcome.

As volunteer managers operate mainly within the third sector, there are numerous barriers to encouraging creativity: lack of resource, inspiration, nurturing of talent, autonomy and responsibility. These barriers are often heightened with increasing legislation, regulation and concerns for safeguarding which restrains volunteer managers further.

So, how do you unshackle creativity and innovation?

You challenge, you invite and you drive a change in attitudes, moving from being failure adverse towards learning and growth through failure.

Easier said than done, right?

There is a strong consensus by successful thought leaders that it is the small changes that result in the larger positive outcomes we achieve, often referred to as the compound effect or butterfly effect. These are the micro-changes that are easy to make but harder to sustain, but if successful will lead to much grander achievements.

From conception, TeamKinetic has been striving to do just this, overcoming the issue of recruiting a large number of volunteers in a relatively disengaged community. TeamKinetic recognised the volunteer management process had become stagnant in moving with the new technological age.
By identifying the challenges of volunteering, identifying recruitment, recognition, rewarding and reporting, each aspect needed a reformed approach.

By challenging the status quo, exploring new avenues and including a different approach, TeamKinetic were able to redefine volunteer management.

Our software development is driven by an end user approach and before we start any new development we ask: “how will this improve the volunteer experience?”. This approach results in software with a humanistic touch, encouraging self selection and exploration, and promoting self-growth for volunteers. By altering the focus from what we do that can benefit you to what is it that would benefit you most TeamKinetic is able to understand the needs of its sector in an honest, open and insightful way. TeamKinetic continues the process by testing improvements and listening to the response of industry leaders, specialists and those operating in the Third Sector.

How can you drive innovation in your volunteer management?

As a volunteer manager, you have great opportunities to influence the experience of volunteers. This will impact directly on the productivity, retention and relationship between your organisation and your volunteers. To start to improve volunteer experience take a moment to consider what problems you are currently experiencing with your volunteer management and what aspects could be improved.

Once you have identified problems consider the barriers to resolving them. Listen to stakeholders and to those that problems impact most, as these are the people who understand the problems. Then consider alternative ways of solving the problem and how other sources of inspiration can be used to achieve a solution. Obvious small changes can be implemented immediately and solutions for larger issues can be implemented via a long term plan.

TeamKinetic wants to help and share our insights in volunteer management. We also love listening to your thoughts and ideas and contricutions to our blog are welcome and encouraged. Please feel free to get in touch with us:

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