(Updated in 2020)
Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash
10-Point Plan — Attracting Second Generation Heroes and Champions
Employees as Volunteers and Volunteers as Employees
Whether you’re a small enterprise like SOBCon building a brand and a legacy to stand upon or you’re an internationally known brand with a legacy of success and relationships that you want to nurture and protect, your employees and volunteers are the heart of your brand.
What makes that heart beat?
What gets those people to invest their time into your quest rather than into some other endeavor each day?
One of three reasons brings us to work and that reason that drives us runs through every nuance of every interaction that we undertake — every success we enjoy and every error we miss, overlook or turnaround in a fabulous way.
Whether you’re paying for a job role or enlisting volunteers, what you want is a volunteer who leads like a $200,000 / year employee. Leaders like that are learners who are focused on the cause and willing to put their minds, hearts, and vision into making the best things happen.
The Three Kinds of People Who Show Up to Work
People often say “There are two kinds of people, those who … and those who don’t.” In this case there are really three. Knowing all three will help you find and identify the leaders you need.
- It’s a job. These volunteers are looking for an in-kind return. They are worker economists in that they do a hard day’s work for a hard day’s pay. The return might not be money. It might be a free seat, new clients or contacts that translate into potential work, a chance to raise the level of their pay grade by raising their skills and contacts. Be aware that they aren’t working for your brand or cause. They are executing a transaction.
- It’s a career. These volunteers are looking to build their resume.They are politicians in that they look for a return that will enhance their own value proposition. The return is not financial it’s power and positioning. They do a hard day’s work for the ability to say they were part of the team. They might be working for a recommendation or entrance into a new network that will offer more opportunity. Understand that their first purpose isn’t working for your brand, it’s to extend their reach.
- It’s a quest. These volunteers care about money and reach, but are driven by a need to build something no one can build alone. They look for a situation that will allow them to invest their best and want the same in return. Leaders will actually work for less if they’re convinced that the quest, the people, and process will be tied to values and intelligent ROI.
I bet you could phrase a set of questions and conditions to attract the best volunteers to that outstanding project you want to take off.
How would you start?
READ the Whole 10-Point Plan Series: On the Successful Series Page.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Maybe it changed over time (I hope) but about a decade ago, when I was doing some voluntary tasks for a few years it was common to see and treat a volunteers as a one-time people.
Doing so very often organizations had a “do what we say and ask no questions” policy and were very surprised, that volunteers went away in just few days.
Sometimes all what was needed was to have a person that was not “in charge” of them but that had a way with people, and able to show that helping others means something good for them to.
I wish many organizations understood that 🙂