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Essential Elements Don R. Simmons Ph.D.

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1 Essential Elements Don R. Simmons Ph.D.


3 Are You Ready? “The United States today possesses the fastest- growing, best-educated, and most vigorous population of older adults in the history of the world. The whole structure of volunteerism is about to be reinvented. There exists a virtual tidal wave of skilled professionals, talented individuals, and top drawer executives who are ready to do good.” –Edgar Bronfman, The Third Act: Reinventing Yourself After Retirement

4 The SHIFT Program development People development

5 People ARE the PURPOSE Our goal should be to “accomplish people” rather than “get things done.” At times our best efforts can overlook the importance of investing in people as our top priority. We often view unpaid staff as “tools” for programs, rather than seeking ways to develop them toward healthy personal growth.

6 The Leader’s Role Clear the path.



9 Invite 93% of Americans do not have the “self initiator” style. 87% of all volunteers respond to a personal invitation. Relationships matter.

10 Invest Relational Capital Time Responsibility and Authority AND…

11 Language matters The first step in changing a culture is to change the language.

12 Your Language should reflect your Culture! Volunteer Recruit Supervise Performance Review Job Retention Tasks Unpaid Staff/Partner Invite/Cultivate Support Performance Measurement role/position Sustainability service

13 Six essential elements T.A.F.E.R.R. Training (Just in time, just in place, fun, practical, transferable, “tell, show, do”)



16 “If the activity has VALUE, then training will sustain the value. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth training.”

17 Six essential elements T.A.F.E.R.R. Affirmation (Acknowledging WHO they are, not what they do – character, not competency)

18 Affirmation is not “thank you” Affirmation is not gratitude for a behavior or activity. Affirmation requires looking beyond the doing—and affirming the “being.” You are… I see… The gift of … evident. Your presence… You matter.


20 Six essential elements T.A.F.E.R.R. Feedback Guiding and correcting behavior with critique –Private –gentle –growth focused –Reciprocal

21 “The next time…”

22 Three Forms of Feedback 1.Compliments

23 2.Criticism

24 3. Critique

25 Critique Guidelines Ask permission before offering critique. Speak directly and PRIVATELY to the person and use his or her name. Provide SPECIFIC feedback on WHAT was done well and WHY it was effective Provide SPECIFIC feedback on WHAT could be improved and/or enhanced and WHY.

26 Critique Guidelines Provide practical suggestions for enhancement and/or improvement. Practice POSITIVE critique often. KEY PHRASE: “The next time…”


28 Six essential elements T.A.F.E.R.R. Evaluation

29 Programs and Processes, never People If you do them, USE them

30 Evaluation Challenges 1.Performed, but ignored. 2.Over surveyed. (particularly with web- based instruments) 3.Impersonal. 4.Unfocused. 5.Lack of helpful data. 6.Unreliable data collection. 7.Performed too little. 8.Poorly reported.

31 Stop Start Continue

32 Six essential elements T.A.F.E.R.R. Recognition


34 Appreciation, validation, education, commemoration.

35 Recognition Honor and Recognize TEAMWORK

36 Recognition Take the time to determine how each individual desires and needs to be recognized. The best recognition is personal, individual, timely, and authentic.


38 “So what?” “Now what?”

39 Where did I see justice at work? How did I get to use my gift/ability? What difference did I make? What did I learn from this experience? What role did my personal values play in this? Sample Questions

40 Not so fast…. Reflection is the primary activity that differentiates between “just volunteerism” and a life changing experience.

41 “I had the experience but I missed the meaning.” – T.S. Eliot


43 Good Systems are Invisible




47 Resources


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