John Ramsey has a great blog on the AVM website this month.
My own thoughts on this subject?
I would say not exactly the same but certain skill sets, procedures and ways of doing things can be transferred to and from both HR and VM management. I think that over the years we have adapted some practices from HR such as how we do interviews, references, position descriptions, policies, risk management etc.
I do think that we have moved closer to HR in how we manage and rightly so. And we have done so mainly because of risk management and setting standards on how volunteers should be engaged.
There have been benefits to adopting HR practices. Probationary periods for volunteers. Program evaluations. Policy and procedure formulation. Task description design. Better orientation and training. Exit surveys.
All of the above I believe have helped us in giving our programmes more structure and managing risk for our agencies and organisations.
I am sure that there are those out there who will disagree wholeheartedly with that.
The other side may say that we have made volunteering too bureaucratic and that volunteering has lost its organic flavour. It may be argued that volunteering is a natural phenomenon that never has and never will need to be structured and shaped, that it is a spontaneous movement. That volunteers never asked to have position descriptions that they just want to get in there and get the job done because they want to help.
I believe that after borrowing some necessary methods of HR management we have moulded (or are moulding) volunteer management into a wonderful thing. We have combined some of their methodology with our understanding of volunteer motivations and our excellent knowledge of recognition and retention tools.
I think we might go full circle some day when HR managers come to us asking if paid staff should be managed similarly to volunteers because they believe we have got the right mix of HR and VM embedded into our leadership style.
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