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What the Literature Says Regarding the Management of Volunteers"Literature Review" Chapter

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Trust Creation and the Management of Volunteers in Non-Profit Organizations

Rogers, Jiang, Rogers and Intindola (2015) suggest in their qualitative study of hospital volunteers that the volunteer plays a crucial role in the development of patient satisfaction. Their research shows that volunteers (by the very act of volunteering) cultivate within the environment a more pastoral and caring attitude, which pleases patients and helps them to heal in ways that ordinary employees cannot effect. The volunteer has the ability to represent a kind of community care. In short, the study indicates that volunteers are essential in trust creation (at least in the hospital setting) among patients and workers, and for that reason should be managed with a special view towards their innate abilities as volunteers (Rogers, Jiang, Rogers, Intindola, 2015). Moreover, the researchers suggest that the positive relationship between volunteers and patients has "important implications for hospital leaders, volunteer administrators, and future research," namely that the management of volunteers in nonprofit organizations should be viewed from the standpoint of the positive impact that the volunteer has within the organizational culture (Rogers, Jiang, Rogers, Intindola, 2015). This positivity is one aspect of the volunteer-management relationship that should be promoted and cultivated so that volunteers receive a rewarding sense of their contribution. Based on the findings of this study, the aim of management, so the researchers conclude, should be to encourage volunteerism in areas where a positive impact can be discerned and meaningful relationships fostered. It is the fostering of relationships that serves as the basis of trust.

Jacqui, Cairncross and Lamont (2014) focus on the separate issue of how to manage Generation Y volunteers most effectively in their study of volunteer workforces using a human resources development approach. They find that by identifying the needs of Generation Y volunteers, managers can more effectively harness and direct the energies of the former and use them in the overall facilitation of the organizational aims. Their study differs from the study by Rogers et al. (2015) in the sense that the latter focuses primarily on identifying the positive influence that volunteers bring to a nonprofit and promoting that, whereas the study by Jacqui et al. (2014) focuses primarily on the needs of the volunteers and making sure they are met so as to optimize volunteer effectiveness. Essentially, the two studies may be combined to reveal a more dynamic managerial approach to volunteerism, which is to identify both the needs and the positive influence that volunteers have so as to better guide and utilize them within the context of the organizational goals.

However, Fitzpatrick, Remmer and Leimanis (2015) show in their qualitative study of volunteers in an oncology support program that it is essential for volunteers to be properly trained in order for effectiveness to be significant. In the context of the nonprofit clinic, volunteers are not viewed as youths who are in need of validation, social status or esteem, as is the implicit case in the study by Jacqui et al. (2014). Here, the results indicate that volunteers are aware of being there to serve and are thus most in need of education before being put into use. Fitzpatrick et al. emphasize that management of volunteers within such an environment should focus primarily on delivering the educational materials and tools to volunteers so that the patients with whom the volunteers come into contact are not misled or fed false information regarding their status as patients, the process of procedures, or the strategies of physicians. Essentially, the study suggests that a balance needs to be maintained between volunteers and professionals so that each can administer separate doses, levels and kinds of assistance. And by educating volunteers on their role and what is expected of them, managers can build a sufficient platform of trust between themselves and volunteers, based on the fact that volunteers will feel prepared and knowledgeable of what is expected of them in the course of their activities.

The study by Hartel and O'Connor (2015) supports the findings of the preceding research in that it emphasizes the need for management to use Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the development of trust between management and volunteers. Hartel and O'Connor (2015) note in their qualitative analysis that "emotions are critical factors in the recruitment, retention, and well-being of volunteers" (p. 443). This finding indicates that a high degree of EI on the part of management can be most effective in the deployment of volunteers within the organizational framework. Because volunteers do not rely on payment as reward or compensation for their time and activity, the emotional compensation received from appreciative and understanding management leaders can be just as impactful as salary is for payroll employees. This study is helpful because it illustrates the fundamental way that management can address both the needs of the volunteer and the needs of the organization: that way, according to the researchers, is through the use of EI, which can be used in a transformational leadership approach to managing volunteers. By intelligently communicating to the emotions of volunteers, the manager can provide significant support to this group of workers, which in turn can provide a substantial support for the organization. It is a symbiotic relationship in this sense, one in which both the organization and the volunteers benefit as a result of a heightened state of EI on the part of management and a discernible appreciation of the emotional state of volunteers, who seek signs of appreciation for their efforts within the organization.

Waikayi, Fearon, Morris, McLaughlin (2012) conduct an exploratory case study in order to identify the reasons that volunteers have to serve as volunteers within the Red Cross. Their findings indicate that volunteers serve for a variety of reasons but that primary among them are self-satisfaction, importance of work to the community, and social interaction. With these motives in mind, management looking to attract volunteers should cultivate an environment that is friendly (social), accommodating (satisfactory), and beneficial to the community. Furthermore, it is advantageous for managers to "establish a friendly and positive attitude towards volunteers" as this serves to create a foundation of trust between management and volunteers (Waikayi et al., 2012, p. 349). Essentially, this study confirms the findings of Sanders (2006) in that likeability plays a fundamental role in establishing successful management-worker relations and in attaining organizational goals. The findings of Sanders (2006) are also helpful in understanding the relationship between management and workers within an organizational culture where volunteerism plays a part.

Sanders (2006) performs a qualitative and quantitative study of the role of likeability in managers and his findings suggest that the more likeable managers make themselves to employees, workers and volunteers, the more likely they are to be respected, admired, and followed. Sanders focuses on several real-life examples of how likeability is manifested in the workplace and draws upon research conducted in the field as well. He also defines likeability in a way that suggests it can be a driving force for managers looking to attract volunteers and build trust within the manager-volunteer relationship. For Sanders (2006) likeability is "the ability to create positive attitudes in other people through the delivery of emotional and physical benefits. Likable people give a sense of joy, happiness, relaxation, or rejuvenation. He or she can bring you relief from depression, anxiety, or boredom. The more likeable the person is the more likely he or she will be on the receiving end of a positive choice from which to obtain a benefit" (p. 33). Essentially, Sanders (2006) supports the argument of Samaan and Verneuil (2009) that a "spirit of mission" should serve as the basis of successful operations and interactions between management and volunteers. It is the foundation of vision that propels the organization and all its members (volunteers included) towards the collective aim of the organization and the community.

Likewise, Hoover (2003) shows how likeability is a galvanizing force in making good bosses better by how they manage the valued currency of trust with their subordinates. Though Hoover (2003) shares his frustrations with attempting to lead people who didn't see the value of his lessons being taught, he does show that all effort in the area of transformational leadership is valuable. To him there are no wasted minutes or hours managing and attempting to lead others, as both sides learn from the interchange (Hoover, 2003). His studies indicate that likeability is an accelerator of organizational change and that likeable managers can act to streamline the goal-oriented means of meeting objectives. In relation to volunteers, likeability can act as a kind of lubricant in the organizational engine, which is helpful when new "parts," i.e. volunteers, are added to the machinery. When managers make themselves likeable to volunteers, they create an atmosphere of congeniality that fosters a positive spirit within the organization and that can in turn support the overall motivation of volunteers and managers as they work together towards a common aim.

That the aim of the organization and the community should not be dissimilar underlies the finding of Samaan… [END OF PREVIEW]

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