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Showing posts from June, 2018

Three tips for promoting youth and volunteer engagement

By Nancy Hegland This year’s University of Minnesota employee engagement survey is out. As a program leader I care very much about this subject. So what exactly is employee engagement, you ask? The University's Office of Human Resources defines it as the extent to which individuals devote time, energy and effort at work. The highest levels of engagement come from facing meaningful challenges while having the support, resources and confidence to address them. Engaged employees are focused, energetic, mentally resilient, committed and involved. They say positive things about their workplace and recommend it to others. I think the research related to employees applies equally to youth and volunteers involved in youth development organizations. We certainly want young people to be focused, energetic, mentally resilient and stay committed and involved in their youth programs. We want them to speak well of their experience. What steps can a youth development organization

Don’t compete. Connect.

By Joshua Kukowski Recently, my daughter asked me to run in a local 5K. I asked her why she wanted to do this and she said “I want a medal.” While I was enthused at this new physical challenge with her, I was also concerned as to her reason for doing it. Vince Lombardi said that “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”  Alfie Kohn describes that one can easily see how childhood is filled with this competitive mindset of winners and losers. College scholarships, beauty contests, one-act play competitions, purple ribbons at county and state fairs, state sports tournaments and college admissions are a few that come to mind and there are many more. Each of these has clearly defined winners and losers.

How to turn volunteers into stewards

By Nicole Pokorney Volunteers are vital for non-profit organizations. Staff need be able to optimize the use of volunteers to maximize their efforts to spread the work and their impact. Traditionally, staff guide the work and vision of an organization. But for true transformation, staff and volunteers must move the mission forward together. To do that, staff and volunteers must share the vision, along with the energy and passion to transform the volunteers into engaged stewards. The result is enabled volunteers who are equipped to guide youth programs and make fundamental shifts to meet the organization’s evolving needs. From volunteer to engaged steward People volunteer for many reasons and are motivated by different things. Research shows that “Job satisfaction is related to achievement, recognition for accomplishment, challenging work, increased responsibility and individual growth and development.” When volunteers lack a sense of connection and purpose, they feel unful