I thought I would post about my volunteering as it is creating a structure to my week and giving me fulfilment and the motivation I need.
I have joined a facebook group in my local county which connects you to a local hub and the hub co-ordinator then ‘manages’ your contribution. They direct us with indication of demand and they collect finished products and distribute them to local hospitals, health centres, surgeries and other ‘customers’. They also distribute donated materials across the group so that we can make up the requested products.
This group has grown within a space of weeks, the setup and structure works really well and the sense of collaboration is strong. Everyone has a part to play.
The facebook group also acts as a feedback loop as posts of doctors and nurses in their received scrubs, hats, headbands, etc helps to motivate the group. There is no competition, everyone contributes whatever they can and everyone respects and praises each other. That feedback loop is important, it gives us motivation – something that businesses should think about!!
If anyone is stuck, they drop a message on the group board and someone will respond with advice and direction be that instructions, youtube links, expert contacts, etc… People want to solve problems and move forward and achieve the goals of the group. There is no blame or negativity. No, long meetings and management decisions and approvals, it is collaboratively solved and quickly. Pretty good going when we are all working remotely and have never physically met each other! Our shared goal binds us and makes us strive to achieve.
I have been making scrubs, cloth face masks and bags which gives a variety in the tasks to be completed.
What is becoming clear is that demand is reducing now, so we have succeeded in fulfilling the need. We are still working and probably have a few weeks left before the group will be disbanded.
What has become clear from comments is that members have enjoyed the boost they have received from this activity.
People are saying they have:
- a sense of purpose and achievement
- enjoyed the teamwork (in its virtual form)
- learnt new skills / expanded existing skills
- created something
- appreciation from the recipient
I find the last one rings true with me, I have worked at companies where you could see the end product in use and get feedback from the user directly. It was a great motivator, and they actively encouraged it. My last employer was the complete opposite, the end users were not appreciative or grateful which didn’t make me feel fulfilled.
Some people are already feeling sad that this group will disband and they will have to go back to the grind of their workplace. The sense of pride and achievement we will have when leaving the group will last for a long time.