Recently I invited SL Volunteers to participate in a survey on the subject of tracking and recognition. The answers received, along with those from several office hour conversations and SLVol list posts, have helped us to shape our team goals by accounting for the group’s shared values and feelings on what can be a couple of sometimes contentious topics. As always we very much appreciate your continued contribution to Second Life and the Volunteer Program and for supporting our SurveyMonkey addiction.
Here, for your edification are the distilled results of the survey, with answers presented in the order of your indicated priority.
THE QUESTION: Given that different people feel differently about being recognized for their efforts as volunteers, how would you choose to acknowledge highly effective Mentors?
THE ANSWERS: An emotionally charged issue for many and also one with the smallest range of responses. With few exceptions, people fell into one of these five categories…
- No Acknowledgment At All.
This was the large majority of the responses…some people were very adamant.
- Public Recognition
These two were roughly tied to make a large minority. Remuneration in L$ or tier is not possible in that this would be considered pay, and then people wouldn’t be volunteers, they’d be employees, and that would make our lawyers upset and they’d make me go back to bagging at the supermarket >_<
- Private Recognition
Personally I was surprised that this was not a majority response. Especially after discussions I’ve had with individuals…it could be that some of the people who said “no acknowledgment” might have meant “no public acknowledgment”, but I’ll take it at face value. Those who favor Private Recognition suggested things like “A thank you from a Linden” and wondered if there’s any good Linden schwag lying around the office, like T-Shirts or necklaces.
- Greater responsibility
Only a few of these, but they are some of the most thoughtful of responses to any of the questions. Thanks!
THE QUESTION: Assuming that highly effective, highly active volunteers will want to be acknowledged for their efforts, what do you believe constitutes going "above and beyond" the valuable contributions made daily by Mentors?
THE ANSWERS: There was no clear majority, so in order of perceived importance, the mentor who goes above and beyond the call of duty is…
- As Dedicated as Mother Theresa
- As Patient as Job
- As Polite as Mr. Rogers
- As Educational as Carl Sagan
- As Modest as a Mouse
- As Skilled as DaVinci
- As Well Known as Elvis
- Can’t really be determined
- We said we don’t want recognition!
THE QUESTION: Given that some tracking of volunteer efforts is necessary to determine our effectiveness as a team, and that time spent in world does not necessarily mean time spent volunteering, what would you propose as a means to measure individual/group performance?
THE ANSWERS: Understandably, not everyone approves of the idea of tracking individuals. These responses were few, but valid and very emotionally made! There were also a few insightful comments on ways that tracking our efforts as a group can help us to improve the experience for mentors and for residents alike…talk about going above and beyond! At the very least it’s safe to say that we’re not interested in handing out grades or judging you harshly for time spent helping people. Honestly. That said…here in descending order are the top suggestions…
- Time spent wearing tag
A large majority
- Resident Feedback
- Peer Feedback
- Dwell tracking
- Punch clocks/schedules
- More Surveys
- God…might as well be living in Nazi Germany. LL I hate you.
THE QUESTION: Assuming that volunteers who have violated TOS/CS will be removed from the group, would you promote limiting group size according to other means such as inactivity, spamming, or being disrespectful to others?
THE ANSWERS: People seemed to enjoy this question. In a couple cases there were long and thoughtful responses pointing to further training, mentor buddies etc. as solutions preferred over removal. Noted! Also, many definitions of “spamming” “disrespectful” and “inactive” were provided and the majority cautioned that warnings should preclude action. You guys make me proud to be in SL! So, taking into account the subjective nature of these terms here are the responses in descending order…
- Remove the disrespectful and the spammers but not the inactive.
A very large majority of the respondents suggest removal only after warning
- TOS/CS violations only!
- Move inactive members to holding group
- Remove members who don’t attend a minimum number of meetings
- Remove the disrespectful but not spammers
- Remove inactive members
- Remove mentors promoting their private business/interests
- Remove / move the unskilled to holding group
- Inactivity yes, disrespect and spamming no