The New Volunteerism Project

The Archival Collection of
Ivan Henry Scheier


Section VI

Work Enrichment

June 1999


The page #'s refer to the pages of the "New Volunteerism  Project: The Ivan Scheier Archival Collection."
Five bound volumes placed in the Reference collection of the
Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University
Table of Contents Page #
Introductory Notes
A -- The Architecture of Work @ 3-14
B -- Division @ 14a-16
C -- The Work Assignment Grid 17-26
D -- The Membership Input Process 28-40
E -- Job Factoring 41-64
F -- The Window of Work @ 65-89
G -- Needs Overlap Analysis in the Helping Process@ 90-124
H -- “New Noah“ or Bidding at the In-House Volunteer Fair @ 125-128
H2 -- How all the Work Enrichment Methods Fit Together 129-130
I --  Style Profiling 131-138
J -- Samples of Integrative Documents @ 139-140

                     Motivating Staff and Volunteers:
                      The Key to Retaining Your Staff

K -- “The Other Kind of Paycheck” and @ 141-142

“The Role of Work Enrichment Specialist”  

@ -- permission for use-with-acknowledgment
-- Appropriate permission must be secured from the publisher for re-publication


Introductory Notes on Work Enrichment
Ivan Scheier
June 1999

By “work enrichment,” sometimes more narrowly terms “task enrichment,” I mean anything that enhances the intrinsic motivation attractiveness of work. The “intrinsic” is meant to distinguish the concept and practice of work enrichment from enhancement of work via “extrinsic” or external incentives such as money, “fringe benefits,” perks and status.

This is surely one of the earliest areas in which I developed methods. For example, I remember using Job Factoring in the early 1970's. Moreover, this, along with networking, is the most extensive development of methods in any subject area (see Table of Contents). I have been able to find the latest publications on all of the main nine methods, and some historical background documents as well. Missing, however, is a “Task Enrichment Checklist” which I deeply regret not having been able to find. It was useful; please let me know if you have a copy.

The work enrichment methods had mainly ”settled down” in quite frequent usage as early as 15 or 20 years ago. Therein this section, there are relatively few presumable “improvements” or embellishments. What is quite new is the continuing attempt to trace connections and interactions among the nine methods, culminating in Section H and especially H2.

All the work enrichment methods I developed were developed with and for volunteers. So, it needs to be stressed again and again, the reach of application is clearly to all kinds of workers and working conditions; paid stipended and unpaid, in the office, factory, home or school, etc. Because of this, the broader role of “Worker Enrichment Consultant” was one I identified and advocated for people who had used these work enrichment methods initially with volunteers (see packet on Empowering the Professional).

A -- The Architecture of Work
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

This is the first of five methods in this section, in which breaking a task or project into components is a crucial part of the approach to augmenting motivation for work. In the present architecture method, the underlaying concept is that certain principles of connection and association between the components of a task or project will enhance the motivational attractiveness of the work for all or most people.

Contents are:

1. A 1998 version of the process
2. An earlier (1980) segment from Chapter 8 of EXPLORING VOLUNTEER SPACE. The intriguing but somewhat mystifying title used at the time was "Organic gardening of work."
3. A Training Handout used for many years in presenting the method.

B – Division
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

This is the second of the five methods which share a care process of breaking a task or project into components as a foundation approach to enhancing the motivation of/in the task or project. The immediately preceding Architecture method did this in order to demonstrate that certain principles of connection or association between its components tend to augment the intrinsic motivational character of work. DIVISION, however, depends on a different principle: that part of task will be less overwhelming/intimidating for a person than the total task.

1998 Comments:
Essentially, the process takes a task or project and breaks it up into smaller, independently do-able pieces.

Used by itself, the basic idea is that the overall task may be too much or too intimidating for some people who will nevertheless, be willing to take on a smaller "bite."

The process of division is also the first phase in a JOB FACTOR and also in a WORK ASSIGNMENT GRID. In each case, we go beyond the simple braking up into pieces to analyzing the motivational value of those pieces for an individual or a group. In the JOB FACTOR, the goal is to discover which pieces to keep vs delegate in a person’s job. In the Grid, the goal is to discover which people are most likely to be motivated and hence perform well in various pieces of the total project.

In any of these three usages, there is an issue concerning division which could benefit from more discussion: what happens to the integrity and meaning of a total task/project when, instead of being done by one person, or collectively by one group, it is broken up in parts to be done by different individuals or groups?

I can think of two things. First of all, there emerges a need for an additional task: coordination between the other tasks, and this additional role or task should be added to any Division/Job Factor/Work Assignment Grid format. Secondly, and related, the individual with only a piece of the total project is prone to lack perspective on the overall meaning of the project - and this may not be good for her/his motivation. Providing this perspective could be part of the Coordinator’s job and/or a responsibility or anyone interested in the overall success of the task or project.

1999 notes:
Here is a "third thing" – that breaking some tasks into parts is impossible or at least unnatural, e.g. the left vs the right-hand side of a word processor keyboard. (Say otherwise that the additional task of co-coordinating would be ridiculously inefficient in such cases.)

With all this introduction it is somewhat anticlimactic to announce that there are only two pages in this section training handouts, and never published at that!

C — The Work Assignment Grid
1998 & 1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

The process begins with DIVISION of a total task into hopefully more manageable pieces. It goes further than Division, however, in attempting to achieve better fit of the pieces to the person not just because the sub-tasks are smaller, but also by relating tasks to the person’s motivational predispositions. This is done by allowing each individual to place a plus or minus next to each sub-task in the divided total of work, or else leave it blank. The plus can be thought of as the equivalent of a "glad gift," the minus a "no-no" as per The Window of Work. To be more complete about it we could allow the person also to have the option of placing a "Q" in each space, where "Q" stands for quest or yearn -to-learn in the Window of Work. Finally, we could give more attention to the person’s values, e.g. "Wise why’s" in determining whether she or he belongs at in this grid, e.g. is comfortable with the values underlying the purpose and operation of this task or project.

But even as usually operated now, The Work Assignment Grid is essentially an application of (a partial form of) The Window of Work to the results of Division of a total task or project.

The Work Assignment Grid starts from the point where we assume the nature of the project or total task has already been decided. The Membership Input Process, on the other hand, a way of deciding what a group’s work goals will be, with emphasis on individual member participation and do-ability. The do-ability part of the process is designed to eventuate in project which meet the requirements of a Work Assignment Grid, in the partial but important sense of coverage of all sub-tasks with people willing to do them ("glad gift"). In other works, The Membership Input Process is designed to produce "grid-able goals" for a group. As with the Window of Work, the relationship could be followed through more completely, but it is there...

1999 Notes:
Sorry for the potential awkwardness of referring ahead to Window of Work , a method which the reader might not be familiar with. It is in Section F here.

The present section’s contents are as follows:

1. "The Effective Distribution of Work," Chapter 3 in WHEN EVERYONE’S A VOLUNTEER." This is the latest published version of the Work Assignment Grid Process and is copyrighted by ENERGIZE, Inc. of Philadelphia, PA. The chapter’s culmination in a discussion of leader burnout might seem distantly connected to the grid, at first. The point, however, is that distribution of work, resulting in unrealistic burdens on the leader, is a prime cause of burnout.

2. Two-page Training Handout, in use for many years, which essentially summarizes the material in Chapter 3 above.

3. Recent improvements and elaborations resulting from the work of Karen Heller Key, Training and Consultant of Nashville, TN. Page 25 is one of training handouts, summarizing her thoughts on how to provide a finer-tuned input from potential participants. Page 26 is a grid from field usage with two important features she has added to ensure that the grid is actually implemented: a "due date" column to the right of the main grid and checkmarks by participants at the left of the grid to indicate that they have completed their assignments.

Karen Heller’s work also reinforces the point that the work enrichment methods apply, not just to service volunteers, but to all kinds of potential participants in all kinds of work settings. Thus she has used the method with board members, paid employees and club members. I once used it with members of a household. We divided household upkeep into 183 components and between the three of us, covered everything but the bathroom. Lacking money to cover this vacancy with cash, we did it out of obligation/rotation.

D. The Membership Input Process
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

Analyzing a total task/project into component parts is a crucial facet of the present process, just as it was for each of the three preceding methods. Here, however, a second major concept in work enrichment also becomes prominent – being sure to ask people directly what they want to do or need** and proceed on that "people approach" basis. Thus, neither Division, or Work Assignment Grid, of the Architecture of Work, deals with where the project/task analyzed, comes from in the first place. Here we deal with that for the first time (and will so again later in the sections on Job Factoring and Need Overlap Analysis in Helping).

Contents of this section are:

– The latest published version of Membership Input Process is Chapter 2 in WHEN EVERYONE’S A VOLUNTEER, Published and copyrighted by ENERGIZE, Inc of Philadelphia, PA. Chapter title is "Member Participation in ‘Setting Goals."

– An earlier published version included out of mainly historical interest, but with some different emphases is "Setting Achievable Goals in All-Volunteer Groups" a 1989 limited circulation publication of Yellow Fire Press, Boulder, CO.

– Training handouts and summary.

** True, there is some of this in the Work Assignment Grid, but the feature is stronger here.

E – Job Factoring
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

Job Factoring, along with the four preceding methods (Sec. A-D), exemplifies the theme of breaking a total task or project into component parts, to lay the groundwork for motivational enrichment of the task or project.

Job Factoring is also the second in this series, along with Membership Input Process (Sec D) to put primary emphasis at the same time on a second major theme: getting direct input from participants as on what they want and need, as distinct from having someone else 'represent" them or otherwise decide for them. Membership Input Process did this in regard to formulating democratically, goals for the group of which the participant was a member. Job Factoring gets direct input on the individuals need for work assistance.

The Job Factor process clearly confronts any preconception that the work enrichment methods are solely for volunteers. The principals in these examples are paid staff seeking help from volunteers. But it could just as easily be volunteers seeking help from paid staff, or housewives, stipended people (see pages 24-38) group members or leaders, etc seeking help from anyone else. It is only necessary that the task or project under consideration be 1) complex enough to be broken down into a number of relatively in- dependent parts and 2) that there exists a pool of other people who have the potential to take over some of the work assistance needs of the people performing the Job Factor.

Though around as a method for some thirty years, the Job Factor still has important relatively unexplored facets. For example, what about groups doing a job factor, as a group and for the group.

Contents for this Section
Chapter 3 in BUILDING STAFF/VOLUNTEER RELATIONS as the latest published version on Job Factoring
– 1998 Adaptation of Job Factoring by Peter Aron, Consultant for the Youth Corps of Maryland
– Training Handout/summary in recent and current use.

F --  THE WINDOW OF WORK
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

One major theme in the first five methods (A-E) was breaking work into component parts as a starting point for reassembling it with more motivational value. That theme is essentially discontinued here while the other main theme in our work enrichment approach becomes more the center of our attention. That theme is the basing of work directly and immediately on what the participant wants and needs. This is the third of the methods to embody that characteristic.

The Membership Input Process (Sec D) did so in terms of group members choosing a group project. Job Factoring (Sec. E) did so in terms of people articulating their needs for assistance in their work/job. The Window of Work does so mainly in terms of an individuals preferences for participation as a giver of service or generally, a producer of work.

Table of Contents for this Section:
-- Training Handout and Summary
-- 1997 Notes Comparing Window of Work to Job Factoring
-- Satisfying Work For Volunteers: The Window of Work Process.
                Latest published version in WHEN EVERYONE'S A VOLUNTEER.
Comments from Trainer and Consultant, Nancy Hughes. Personal Communication, March 1998

G. Need Overlap Analysis in Helping (NOAH)
1998 & 1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

Another oldie. The segment is an adaptation of an earlier published article which is dated 1975, about 25 years ago. The process was quite popular for a while but I’ve learned less about its usage in more recent years.

NOAH is essentially a way of 1) harmonizing the offerings on one group with the needs of another (originally volunteers offering to staff, but it can be any two groups, and 2) having the results reviews by a third group which is intended to be "done to" by the work of the other two groups ("clients," in the original version, but again, this third group could be anybody).

As for the first part of that, it is clear the offering could be well handled vis The Window Of Work while the needs of the receiving group could be handled via Job Factoring.

As for the second part, client review, there was never enough done with that, to my mind. But it strikes me that if we really want clients to be active participators in the helping process, as well as more passive receivers of services, their part could be handled via Membership Input Process, or a variation thereof.

Table of Contents for this Section:
Training Handout/summary of the process
THE NEW PEOPLE APPROACH HANDBOOK, Chapter 5, 1981, Yellowfire Press, Boulder, CO.
Last published versions of which I am award – at any rate the most complete one in   The full NEW PEOPLE APPROACH BOOKLET is also enclosed with this section and will provide more contest for the chapter NOAH.
Adaptation by Judith Berkowitz of my 1975 article Synergism, an important variation here is use of the "third circle" (originally, clients needs or review) for community needs. It is quite clear that the potential variations of NOAH have scarcely been explored, but certainly extend far beyond volunteers, paid staff and clients in a more formal agency setting. Nor is the number of circles sacred. There could be only two and that has happened. There could be four, too, and even more and; indeed, that would help distinguish NOAH from a well-know beer....

H – New NOAH or Bidding at the In-House Volunteer Fair
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

The four main elements of Need Overlap Analysis in Helping (NOAH, see Sec G) are:
--- Work Needing to Be Done
--- Available Voluntary Resources Potentially Relevant to that work
--- A process for putting these two together, and
--- Review of results by people who are designated to receive the impact of that work

"New Noah" takes the first three of these and attempts to integrate them more fully with other work enrichment methods. The work needing to be done comes in through Job Factoring.(Sec E) Potentially available voluntary human resources for accomplishing the task/ project, come in through Window of Work. (Sec F) The two are "put together"' via the Work Assignment Grid (Sec C) and another more informal process (see following)

The first two of the following pages are somewhat different descriptive versions of this New Noah process. The third following page is a almost completely impenetrable graph 'explaining"' the first two pages. But the resulting process gives promise of being simpler and more concrete than the original NOAH. (Sec G)

Two comments. First, for the work needing to be done, Membership Input Process (Sec D) could also serve along with Job Factoring. Secondly, there is no new movement on "the third circle," the all-important part of NOAH in which the people who it is "being done to" have a say in what that shall be. Alas, the entire part of the NOAH concept seems to have been lost – or nearly so.

H2 – How all the Work Enrichment Methods "Fit Together"
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

Let it be said first of all that all the methods don’t have to fit together, in order to be useful; they can simply be useful each in its own right for its own purpose. But the sequential comments throughout this packet have certain explored the senses in which this method-by-method development over the years had, in fact, some underlying unity or at least interactivness. The immediately preceding section on "New NOAH" went even further in this direction, and here therein is an even later effort, still incomplete and tentative – call it a first effort.

A. Deciding what the purpose/goal of the work shall be;
-- Job factoring defines work assistance needs we will try to fill for individual staff, any other group of individuals, or even a group.
– The Work Assistance needs circle of original NOAH
– Window of Work defines work purpose in terms of boundaries set by what people are naturally ready to do.
– Membership Input Process does the same in terms of direct goal setting by individual members of group

B. Discovering what human resources are naturally and even enthusiastically available to achieve work purposes
-- Window of Work
-- The Work-Offering Circle of Original NOAH
-- The sign-on feature of Membership Input Process
– The sign-on feature of Work Assignment Grid

Please Note: The difference between what I have called "job approach" and "people approach" is that in job approach (A then B) you set the work purposes and then try to find people who want to do the things necessary to fulfill that purpose. In people approach, by contract, you find out what people are ready/willing to do and then search for meaningful work purposes that naturally coincide with their proclivities (B then A)

C. Enriching work by fitting work purposes to natural proclivities of potential workers.
– Work Assistance Grid
– Later stages of Membership Input Process (like a simplified work assistance grid)
– Later/final stages of Original NOAH and New NOAH process

D. Work Enrichment by manipulating (engineering) characteristics or conditions of work itself
– Division
– Architecture of Work
– Style Profiling.

I – Style Profiling
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

The other eight work enrichment methods concentrate on the substance or content of work. Style Profiling is the first and only one to concentrate on the conditions and settings associated with work – an emphasis which I now realize should have been more incorporated with the other methods.

Table of Contents for this Section:
– Training Handout/Summary of the Method
Large segment from Chapter 17 of EXPLORING VOLUNTEER SPACE, 1980. This is by far the most extensive published treatment of Style Profiling with a few slightly later publications making only passing mention of it. Though the reception was good at workshops, my sense is that the method was not much used in practice. One possible reason is that Style Profiling is essentially the kind of common sense that people tend to use anyway, without needing to call it a "method." On the other hand, formalizing the process as I have done might help to raise awareness of the general potential of style-flipping, and the fuller range of options available to the strategy.

I have by no means laid out all the potential items here. Indeed, what about "as volunteer" vs. "paid worker," it being part of the philosophy of the New Volunteerism Project, that either option can under the right circumstances get the job done.

J – Samples of Integrative Documents
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

The previous two sections have begun seriously exploring Inter-relationships among the work enrichment methods. But by and large the methods have been presented separately. It may therefore be useful, or archival purposes at least, to have samples of the documents which do put the methods together – at least physically together between the same book covers. There are mentioned here:

1- THE NEW PEOPLE APPROACH HANDBOOK, 82 PAGES 1981, Yellow fire Press, Boulder, Colorado. Now out of print, this booklet was the first attempt at overall presentation of work enrichment methods in the context of People Approach Philosophy.

2- "Motivating Staff & Volunteers: The Key to Retaining Your Talent," 1998, 27 pages bound packet of training handouts.

3- EXPLORING VOLUNTEER SPACE: The Recruiting of A Nation, 1980, 200 pages. The National Center of Citizen Involvement, Washington, D.C. This book, enclosed with the packet on Expanding the Universe of Participants is also based on people approach philosophy (among other things) but this philosophy is less clearly articulate than in the 1981 book. Most of the work enrichment methods are at least alluded to briefly in this 1980 book.

K - The Other Kind of Paycheck and The Volunteer Leaders a Work Enrichment Specialist
1999 Introductory Notes,  Ivan Scheier

Once you’ve paid a person a decent wage, the difference between a satisfied, effective worker and a dissatisfied malingerer, depends on may factors beyond money. We’ve know this a long time, but have only recently begun to take it seriously

Who has special expertise on motivation-beyond-money? Probably, the people who've never had anything else to work with in motivating or supervising people, that is, leaders of volunteers. There are many millions of volunteers in North America today. The success of their caring enterprises depends largely on effective leadership. Many leaders of volunteers are themselves volunteers, involved part-time; for example, the chair of a church committee or the president of a service club. In addition, about 100,000 people make a professional career out of leadership of volunteers, with job titles such as 'Director' or 'Coordinator' of volunteers. These Directors of Volunteers (DVS) have not fallback positions – e.g. the worker’s need of a paycheck – for sloppy supervision or design of work. The DVS must concentrate on finding ways to encourage people to do good work for reasons that have nothing directly to do with money. Therefore, she develops expertise that business and industry could use. Thus:

I. Volunteer leaders have to be world-class experts on intangible rewards and recognitions--because they have little or nothing else to give, certainly not money. Here is the well timed smile or thanks and the 10-cent certificate made to seem worth a million dollars.

2. Volunteer leaders act on belief that supervisors won’t usually give employees affirmative recognition unless they are getting some themselves from their own supervisor, or from their supervises.

3. In the real world of business/industry, employees hear from their supervisors most often when they’ve done something seen as wrong. Rarely are they called in to hear "You were great (or even just okay) toady." But volunteer leaders must provide regular recognition of good (or even just okay) work. Otherwise, good-by volunteers.

4.Because volunteers are almost always part-time workers, volunteer leaders quickly become experts at taking work which would otherwise be done by one person, breaking it sown into doable components, and distributing it effectively among a number of part-time worker. Motivationally enhanced redistribution of work, and the delegation of which it is one instance, must have vast application in the for-profit sector.

5.There is just so far you can push volunteers to do what they don't want to do when they don't want to do it. Volunteer leaders must therefore excel at building work around the time and talents people have. We really invented flextime, though we never took credit for it, and we're still in process of inventing 'flexwork'. The core of that is the ability to achieve the same or better work products through motivationally-engineered, people-tailored work styles, structures and designs, (including some very specific ones, described in this Center's "people approach' publication series).

In all of this, the central message is; pay a worker a good wage and then forget you're paying him/her and treat them as if they were a volunteer. This means that, if you'll pardon the expression, we ought to 'volunteerize' all work. Major help in this can and should come from the coordinator/leader of volunteers, as specialist. Some attitude changes will probably be necessary before this begins to happen: profit sector people taking volunteer leadership people more seriously as more than objects of charity, and we taking ourselves more seriously. One part of that is identifying ourselves not just in terms of the volunteers we work with, but also in terms of our - pioneering of humane and effective leadership styles and strategies which apply equally to all workers. paid or unpaid. Among other valuable identities, we must begin to see ourselves as "work enrichment specialists," a new and promising career line for DVS.

How can movement in this direction be encouraged? Some ideas:

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Ivan Scheier
Stillpoint
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340
Email: ivan@zianet.com

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt mlmcnatt@indra.com