Learning By Our Mistakes

Mistakes in modern-day culture are often seen as shameful and are therefore hidden away.  Yet we all make mistakes and we all learn from them. 

 

We therefore want to challenge this convention and create an online document of what problems Verify Humanity have encountered and how we have learned from them.

DATE                 PROBLEM                                          SOLUTION

Sep 2020    To recruit volunteers we had a low                 We researched what attracted people to                                                                         pressure approach as we realised                  volunteering but also what barriers existed.                                                                   there are many barriers that might                This helped develop an evidence-based

                   put people off. This worked with                   understanding of how to recruit and

                   some volunteers but not others.                    keep volunteers.

                                                                                                                             

Nov 2020      We connected with many Facebook          We created a document of our 150 Facebook

                    groups in order to share VH posts.            Groups, putting them into categories and 

                    It was impossible to keep track of             listing their rules and objectives.  It can be

                    their objectives and rules when post-        used as a point of reference when sharing

                    ing, leading to a few disgruntled               posts to these groups.  There have been no

                    comments about our posts from                negative comments since using this system.

                    members of these groups.                         

                     

Jan 2021      We lost track of potential, live and           We have created a colour coded spread- 

                    completed volunteer jobs over the           sheet to detail potential, live and                                                                                Christmas holidays which meant               completed jobs.  This is keeping our 

                    tracing multiple communication               work-flow highly organised and efficient 

                    sources to get back on top of it.              with no jobs getting overlooked.

                                                                                      

Feb 2021     The available work force is not                  A re-evaluation of our priorities has led to

                   keeping pace with the growing                 a focus on bringing in volunteers. The book

                   work-load, putting enormous                    entitled '365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining

                   pressure on the shoulders of a                  Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers'

                   few.                                                            has been pivotal for improving our skills in

                                                                                    this area.  

                                                                                     We now have a dedicated volunteer section

                                                                                     on our website and a welcome flow-chart

                                                                                     process that includes a personal phone                                                                                                                                       call from our founder, application forms,                                                                                                                                     contracts, policies and a detailed induction

                                                                                     for all new volunteers.

                                                                                     

May-Dec
2021        A plan to focus on building up our                While it is fine to have some volunteers who                

                volunteer section has been more                  take on less than 5 hours a week, we now only 

               successful than planned but this has              take on volunteers who can commit for a min of 

               had unintended consequences.  While           6 months, and if they are working for the Volunteer

               we have drawn in a high standard of              Management Team, we ask for 15 hours a week to     

               volunteers, their work hours have been          provide stability.  While we felt this was a big ask, 

               low.  With a recruitment and                          it has been successful.

               training process that takes at least a 

               month, this has meant the work they

               do is not long enough to justify

               the input.  Particularly if volunteers

               stay 4 months.                                                          

 

May 2021 With the growing success of the                    There is no quick solution to this problem without losing the                 Mar 2022  Volunteer Section, the work load on              amazing strides achieved in the last 9 months.  The               

               the founder has become enormous.               decision to seek Volunteers who can do longer hours

               Most work days are 12-15 hours long,             is part of the solution.

               with approx 3 hours off a week.  With             The Founder is also creating new roles within the organisation

                a one week holiday in Oct 2021 with              to alleviate the pressure, but it's likely in the early years

               her family.  This is clearly not                          that the she will be needed elsewhere.    

               sustainable.           

                                    

Feb 2022  During a Recruitment Drive, a volunteer        The two volunteers involved were informed immediately and 

                applicant had access to another                     an ICO report completed within the 72 hour time-frame.  

                volunteer's personal data.  While it was          While the ICO "decided not to take action," we have added           

               discovered very quickly due to the system       a step to our Application Tracker to double-check the sharing

               in place and no data breach happened,           status of volunteer ID folders to ensure no mistakes have

               it was concerning.                                            happened.

                                                                                       Ideally we will share the documents in a folder and not the 

                                                                                       folder itself.  This prevents anyone having access to 

                                                                                       documents that are later added to a folder.