Wikimedia Conference 2014/Documentation/10

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10 Your organisation and hiring staff


tl;dr: Be sure why you want to have staff and be sure how to manage it. Clearify the roles and tasks between Board and Staff. Read the WMF employee survey.

Notes[edit]

show of hands I
  • most organizations already have staff
  • most have one or two
  • a few have three or more
kick-off question
why do Wikimedia organizations hire staff?
  • do what volunteers don't want to do (volunteers are not allowed to leave when they are too busy)
  • staff can work continiously, thereby provide consistency and accessibility
  • staff can provide professional skills that your volunteers may not have
  • staff can help you reach out farther/achieve more because they have more time
  • staff can challenge an organization's board by bringing a different view
  • staff can simply help you reach goals
  • staff can help you appear more professional (catering to other organizations' prejudice)
show of hands II
  • current organizations staff don't often deliver projects, is rather administrative
  • staff have medium impact on organizations
Presentation of first WMF employee study
  • -> 16 orgs replied, 10 had staff (4 had interns), 6 had no staff
  • why did your organization decide to hire staff?
  • -> administration (loads of work)
  • models that exist
  • -> interns, contractors, part-time and full-time workers - and volunteers, also from outside the Wikimedia movement
  • what is the typical role of the first employee?
  • a) office administrator/manager b) executive director c) activity coordinator/program manager
  • how do they spend their time:
  • 40-77 % on administration; 20-43 on programs
  • who should you hire?
  • -> no hard findings
  • what are the challenges?
  • -> no onboarding plan
  • -> problems with hiring regulations
  • -> lack of clarity about scope of staff role (how much administration is required?)
  • ongoing learning
brief discussion
  • many boards should have a clearer strategy in terms of where they want to go and thus be able to tell their staff, "take us there"
  • sometimes people are hired for something specific and they end up doing everything, especially a lot of administration
  • only one person on the board should manage staff
Small group discussion
How to divide tasks betweeen board and staff:
  • - The board does the steering, gives support, staff carries out operation and communication
  • - The board should trust the employees and delegate tasks to them