Paid Staff and Volunteers: Do their attitudes differ
The aim of the present study was to explore whether there were attitudinal differences between staff and volunteers working for Mind in Mid Herts (MiMH). The ultimate objective of this study was to inform MiMH of ways of enhancing member retention in an economic climate where staff turnover would increase unnecessary costs of recruitment and training. This was achieved through an online questionnaire directed at both paid staff and volunteers completed by 12 staff and 23 volunteers. The variables collected in the questionnaire measured attitudes such as the psychological contract, organisational commitment, job satisfaction and intention to leave. Further data was obtained by interviews which were analysed using thematic analysis. It was found that although the paid staff stated that their psychological contract expectations had not been met by the organisation, in general both staff and volunteers felt the same organisational commitment towards MiMH. Regression analysis showed that normative commitment or the obligation to remain predicted volunteer turnover, accounting for 38.5% of the variance. It could be concluded that retention of both staff and volunteers was beyond the control of the organisation as respondents intending to leave often indicated personal commitments such as family life and retirement for reasons and none of the comments were found to be due to negative experience at the organisation. Recommendations for increasing public image as well as more organised induction, general training and process reviews were made to aid the cohesive image of MiMH as a mental health charity.