Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WORT and Ecojoy

I came to Madison in 1972 because I thought this is where the revolution was going to start. I was one of many who started WORT (you can listen now, over the 'net). All of the on-air announcers and engineers at WORT are volunteers. One of the challenges of WORT is the issue of management. How do you motivate volunteers who don't get paid? Not just volunteers, but independent-minded volunteers. Many years ago WORT had a negative experience with a station manager with experience in public radio, but not with an all-volunteer staff. When the manager tried to implement improvements in the delivery of FCC-required station identification announcements, many volunteers left the station. The WORT Board and community rallied, and changed the station from a hierarchically-managed station to a staff collective. The most effective way to motivate independent-minded volunteers is the joy of doing radio, of sharing their passion, whether it is a musical genre, news or commentary.

Joy as a most effective motivator translates perfectly into paid work situations. People who feel joy in their work are more productive, more effective, more creative, have fewer sick days. Joyful workplaces experience lower turnover and lower instances of theft and vandalism.

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