The first round of Peakon surveys sent to the Joomla volunteers has finished. Over the last months more than 60% of our core volunteers participated and answered more than 40 different questions, anonymously, about how they feel with volunteering for Joomla and where Joomla should improve.
The questions were categorised in different key areas, including accomplishment, reward, communication or workload. Next to just a simple one to ten rating, volunteers were also able to optionally leave a comment as to why they gave the question the rating they had.
In summary, the outcome can be described as mixed bag. There are areas we are great at, like learning or meaningful work, ut also areas where we have issues and need to work on, like communications, workload and flexibility.
The survey has given us precious insights into our volunteer structure and how our volunteers feel about their role in the project and the project direction as a whole.
For example, you can clearly see that new contributors (less than one year) are way more happy and excited than long term contributors who show a steep drop in engagement and positivity after around 18 months. We have draw lessons from this and the Volunteer Engagement Team is working on ways to recognise and reward our long term volunteers and how to rekindle the engagement with the project they once had.
Where Joomla shines
Let’s take a look at our strengths first. Volunteers feel that they learn a lot by contributing to Joomla, the scores in this area are higher than the average in the Not for Profit space. It’s not only that volunteers work on areas they haven’t before, but also for long time professionals Joomla offers a new experience and a deep look into how other people work. It also helps people improving their skills by working in teams and learning with people from different cultures and countries all over the world.
One of the general questions we ask is: "What’s the best thing that happened to you as volunteer this month?". Here are some anonymised answers from the last weeks:
A new assignment was given to me that would draw upon some of my knowledge and skills to make a meaningful contribution to the project.
Two new volunteers joined our team and made great contributions right away!
I was very happy when Joomla was elected Best Free CMS for the fourth time!
Two long standing PRs merged
When we look at the segments where we need improvement, workload and communications are the urging ones. In general people feel that collaboration between teams needs to be better and more reliable. The Joomla! World Conference in Rome was a great place to help with that, as almost every team leader was there.
Another issue is that the goals and strategies, like the roadmap should be promoted and communicated better. Because of that production brought back a roadmap for the next year and the Joomla / OSM board set a clear new target and slogan. “Joomla the flexible platform empowering website creators”.
As for team reports, the volunteers portal stays the better resource to learn what’s going on.
We are listening!
The anonymous results and statistics are shared with every Joomla team leader and the Board of Directors is working hard on improving on the issues showing up through these surveys. As Joomla is a massive, volunteer driven organisation this is not done from one day to the other, but you are going to see ongoing incremental improvements project wide in the coming months as we work through the results of the survey and strive to maintain our good points and improve upon the bad.
And we need the help of everyone, Joomla has no employees, only volunteers. So everyone is called upon to help with making volunteering an awesome and meaningful experience. Joomla is not just some CMS, it’s a community of people sharing their love and knowledge to make it happen. Thank you so much for that!