With the success of the “How to Start a Worker Coop” webinar (formerly known as the “Startup Roadmap” webinar), we are conducting very few intake calls (see “Intake Trends 2015”). As a result, we are spending a disproportionate amount of time and labor cost coordinating a three-person team that rotates every month.
Therefore, we propose to revise the current Intake Team Structure from a 3-person team to a 2-person team. DAWI staff will continue to provide backup/oversight for quality control purposes, and may participate in the process if the requester is eligible for grant funding. The Intake Coordinator would continue to provide continuity, training, support, evaluation and oversight of the rotating PAs, as well as reporting functions.
- Current structure: Intake Coordinator plus two PAs, serving staggered 2-month terms.
- Proposed Structure: Intake Coordinator plus one PA, serving a 2-month term.
- The current text of the Ops Manual (see below) calls for a 2-person team, but the Intake Manual and current practice calls for a 3-person team.
- This structure was developed based on feedback from members when S&E proposed the creating the Intake Coordinator position.
- The objective of the 3-person (two-PA) team was twofold:
- to provide support for new (“journeyperson”) advisors, and intentionally pair them with a more seasoned advisor.
- to give PAs an opportunity to learn about DAWN’s constituents, practice screening and scoping projects, and deliver TA.
- Intake rotation is also a source of income for PAs, therefore we need to be transparent and consistent about access to this work, while reserving the right to remove PAs from Intake Rotation if their performance does not meet DAWN’s quality standards.
- DAWN’s 2016 Budget has provided for the current level of staffing, therefore this change will leave DAWN with additional discretionary funds.
- Serving on Intake Rotation is required for DAWN’s PA members (see Ops manual p.4, “DAWN Membership: Categories/Rights & Responsibilities”). With only 6 rotations per year, all PAs may not be able to serve on intake before recertification, especially if we prioritize journeyperson PAs. We can address this by designing the Intake Rotation with the recertification schedule in mind, or we can shorten rotations in order to fit everyone.
- I believe this qualifies as a change that “significantly affects” all DAWN members (Ops Manual p.6 “Decision-Making”). If the Governors approve this change, we will need to allow a 2-4 week comment period for members.
- This change requires a revision to the Intake Manual, but not the Ops Manual.
- Intake Coordinator would need to revise the 2016 rotation schedule, and would like guidance from Govs or Training & Certification Committee on how to prioritize.
Current Ops Manual v15 – page 20 –
Rotation (updated 2012)
DAWN intake is done by a rotating intake team, periodic service on which is the responsibility of every Peer Advisor. The rotation moves alphabetically through the list of dawn.coop email addresses (e.g., January: Adam & Bob; February: Bob & Cathy; March: Cathy & Delia) so that every PA eventually serves on a two-person team for a two-month stint. Team members should either agree that the alphabetically first person has primary responsibility (with second as backup) or that they’ll share responsibility for intake on an ad-hoc basis. In any case, team members should copy each other and DAWI staff on all intake correspondence. DAWI staff will play an explicit backup role in the intake process, and should be included in all communications.
Every DAWN PA is responsible for serving on the intake team (IT) in a rotation. The Service&Eval Committee decides on a rotation schedule for responding to the intake inquiries at the beginning of every year. Every month, DAWN staff alerts the new team member, and changes the forwarding so that the inquiries go to the assigned individuals. The current intake team schedules a handoff conversation with the new intake team member.
Decision: DAWN assigns a yearly paid position as lead intake person, and the position of second intaker rotates. This person is hired by the staff and governors on recommendation from S&E, via a competitive application process. (goes to Govs for final decision).
Suggestion: 6 months, not a year.
Suggestion: prioritize new people; address concern about long time stretch between rotation services. Concern about lots of people on intake calls. Silent partners – not everyone should contribute if more than 2 on call. Concern: intake is too complex.
Suggestion: rotating person should lead, with continuing person backing up and coordinating and doing followup. Affirmation: serving on intake is valuable experience, really important training ground.