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Volunteer & Staff Relationships (Volunteer Manual)

May 25, 2008 12:04 PM

The USTA is a complex national, volunteer-based organization of:

National volunteer leadership including the Board of Directors, Section Delegates, Past Presidents, Presidential Appointees, Player Representatives and Section Presidents.
National staff in four locations.
Section, District and CTA volunteer leadership
Section, District and CTA staff.
Dozens of volunteer committee chairs, hundreds of committee members and volunteers at all levels of the association.

While job functions may differ, there is one consistency throughout the organization: volunteer and staff working together for a common goal. In order to be successful, it is necessary to both clarify roles and follow a network communication plan. In addition, each individual must commit to being “proactive” in seeking out and sharing information. With good teamwork and candid, timely two-way communication, the USTA will be able to reach its goals and objectives and achieve its mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis.

With the USTA Strategic Plan requiring staff expansion and management, the USTA Board also recognizes the vast knowledge, experience and presence of the volunteer. Accordingly the Board is committed to ensuring the organization’s volunteer direction and policy-making processes and empowering its professional staff to manage day-to-day operation. Mutual respect for the contribution of volunteers and staff is key to creating good teamwork and must be evident in all forms of communication.

The USTA Volunteer/Staff Communications Plan is based on the following principles:

Fostering positive, respectful and effective volunteer and staff teamwork is essential to the success of the association’s mission.
Respectful differences of opinion and alternative perspectives on issues are welcomed and promote healthy growth in the association.
Policy recommendations come to the Board from Committees, Staff and Sections.
The Board of Directors establishes policy and direction.
Volunteer input and perspective should precede staff action on important issues and vice versa.
Volunteers supply input and support to staff, monitor activities and assist in implementation when that is part of their charge.
Staff manages the daily operation, provides updated information/reporting and supports volunteers as charged.
Effective communication is two way, proactive and timely.

More detailed information from the Communications Plan can be found at ANDREW, INSERT HERE

Descriptions of the basic national volunteer and staff roles can be found in the glossary.

The primary role of the USTA national staff is to conduct the Association’s operations consistent with USTA policies. A partial list of staff responsibilities includes:

Develop, plan and implement key activities and actions in concert with the volunteers to achieve the mission and goals as set forth by the Board of Directors.
Create and maintain effective delivery and time-sensitive reporting systems that service the network and effectively communicate with the USTA Board of Directors, Division Council Chairs, Committee Chairmen and Section leadership.
Prepare USTA budgets (operations, capital expenditures, cash) under the direction of the Secretary/Treasurer and Board; adhere to and manage the budget.
Recommend and refine committee charges with the Committee Chair, Committee members and the Division Council Chair.
Clearly define, with the volunteer counterpart, the role each will play in the implementation of programs and activities and establish an agreed upon communications plan with the volunteer counterpart(s).
Develop the Committee budget in conjunction with the Division Council Chair, Committee Chair and Vice-Chair.
Assist the Committee Chair with committee work.
Attend Division Council meetings and Committee meetings, as assigned.
Work together with volunteers and staff in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork.
Support volunteers as charged.

In summary, while the Board makes policy and sets direction, input from Committees, Sections and Staff should be part of the process. While Staff is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, up-front input and support as well as feedback from volunteer counterparts have great value. While volunteer committees recommend policy to the Board and supply input and feedback to the Staff, direction from the Board and dialog with Staff adds perspective.

It is the individual surrounded by a strong team that is crucial to success of the USTA mission “to promote and develop the growth of tennis.” Through common sense, effective communication and teamwork, we will fulfill the organization’s goals and dreams.

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