Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Working in the voluntary sector

Week 7: Working in teams and partnerships

Introduction

A team is a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. The idea of ‘belonging to a team’ can be very appealing – it conjures up images of everyone working together well, knowing their role within the team and working towards a shared purpose. Teams do not just ‘gel’ overnight, however – team building takes time and there is usually someone in the role of team manager or leader facilitating the process. Sometimes teams do not function well and experience conflict. People are all different, and some may resist working in teams or have had negative experiences of teams.

Teams occur in most organisations, irrespective of sector. What is unique about the voluntary sector is that teams often involve both paid staff and volunteers, as well as teams made up entirely of volunteers. In the voluntary and public sectors, there is considerable cross-organisational working to achieve common goals, for example on a regeneration project or a social care initiative. These are usually described as partnerships.

Working in a team brings together many of the issues you have already covered on the course so far: for example, how to communicate well, how to work with volunteers and how to participate in meetings. These are all key elements of working in a team or a partnership. You were also introduced to the idea of teams in Week 5, where Anna and Patrina talked about the importance of team work and learning from each other while fundraising.

Start by watching this video in which Julie Charlesworth introduces you to Week 7.

Download this video clip.Video player: volb2_week7-640x360.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

JULIE:
You’re nearing the end of the course now. Last week you explored how to take part in, as well as manage, meetings. This week you’ll build on some aspects of meetings, such as communicating well, and find out how to work in teams, which are an important part of all organisations.
In the voluntary sector, teams can be paid staff, volunteers or a mix of both. You’ll explore what teams are and why they matter, as well as how a team is built and managed, and what makes them successful. You’ll also find out what your team role is and think about how teams work in your organisation.
You’ll look at a more complex type of team – a partnership of different organisations. Partnerships are often difficult to work in, particularly when they involve very different organisations to your own, and you’ll examine what these challenges might be.
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • recognise the differences between groups and teams and understand the importance of teams
  • outline what the roles are in teams
  • outline the different stages of team development
  • explain the importance of partnership working and its role in the voluntary sector
  • describe your own experiences of teams and partnerships.
VOLB_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus