Ahhh, working from home. It sounds so dreamy, and it’s portrayed on TV as the most easily executable task there ever was. Picture it: the kids are off to school. The kitchen is sparkling clean from the previous night’s family dinner, where afterwards you enjoyed a nice card game as a family. Your house is clean, smells like freshly baked cookies while you sit in your favorite comfortable chair, sipping coffee out of a nice mug that has a sentiment on it like “Mom of the Year” or “Best Dad Ever”. What a dream, right?
Except… that is not how it worked out for ANY of us in real life. Suddenly, we were in the middle of a pandemic. We began prepping at Partners, just “in case” we were suddenly working from home. Technology was checked for all employees to determine what tasks each staff member would still be able to perform with their current remote setups at home. Lists were made of things we would need to have with us, in order to keep a smooth flow going for all Partners’ clients.
Fast forward to the second week of March 2020 – the schools in our county go on Spring Break, never to have another day of school for the 2020 school year. We are suddenly in quarantine, and all of our “just in case” plans are now “make it happen” plans, and we are all working from home. We all agreed: working from home is just not as glamorous as it looks on TV.
Staff meetings and client team meetings are now happening via Zoom. Half of us have sound, no video. The other half of us have video and no sound. We are all looking like something the cat drug in with un-brushed hair, trying to help each other with our tech struggles over the phone. The good news? We all worked through it together. In addition, we are all now Zoom experts serving the company well, as we are still not traveling currently for company or client events.
I feel comfortable sharing some of the most important takeaways I gained from our journey:
Stay on your routine. Set your alarms, and “go to work” like it is any other day. Not doing this will ensure complete chaos. Trust me on this one.
Schedule breaks to execute your tasks that are NOT work related. If you jump up 30 times a day to do “just that one thing”, you will lose your train of thought every single time.
Stay connected to your coworkers – even a simple text or phone call will remind you that you are all a team.
Remember the physical background of your home office and execute Zoom meetings without your cat in the room!
We have been so fortunate here at Partners to have amazing management who have guided us through this pandemic with astounding patience. We may still be in a strange spot, but we are certainly all prepared for the future.
Episode 7 of Association Peeps in Cubicles Drinking Coffee is out, titled “Fundraising in Tough Times”, featuring a discussion between Partners owner, Bennett Napier, CAE, and Mickey Moore of Moore Business Strategies. Check it out here! https://bit.ly/2YmmDUI
Like gazillions of others around the globe, as of late I have spent some (aka way too much) time binge-watching TV. I subscribe to a variety of streaming services and recently selected a potential new addiction. After the first somewhat engaging episode, the little black box popped up in the corner and informed me, ‘120 seconds until the next episode’ and even included a clock politely counting down. I said aloud with disgust to no one else in the room, “Are you serious right now?” Continue reading “Seriously?”→
Back in January when I decided to write this blog, my intended topic was staff training and on-boarding. Given the current climate with COVID-19, however, and the fact that many organizations had to furlough or lay people off, the topic just doesn’t feel relevant.
We are experiencing unprecedented times right now and need to help our associations navigate these challenges. As association professionals, we have to think differently and act quickly. Given these changes, I want to instead write about strategic planning and thinking in times of a crisis.
In my many years of working in association management, and especially now that I work for an association management company and serve multiple associations on a daily basis, it is clear to me that not only is there an association for everything, but every association and its culture is very different. In my role as Executive Director, I interact closely with the Board of Directors comprising many unique personalities, and I’ve learned that it is important to foster healthy relationships both in and out of the board room for overall effectiveness. Continue reading “(Team) Building Better Boards Outside the Board Room”→
There are many acronyms in the association world, especially when you work for an association management company, and one of those acronyms you may see pop-up is CMP. Most often spotted after someone’s name, the acronym “CMP” stands for Certified Meeting Professional.
Certified Meeting Professional is a credential administered through the Events Industry Council. According to the EIC (another acronym there), “The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program was launched in 1985 to enhance the knowledge and performance of meeting professionals, promote the status and credibility of the meeting profession and advance uniform standards of practice. Today, the CMP credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education and a rigorous exam.”
So we’re two months into the year and your resolutions are probably long forgotten. If your intent was to be more effective or efficient at work, here are a few easy tips to help you get back on track.
PROBLEM # 1: Technology is evil . . . sometimes. Be extremely cautious about how you use technology at work. Grabbing your cell phone to text a short reminder to your boss can easily result in taking a “quick second” to check that Facebook messenger notification and before you know it, you’ve wasted 15 minutes on the new YouTube channel dedicated to zit popping (who knew?). We all know to shut off alerts to avoid distractions and unfortunately texting has been added as an integral part of business communication. Continue reading “3 Tips to be More Effective at Work”→
Why should your company consider any sponsorship? There are more reasons than you think. Everyone knows that sponsorships give you brand visibility. Whether it be at an in-person event or an on-line presence, being a sponsor will get your company seen. But it’s much deeper than that. A sponsorship should be seen as an investment. Yes, one expects return on that investment and to get the most bang for the buck, but most times there is not an immediate, tangible ROI. Sponsorships need to be thought of as a foundation to build on. Building relationships with organizations and individuals in your target market. Being a sponsor can give you credibility, and a positive reputation and perception from your audience. Continue reading “Peeling Back the Layers of Successful Sponsorships”→