Although 2021 didn’t return back to normal in the way that we all had hoped, we still made great strides in adapting to a world impacted by COVID-19. The hurdles associations had to overcome and continue to overcome are only making them stronger and more prepared for a great future.
Here are a few ways associations can improve operations in 2022.
[Related: Six Helpful Virtual Tools For Nonprofits]
Encourage Remote Working
While many businesses returned to the office, approximately 26% of employees continue to work remotely. A lot of organizations have adopted a hybrid-model of part-time office work part-time remote work. This decreases the number of people in person in one place and therefore reduces the risk of coronavirus transmission.
The flexibility this method allows also has been proven to improve operations. According to a recent survey, 77% of those who work remotely part-time showed increased productivity. Consider allowing for at least a part-time remote working possibility for the safety (and productivity) of your association in the new year.
Improve Virtual Events
After almost two years of video calls, Zoom meetings, and digital orientations, we know what works and doesn’t. The benefits of virtual events are endless, including:
- Allow for guests from out of state or with schedules that wouldn’t work with an in-person event
- Save money on venue and catering
- Focus on planning the event rather than having to focus on accommodations and travel planning
- Accessibility and convenience equals greater geographical, social, and financial diversity
- Shorter events such as virtual events versus weekend-long in person conventions can be more efficient
To continue reaping the benefits of virtual events, associations should do all they can to improve upon their original model. Keep events interactive by using breakout rooms and available chat features to get everyone’s input. You can also include polls to get feedback from members and settle on decisions quickly.
Soliciting feedback now is more important than ever. Since we are all navigating this new normal together, both the challenges and the successes, everyone should be able to give their input.
Add your contact information at the end of every blog and newsletter, so that members and non-members alike are able to contact you.
Ask specific questions that you’re trying to crowdsource in your emails and on your social media pages. Social channels such as Twitter and Instagram even have a poll function available to make collecting feedback easy.
Even if some of the feedback you receive isn’t positive, associations should look at this as a learning opportunity and a way to get everyone involved, add value to your organization, and expand your way of thinking outside of the box.
Show Appreciation and Care
As always, we need to remember to be patient and show appreciation to ourselves and others this coming year. The pandemic has made it increasingly harder to relax and de-stress, so being intentional about boosting morale and encouraging relaxation is crucial to your association’s operations.
Plan out fun, non-work related activities for your staff, give shoutouts to employees, members, and community partners who deserve some recognition, and practice self-care via meditation or even just a hot bath.
Contact Dennison and Associates Today
Dennison and Associates has years of experience providing customized services and solutions to association and non-profit organizations. From software implementation to training and board member facilitation, we can help you thrive in 2022.