Want to stay up to date in the association world? This blog will provide you with news about members, industry updates, trends and more!
In the classic story of Moby Dick, Captain Ahab single-mindedly pursues a giant white whale across the equator and ultimately to his - and his crew’s - demise. Today, the term ‘chasing the white whale’ is used to describe a situation in which someone is going after something (perhaps obsessively) that is impossible to attain. After five months of pandemic-related shutdowns, some association leaders might feel that member engagement is their white whale. But quantitative research and observational data say otherwise: member engagement is attainable and now is the time to pursue it in earnest. ‘
Associations have a unique opportunity to leverage current user trends and present circumstances to grow member engagement in their organizations. In a recent survey1 of more than 850 trade and individual membership associations, the top four growth areas where association leaders reported seeing increased member engagement were:
This is remarkably useful business intelligence in a post-COVID economy. Why?. All four areas occur in a virtual medium and the survey was conducted pre-COVID. This means that member engagement in virtual spaces was outpacing in-person engagement avenues (such as attendance at an annual meeting or participation in professional development events) even before the shutdown. The shutdown served as an accelerant - increasing the speed and extent of the shift from in-person engagement to engagement via virtual mediums.
Ahab’s feckless pursuit of Moby Dick chewed through resources and ended disastrously. But our pursuit of member engagement needn’t be so. We know - based on our own observations and the research - that member engagement can be increased through the use of virtual mediums. Even more compelling, engagement can be scaled up in virtual mediums more efficiently than those that require in-person contact. Member engagement post-COVID is most certainly not a white whale. If anything, we’ve got it squarely in our sights and need only to become earnest in the pursuit.
1 2020 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, Marketing General Incorporated
Image credit: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/
Welcome to the Pajama Brigade! Whether you long desired to work from home or have come to it reluctantly - we're all in the same boat now! The following list of resources was put together by fellow members of the Pajama Brigade to smooth the transition.
NOTE: This is all fluid and we are not endorsing any of the materials below. We are saying we think they might be useful.
Work from Home Policy, Tips, Tools and Amusing Distractions
· Global Workplace Analytics - Template telecommuting policy
· Workable - Employee remote work policy template
· Business News Daily - 5 issues your company’s remote work policy should address
· Human Resources MBA - What do HR managers need to know about telecommuting and employment law?
· Wordstream - 7 things nobody told you about working remotely
· Upturn Strategies - Lessons I learned from employees about telecommuting
There’s an awful lot happening in the greater environment that impacts associations. Here are three issues association leaders will want to be aware of:
Several weeks ago, President Trump signed an Executive Order issuing a temporary payroll tax deferral for the employee portion of Social Security taxes from September 1 through December 31, 2020. The order applies to "any employee the amount of whose wages or compensation, as applicable, payable during any bi-weekly pay period generally is less than $4,000, calculated on a pre-tax basis, or the equivalent amount concerning other pay periods." The EO has created many questions for employers. How does one define an "eligible employee"? Is eligibility affected by employees holding more than one job, employees changing jobs, the employer opening or closing during the period, etc.? How are wages or compensation defined - inclusive of bonuses, vacation payouts, overtime etc.? While Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has said the order is voluntary, voluntary for whom - the employee or the employer? The US Chamber has stated that, in the absence of further guidance, it's unlikely employers will implement this order...
The Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) recognizes the current COVID-19 situation and is monitoring for potential impacts on our members and associations. While the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic today and Governor Whitmer has declared a state of emergency in Michigan, it is not yet clear how these declarations will impact business, meetings, and travel. MSAE will continue to monitor the situation and keep you posted.
People seem to fall into two categories when it comes to Coronavirus: those who are prepping for doomsday and those who are frustrated by the hype. In the very least, concerns of a possible pandemic can motivate us as association professionals to take a serious look at our preparedness for a crisis.
Employee health - Sometimes, employees feel like they have to report to work even if they're not feeling well due to workload or a big project. Check-in on your association's illness policy to make sure it's flexible enough to allow for not only employee illness but also their need to provide care to children and loved ones who may need extra help. Communicate your expectations of employees to stay home if they are sick, practice proper handwashing, and be mindful of the personal space of others. Provide kleenex and hand sanitizer for employee workstations or request that employees bring in their own. Ask your cleaning service to be particularly attentive to public areas, water coolers, handrails, light switches, and doorknobs...
Every association is different. But no matter who you are or whom you represent, one thing is for certain: there is lot of work to be done.
Whether it’s managing members, raising funds, contending with new rules and regulations, or delivering quality programs that serve your mission, there is only so much that can be done in a given day, week, or year.
And that’s not when you’re trying to hire new employees or keep existing ones, or reduce overhead costs, or stay up to date with new technology and ways of communicating.
Does this sound stressful? Perhaps a bit. But that’s part of the job — managing people, processes, finances, and beyond.
The most successful associations are efficient, tech-savvy, and skilled at communicating with members, sponsors, and their local (and online) communities.
Another trait these associations share: They track employee time.