March 1, 2017
Association professionals are some of the hardest working people I have ever met. So many wear multiple hats, doing the jobs of several people, to deliver on their mission. That being said, many of those same hard-working people spend times on things that they shouldn’t.
Here are five things every association professional should give up in order to become more efficient and effective in their roles.
When meetings have a planned agenda and a targeted outcome, they can be really quite purposeful. When they’re not, meetings can be disruptive and pointless. How many meetings have you sat in that you thought could have been summed up in an email? Toss the recurring meeting that doesn’t have a clear agenda with directives associated with it to save you time.
Email inboxes can be a distracting place. There are blogs out there that suggest checking your inbox at specific times of the day to avoid interruptions and promote efficiency and while this is certainly a step in the right direction, it doesn’t quite solve the problem. There are platforms out there (maybe you’ve heard of Slack - that’s what we use) that simplify internal communication. They free your inbox of internal chatter, team emails, and file sharing. Saving you the extra time of checking it constantly.
Before the help of modern technology, I wouldn’t give anyone a hard time for stuffing envelopes with invoices or updating membership information over the phone. But now there’s no excuse to continue doing things the hard way. By allowing members to self serve (think: membership registration and renewal, event registration, purchasing merchandise or courses, etc.) that gives you time to focus on delivering on your mission. Automate what you can.
It can be frustrating trying to hunt down the information that you need. It not only takes time to find the right person with the knowledge, but sometimes that person may not want to share it. To eliminate this problem, find a collaboration tool (we use Google Drive) to store departmental information and sources that are accessible across the organization. It’s easier to share documents, keep them up-to-date, and bonus - it saves time.
I’m not saying to ignore opportunities to improve or innovate. What I am saying is that implementing a repeatable process gives direction with expected outcomes. Whether it’s something as small as expense approvals or something a bit more important, like your board elections, you can save time and avoid confusion when there are clear processes set in place.
If your association is looking for a platform to help your team become more efficient, check out MemberSuite's web demo to see how we can help.