In June I was kindly invited by Doug Nelson at the Discovery Group to participate…
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Canadian associations in radically different ways. Some are hard hit, losing members and bleeding revenue. Others are seizing new opportunities and boldly moving forward. As we look toward the road to recovery, we asked members of Club OAX to share some key insights from their experiences throughout the pandemic and their ideas about moving forward.
Tony Lyons from Alphabet Creative importantly noted that the employer / employee relationship has changed. The combination of a realization that working from home and the increasing flexibility of working arrangements can come with moderate productivity loss, demographic shifts in attitudes towards work, plus the ongoing labour shortage in almost every sector means that employers will need to work harder and be more open to an individualized approach to human resources to attract and retain talent.
Andrée Paige from The Write Paige further added to this by suggesting that the focus moving forward has to be on the human aspect of human resources. The most successful organizations will be those capable of assessing who prefers to work from home, come to work, or a adopt a hybrid work arrangement. There are tools and services available that enable an employer to conduct surveys and learn what employees use, need and want. Through analytics and projections, informed decisions can be made about the ideal workforce accommodation plan.
Tony emphasized the ongoing issue of associations facing challenges with member retention. It is now more important than ever that member-based organizations really examine their true value proposition and how they’re communicating that to their members.
A large concern as the world shifted to a virtual work from home standard was how to keep an organization’s culture alive and vibrant. At Wicket, they decided to go permanently remote. To maintain their culture and communication, they invested in effective online tools and practices. For example, every Friday Wicket hosts a “Zoom Party” featuring trivia, contests, and workshops. They have quarterly town halls where their leadership team candidly reports on their last quarter and what’s ahead. Wicket has also implemented regular team retrospectives which is an opportunity for honest team feedback.
When thinking about moving forward, Andrée noted that the ability to move swiftly, resourcefully, and creatively is integral to an organization’s future. Waiting too long to find a solution during the pandemic crisis is ultimately what hurt many organizations the most. Having a plan in place that has room for flexibility should be of top focus as we move forward.
If your organization has any tips on moving forward post pandemic, please share them with us on our LinkedIn page.