Sector and AuSAE News

  • 08 Nov 2021 1:20 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    We know a common conversation you may have as an Association leader is centred on how to refine and articulate your organisation’s ‘value proposition’ and how to understand your member’s perception of the ‘value’ you give. It is an ever-evolving and important piece of work for all leaders, especially after the tumultuous environment of the past two years.

    If you want to rethink or validate your Association’s value, look no further – there’s help at hand.

    Our colleagues over at Zadro, a communications agency who work extensively with Association leaders, have launched a White Paper for Associations: Communicating Your Value to Members Year-On-Year.

    Get the insights and support you need to understand and communicate your value, to spearhead your membership retention, engagement and growth strategies for 2022 and beyond.

    Click here to access Zadro’s White Paper for Associations.

    Read the white paper, talk about it with Felicity Zadro at our upcoming AuSAE webinar: 
    How to communicate your Association's value in 2022 and beyond

    Join us on 23 November
  • 05 Nov 2021 5:10 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    New Zealand has built upon its earth science strengths to win the 22nd International Sedimentological Congress (ISC) in 2026.

    The ISC is one of the largest international conferences dedicated to the study of sedimentary rocks and the processes by which they are formed. The ISC is rarely held in the Southern Hemisphere but in 2026 it will be hosted by Geoscience Society of New Zealand’s Sedimentology Special Interest Group (SSIG).

    The congress is expected to attract up to 1,000 participants to Tākina, Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre and deliver an estimated $3.4m to the economy.

    Lead organiser and Senior Geologist at GNS Science, Dr Mark Lawrence, says: “This congress will be an excellent opportunity to showcase New Zealand sedimentology and for networking with international sedimentologists.”

    Tourism New Zealand works with experts across the country and the business events industry to support New Zealand to bid for and win international conferences.

    Tourism New Zealand General Manager Domestic & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says:“Conferences like this showcase our expertise to the world and help grow our knowledge at home. They also deliver significant economic gains that benefit the New Zealand economy.”

    The conference win is testament to both New Zealand’s strengths in earth science and its ability to provide fascinating first-hand experiences in the field, Dr Lawrence adds.

    “Geologically New Zealand is very interesting. It has a whole range of geological attributes concentrated in a relatively small geographic area. Then you have the impact of tectonics, and climate change. It’s essentially a neat, small-scale laboratory,” he says.

    The theme for the congress will be ‘Sedimentation on active plate margins through time and space’ and will include field trips across the country covering as broad a range of sedimentary systems in Zealandia as possible. Topics relating to Māori and Pacifica views of the sedimentary process will also be included.

    Dr Lawrence says the congress is an excellent opportunity to engage the next generation of sedimentologists, who will be able to attend with fewer costs since the event is close to home.

    “It will be particularly good for students who may otherwise be unlikely to attend such a prestigious event overseas. For those starting out in the field it’s a great opportunity to make these international contacts.”

    Plans are also underway to ensure the conference has wider outreach to New Zealanders, through public lectures or learning experiences for school age children.

    Wellington will be the host city, providing both a core of knowledge in earth science via Victoria University and geological affiliated research institutes GNS Science and NIWA, and a brand-new conference venue.

    WellingtonNZ General Manager David Perks says the capital’s central location makes it the perfect location for this congress.

    “Being so central to the rest of New Zealand means all the site visits to be undertaken by delegates are very accessible. And while here they’ll be able to enjoy our great eateries and bars and all Wellington has to offer, learning more about the history of New Zealand right across the road at Te Papa – New Zealand’s national museum, and getting closer to nature at Zealandia.

    “While the congress doesn’t happen until 2026, it’s great to see that Tākina is already front of mind for international organisations. It was specifically designed to host international conferences of this size.”

  • 05 Nov 2021 4:39 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Professional development could be just the thing to help revive members’ sense of joy around their careers—but only if it’s presented and marketed correctly, says learning strategist Tracy King.

    With a full 20 months of the pandemic shifting livelihoods and approaches to working, it’s perhaps inevitable that burnout was going to affect how members approach their careers.

    Burnout isn’t just about long hours and piles of work, though. It’s also about joy—or rather, lack of it. So how can you help your members rediscover the delight they once took in their fields? Tracy King, CAE, CEO and chief learning strategist of InspirEd, suggests that a fresh approach to professional development might be the path forward—especially given that the conversation has moved past talking through our feelings about the pandemic.

    “The question really has shifted to what creates energy for learners and constituents,” she said.

    King points to two particular things that can help turn professional development into a redemptive moment: content outcomes, or the benefits that they see from the lessons they’ve learned; and an energizing experience, often built from a strong community element.

    Naturally, learners can still feel stress piling on from external sources, including losing the time and energy being diverted to education. But King explained that if the session is worthwhile, it can be a big boost of energy to the overall psyche.

    “If I leave that space with human connection and an immediate action I can take, suddenly my attitude shifts completely and I recognize, ‘That was an amazing, well-spent piece of time there,’” she said.


    Of course, the idea of bringing people into a professional development environment doesn’t work if the people you’re trying to reach are turned off by it. If the idea of even taking part in an educational session stresses them out, you might need to rethink your marketing strategy.

    “What is really driving people to professional development, especially now, is solving problems. So they see themselves and their challenge in that program description and marketing copy, you’re gonna pique their interest,” King said. “Because right now it feels like there are so many problems, so if we can solve this little situation over here, our load will feel so much lighter.”

    King explained that it’s the content’s job to ease this load, but that the presentation can help as well. She pointed to the original use case for webinars—educational formats, designed for universities, that allowed for interactive learning, rather than as a mere one-to-many presentation format.

    “So we’ve got to take it back to its roots and think about how this virtual technology can be used as a forum for utilizing all these interactive capabilities,” she said.


    Of course, not everyone needs the same type of education at the same time—and not everyone has the time to attend in-person or online.

    So it remains important to offer options in more passive forms, such as podcasts and web content, or formats designed for asynchronous learning. But King said that ultimately, it should build to an interactive setting in the long run.

    “You get to a point in that learning journey where you realize, well, there’s a bigger next step I need to take,” she said. “And that’s where that live program comes to play.”

    By teaming the more passive and interactive settings together, it creates an opportunity for what King called a “connected constellation” of options that come together to offer a deeper learning experience.

    “If we can, at least with some of our high-priority content, create a more networked experience, we’ll develop a relationship with our learner constituents through our content,” she said.


    King suggests that associations shouldn’t ask what their members want—as they might suggest more tactical solutions that don’t get at the underlying problems—but that they should listen intently to conversations in the community, in a way that goes beyond surveys.

    “Often our constituents don’t know what’s going to relieve this heaviness,” she said.

    But by listening in on conversations happening on community engagement platforms and social media, you may be able to uncover threads that can be turned into opportunities for education.

    “Really be listening for where the friction is in their work-life balance and in their career,” King added.

    Originally posted here

  • 04 Nov 2021 11:30 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    On the Take 5 with Associations show presented by AuSAE and ASI, we chat with Lyndal Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM), to see how they are keeping their members engaged and how they are embracing technology.

    Our host Paul Ramsbottom, Managing Director of ASI, talks with Lyndal about the recent launch of the ASUM Connect online community platform and a successful awareness campaign.

    Lyndal says, “Our online community provides 2-way communication which has helped improve member engagement and our work with members.”

    “One of the great things with the online community is the single sign-on with our database. Everything is linked together and makes the experience much easier for members,” added Lyndal.

    ASUM are also looking at webinars and different educational tools for members. Lyndal says, “But, it’s how we integrate the technology and get the benefits. The technology is almost impossible to keep up with, as things change so much. It’s a never-ending battle to try and understand it and see what is fit for purpose.”

    From innovation, collaboration, and learnings, Lyndal’s shares a success story from their Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month to get people to understand what a sonographer is and help raise awareness in the community.

    Last month, ASUM received a member request via their online community platform to provide posters for their members to use, put in department or private practice. This resource was a way to help their members spark a conversation or educate the public as they come through the practice.

    This initiative enabled ASUM to collaborate with members, test ideas and poster concepts and ensure all specialities were included.

    Lyndal says, “It was a fantastic success. We were able to measure downloads and engagement on social – it was a really successful and campaign.”

    By embracing digital technology, ASUM can create meaningful connections for members and continuously improve their member experience. 

    Click the link to give it a watch.

    Would you like to participate in the Take 5 with Associations web show? Contact the team at AuSAE via or 1300 764 576.

    About The Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine

    The Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) is the Peak Body for Medical Ultrasound in Australia and New Zealand. ASUM is promoting ultrasound excellence and ensuring quality health outcomes when using ultrasound.

    About ASI

    Advanced Solutions International (ASI) is a leading global provider of products, programs, and services that help associations and non-profits improve operational and financial performance. Since 1991 we've helped thousands of clients grow revenue and reduce expenses by providing industry expertise, best practice advice, and proven solutions. 

    ASI is the developer of iMIS EMS, the world’s #1 association and non-profit software solution, and the only Engagement Management System (EMS)™ – fusing database management and web publishing into a single system – leading to operational efficiencies, revenue growth, and continuous performance improvement. Harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform, iMIS EMS is purpose-built to meet the most important challenge facing associations and non-profits – Engagement. We have a global network of nearly 100 partners to provide you with a full range of services to implement and support your iMIS EMS platform.

    ASI is an AuSAE Premium Alliance Partner -

  • 03 Nov 2021 8:27 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    After almost two years that have been like no other, it is now more important than ever to recognise individuals making extraordinary contributions to their Associations and the sector more broadly across Australia and New Zealand.

    Nominations for the 2022 Association Influencers Awards are now open and will close at midnight on Sunday, 5 December 2021.

    Associations are well known for bringing together people and making a positive impact through their value across society, the economy, and the environment. In it’s second year, the Australasian Society of Association Executive’s (AuSAE) Association Influencers Awards provide an excellent opportunity to recognise people who make significant contributions to the lives of the people they represent and serve.

    The awards were established in 2020 to recognise association leaders for their outstanding contribution of the sector in Australia and New Zealand. In the inaugural year, AuSAE recognised 13 Association Influencers.

    Toni Brearley, Chief Executive Office of AuSAE says, "It’s our privilege to recognise outstanding individuals making a significant and lasting impact within our tribe and setting the benchmark for association professionals into the future".

    Countless people play a vital role in creating a stronger association sector and making their community a better place to live, work and play.

    A panel judges the awards, including representatives from a group of prominent leaders in Australia and New Zealand with knowledge, experience, and passion for the association sector.

    Associations have gone above and beyond to help their members and community during the COVID-19 pandemic, drought, bushfires, and floods. Now, it's time to recognise individuals for their outstanding contributions to the association sector.

    Nominating is simple and can be done online. More details on how to nominate and eligibility information can be found here.

    Take the first step and register your interest to nominate here. 

  • 29 Oct 2021 7:17 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Over the last year we’ve seen the insidious rise of ransomware and other common attack vectors attacks across the globe and even here in Aotearoa New Zealand - with one of the most recent high profile ones taking down the networks at the Waikato District Health Board.

    In a time where we are constantly being disrupted, this upswing in attacks reminds us that we need to be ever vigilant of this type of activity. In this session we’ll be looking back over 2021 at all the highlights of the year, the learnings we’re gathering and also share latest news on how we can be prepared for any attack.

     Our speakers will be:

    Peter Bailey, the Executive General Manager at Aura.

    As Executive General Manager of Aura Information Security, Peter’s role comprises of two key functions: delivering high quality customer service and solutions; and helping businesses of all shapes and sizes understand the need for robust security practices.   He is part of the Kordia executive team headed by Group CEO Shaun Rendell.

    Hilary Walton, CISO Kordia Group

    Hilary Walton is the Chief Information Security Office of the Kordia Group Limited, responsible for the overall security position of Kordia in both Australia and New Zealand.  She is an Information and Technology and digital business transformation leader, and hosts a diverse background in organisational psychology and risk management.  She also has significant experience from offshore roles, having worked for Mi5 in London, and the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games leading the Information Security programme.

    This is a free online event thanks to the support of Kordia.  The second event in this series is planned to be in person in February 2022.

    Register here

  • 29 Oct 2021 7:09 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Someone recently asked me, “your blog posts keep coming and coming. Where do you find all these ideas?”

    Ideas are a renewable resource in the best sense of the phrase. Thoughts spawn more thoughts. We all have access to more idea opportunities at our disposal than we could ever possibly do.

    So what do you do when good ideas seem scarce?

    Train your brain and the minds of your staff.

    1. Commit to a deadline: I’ve committed to publishing a post every Tuesday and Thursday, and so my mind works away in the background identifying and sorting through publishable ideas.
    2. Create space: Usually, an epiphany strikes during a quiet time like walking, and I’ll voice record a few notes, so I don’t forget the idea.
    3. Remind yourself of the objective: When I first set out on my morning walk, I usually think, “it’s time to come up with this week’s post idea.”

    A New Metric for Associations

    Start coming up with ideas, and you might find that more and more great ideas keep coming your way.

    You are never going to please everyone” is one of the truest statements in association management. Members have different lived experiences, so each one perceives things differently. Some members may LOVE your keynote, while others won’t. Some people flock to the reception while many others stay in their room. Some use the research, while others can’t be bothered, but they’ll read the short articles.

    It is emotionally difficult to pour your heart and soul into an event, or report, or any other member-facing endeavor and get a more tepid response than you hoped for, or worse criticism. The natural impulse to these reactions is to pull back, make your output so generic, no one can criticize it. But when no one can criticize, no one can fully engage either.

    Having a few haters (and lots of lovers) might be a good metric of success for associations.

    By Amanda Kaiser 
  • 29 Oct 2021 6:53 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Asking members what they want isn’t enough if you’re not listening to what they say and are disconnected from who they are. Find out two ways to really connect with them to boost engagement and build a meaningful relationship.

    You already know member engagement matters. Everyone touts it as the silver bullet to save associations. But time and again, it is frustrating to see members lapsing or leaving because of a lack of engagement. Here’s the thing: Member engagement has less to do with getting your members to do something; it’s more about creating a feeling of connection.

    There are two critical steps for driving outstanding levels of engagement with your members and getting them to stay.

    Develop a Member-First Focus

    The critical first step to help drive member engagement is focusing on your members and what they need. To drive outstanding levels of engagement, shift your focus from what your organization wants to what your members need. The best way to make that shift is to listen and pay attention to what your members are saying.

    Be fully present with your members because they will know if you are not listening to them. Act on what you learn about what your members are saying. Members will tell you what they want if you ask, listen, and respond. One way to start a member-first focus is to have board members, leaders, and staff, roleplay a day in the life of a member.

    To drive outstanding levels of engagement, shift your focus from what your organization wants to what your members need.

    Step into their shoes and experience what it feels like to engage with your association. This will help you gain a better understanding of your member value proposition. Your member-first culture is foundational for positioning yourself to better drive outstanding member engagement.

    Tip: Member engagement is not an activity—it’s a connection.

    Create a Genuine Rapport

    The second step to engage your members is creating a “genuine rapport,” which is a sympathetic and empathetic connection with another person. Accomplishing this requires showing concern for your members by putting yourself in their shoes.

    A good way to start? Identify something you have in common with them rather than inviting them to your next conference or asking them to sign up for your newsletter. For example, one way you can identify something in common with your members is to ask them. Relationships don’t happen without conversations. The moment your members reach out either in your online community, social media networks, or when they complete their online profile, they are looking for you to have a conservation. Reach out and send them a private message with a nice welcome. Start by sharing a few things about yourself such as, “I like Italian food, taking photos of wildlife, and exercising. How about you?”

    This one small step will open the door for your members find common ground with you and to get comfortable with your organization. Moving forward, they will be more willing to share what they need and how your organisation can provide the solution. Before you know it, you will move from a conversation to a relationship and your members will feel like they belong.

    While encouraging your members to use their benefits is essential, building a relationship with them is just as important. Relationship-building will provide you with the insights you need to ensure that your benefits and offers are relevant to each specific member.

    Tip: Personal connections build member engagement—not products.

    Next Steps for Outstanding Engagement

    Armed with a member-first focus and a genuine rapport, you are ready to open the door to drive massive engagement. Imagine having your members feel so connected to you they always want to be a part of your community. Then, think about them raising their hands to volunteer and serve your organisation’s cause—not because you asked them to, but because you now have a strong connection with them.

    Now picture your members renewing, again and again, because they can’t even imagine not being a part of your organisation. If you engage them well, you will not only have members who feel like they belong, you will have members who believe.

    September 3, 2021By: Velma Knowles

    originally posted here

  • 22 Oct 2021 5:03 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    You work hard to deliver for your members. But the pandemic has disrupted your professional life and increased demands on your home life. Even with all the talk about things opening up (or not), your workload has increased and you’re spending more time than ever in meetings. You know there must be a better way to balance work, life and distractions that seem to be getting in your way more often than they help you focus on mission-critical activities.

    I know because I used to be like you. For many years, I worked at a public health association focused on ending HIV and hepatitis. I know first-hand no matter how long, hard or smart you work, it seems there will never be enough time or resources to get it all done. 

    Your day-to-day challenges have been complicated by the fact you’re a year and a half into a challenge you initially thought would be resolved in two weeks. Although vaccines offer some hope, the challenge of how to find work-life balance and maximize your time in a post-pandemic workplace remains.

    The Challenge

    You’re not alone and you’re not imagining things. COVID-19 has caused a number of stressors that have made finding balance and get things done more challenging:

    • Uncertainty: With no clear end in sight, the pandemic has created prolonged uncertainty and disruption, which make planning difficult. The problem is too many unknowns for too long creates stress and anxiety that eventually takes a mental, emotional and physical toll on you.
    • Social Isolation: Physical distancing has prevented you from having the type of human-to-human connections that help you thrive. Working in the post-pandemic workplace can feel lonely. 
    • Work-Life Balance: Boundaries between work, life and even the days of the week have been blurred beyond recognition. And it’s become increasingly harder to manage expectations from a distance.
    • Technology Burnout: The onslaught of using video conference platforms and other virtual tools for everything in our lives from work meetings to family holiday celebrations has resulted in overload, burnout and screen exhaustion.

    7 Work-Life Strategies to Reclaim Time in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

    So what do you do?

    Unfortunately, you can’t wave a magic wand and have things go back to “normal.” But here are a few things you can do right now to be more productive and find more balance in today’s changing world.

    1. Make a plan for your day and week

    Survey data show one of the biggest distractions in the workplace is a lack of clarity about what’s important to focus on in a particular moment. Consequently, when we are distracted, we may find it difficult to get back on track because we’re not clear about what’s important.

    You can correct this by controlling what you can control by taking a few moments at the beginning or end of your days and weeks to map out your vision for success and the priorities that will help you get there. You can think of this process as setting the address for your intended destination in your GPS. Without a destination, you drive around for hours and end up in no place in particular. This is like being busy without making a real impact.

    Research shows that when you do this process by hand, you are more likely to remember AND follow through on the intention and priorities you set. 

    2. Know your Zoom number

    You've probably seen advertisements for the Sleep Number bed. You know the one where you change how firm or soft you want your bed to feel by adjusting the Sleep Number setting? What if you could do the same with the volume and length of Zoom meetings you participate in? 

    In other words:

    • How many meetings should you have in a day?
    • How long should they be?
    • Do you really need to meet at all?

    The volume of virtual meetings has increased alongside our reliance on tools like Zoom to sustain collaboration and connection in a remote-first world. But the truth is our time, energy and attention spans are limited in comparison.

    3. Have intentional meetings 

    The increase in remote work has been accompanied by an increase in meetings, but it doesn't have to be this way. Before scheduling a meeting, pause to consider:

    • Is this meeting really necessary?
    • What challenge am I trying to solve or what question am I trying to answer?

    Consider meetings as a last resort. If you determine a meeting is absolutely necessary, have speedier meetings by changing your calendar settings to shorten the default length of your meetings by 5-10 minutes.

    So if you have 30-minute meetings as your default, your calendar would block 20 minutes or 25 minutes instead.

    This gives you and your team a buffer so you're not rushing directly from one thing to the next.

    4. Practice being socially distant from your devices

    When working, eating and sleeping, we have a perfect opportunity to be socially distant from our devices. These breaks allow our brains and bodies to recover from the stress of being constantly connected.

    • Start by charging your devices outside of your workspace and adding tech breaks to your calendar to check in throughout the day on any important calls or messages.
    • Turn off notifications for non-mission-critical apps.
    • Put away your devices during meals.
    • Buy a real alarm clock and charge your devices outside your bedroom so you can get uninterrupted rest at night.

    5. Establish your rules of engagement

    One of the biggest challenges we face with our increased workload is unwritten assumptions about when we need to be available for work. We can address this and begin establishing work-life balance by having explicit conversations with our teams to address key questions such as:

    • Which hours will you be available for work each day?
    • Which hours will you be available for life outside of work?
    • Which tools should colleagues use to reach you for urgent matters? What about non-urgent issues?
    • What’s an urgent matter?
    • How soon should someone expect a response from you depending on the level of urgency?

    Establishing and communicating these boundaries removes the guesswork around when and how you are available for your work and personal life and reduces any anxiety you may feel about needing to be on and available 24/7.

    6. Create a start and stop routine and add it to your calendar

    Too many of us are up checking emails, responding to text messages, scrolling through social media, and going through our mental checklists before even rolling out of bed.

    We spend our days in back-to-back meetings and sitting behind a screen all day.

    You can break this pattern by identifying a start and stop ritual for your day. This is something you do for yourself (like having a cup of tea, walking the dog or doing yoga) before jumping into your day. Similarly, having a stop ritual (like putting away your work computer or starting dinner) helps to bookend your days.

    If your time is limited, consider starting with just five minutes for yourself at the start and end of the day.

    7. Be gentle with yourself

    Creating the right balance between work, life and tech is about being at peace with the natural ebbs and flows of life.

    Life doesn't stand still. So it stands to reason balance isn't a destination you arrive at; it's an ongoing practice that shifts with the seasons of your life and work.

    It's also not one-size-fits-all. What works for you may not work for someone else.

    Creating work-life balance is an ongoing process of aligning (and re-aligning) our time, talent, energy and resources vs. a one-time flip of the switch.

    If you're struggling with juggling ALL the things on your plate, take a moment to pause and know there's nothing wrong with you.

    Celebrate you're doing the best you can with what you have right where you are. And that's all anyone can ask of you.

    Your Homework

    So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to put away your devices and make an appointment with yourself within the next seven days to do one of the things on the list above.

    These small changes won’t make things go back to “normal,” but they will set you up for a more mindful approach to your work, life and technology in a post-pandemic world.

  • 22 Oct 2021 5:00 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Professionalism isn’t just about choice of attire—it encompasses diversity and personal discussions too. As people return to the office, the topic promises to get complicated. Here are some tips on how to navigate.

    After a year and a half of people regularly wearing dress shirts with sweatpants, you weren’t expecting everything to go back to the way it was in the office before the pandemic, were you?

    The pandemic and other major events over the past year shifted expectations for what professionalism means. As offices reopen—and as some workers stay remote—this multidimensional issue gives leaders a lot to think about. Here are some considerations for organizations trying to discover what “professional” means to them now:

    See professionalism through the lens of DEI. Being professional in a work environment might be seen as a basic requirement, but the guidelines of what exactly constitutes professionalism have traditionally forced people to behave in a way that caters to the dominant culture. In recent years, however, some cultural observers, such as Stanford Social Innovation Review contributor Aysa Gray, have questioned professionalism as forcing a culture that “explicitly and implicitly privileges whiteness and discriminates against non-Western and non-white professionalism.” With that in mind, now might be a good time to consider whether professional standards are serving all of your workforce.

    Make room for discussions of family and personal challenges. Millions of people contracted COVID-19, and there’s a good chance that the virus directly affected some in your office. But even if they remained physically healthy, your employees may have suffered in other ways—mental health and substance abuse issues were heightened during this period, and those concerns don’t necessarily vanish with a vaccine. Traditionally, “professionalism” has discouraged these discussions, based on a theory called Protestant Relational Ideology, which sets aside personal concerns to focus on the work at hand. But after a tough year where many families had to manage Zoom calls around children stuck at home, there may need to be more room for personal discussions when they emerge in the workplace.

    Accept that difficult discussions might happen. Perhaps it was inevitable that a company like Basecamp would run into a conflict over political discourse in the workplace (ironically, this unfolded on the platform the company developed to boost productivity). But the conflict resulted in something that was not inevitable: mass resignations. Perhaps the key for associations hoping to avoid this is to build a culture that can handle those discussions in meaningful ways—and to avoid banning political discussions.

    Let your employees get a little more casual. Businesswear often took a back seat over Zoom (sweatpants and button-down combos aside). As people head back to the office, they may buck against a return to business attire. This might be even more of an issue for offices operating in a hybrid model: With recent studies finding that most people working remotely don’t adhere to a dress code, enforcing a strict dress code for in-office workers sets an inconsistent standard. (Luckily, clothing makers are adapting, according to The Wall Street Journal [subscription], with some retailers offering “hybrid dressing” that combines professional with casual.)

    Embrace a diversity of emotions. Diversity isn’t limited to demographics. It can also be about how employees feel and react to things, and that not everyone sees eye to eye on everything. As Associations Now blogger Mark Athitakis wrote in January, the pandemic offered us a reset on emotional diversity, allowing leaders to shift away from attempting to emotionally align teams. “Perhaps a better place to start is to double-check that you know where your people are emotionally in the first place,” he wrote. “And if there’s a silver lining in 2020 when it comes to management, we’re doing a better job at prioritizing that.”

    Originally posted here

The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

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Phone: +61 7 3268 7955

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