Covid-19 has taken the world by storm. During this crisis, what can your association do to thrive, not just survive?
- We all know this is going to be a difficult time for members whether they are businesses or individuals. Consider giving back or offering your members relaxation in the membership fee for the next 90 days or credits they can use towards the next year’s membership or purchase courses etc.
- This is the time when your members need you more than ever. For the same reason, this is a great time to reach out to prospective members, as well as, past members. This is a good time to bring them back.
- We know you are already thinking about how to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on your members, think about what would members care about most during this time. Set up special advisory/ helpline services for your members where they can ask Covid-19 related questions. Conduct special webinars, double up on educational sessions. As for the cancelled events, consider going virtual or invest the time, energy and dollars in other activities. It will also serve as a great A/B testing opportunity for the perceived value of events for your members.
- To collaborate remotely while working from home, use Slack for instant messaging. Using Slack, you can quickly open up forums/channels/war rooms to collaborate on topics concerning your members the most.
- Implement systems for project management to ensure the entire team is on the same page. If you think requests or tasks can fall of the cracks while the staff works remotely, implement helpdesk systems like Mojo, Salesforce Service Cloud, Freshdesk etc. to manage requests from your members during this time. Systems will ensure there is process and knowledge management during the uncertain times.
- If the business activity seems slower, think about the tasks/projects that you had in my mind for a long time but put on hold due to lack of bandwidth. Assign your staff the responsibility to lead and work on these projects so that when the worst passes over, you are in a better spot to take advantage of the opportunities. Some ideas are looking at improving your existing systems, staff training, improving usage/adoption etc.
- While pretty much all businesses are scrambling to ensure business continuity by having the employees work from home, use this as an opportunity to explore a distributed or semi-distributed business model from a long-term view.
And a bonus tip – working remotely does not have to mean working alone. Make sure your team members feel supported. This may include hosting daily huddles, scheduling regular check-ins, and providing staff with the necessary support.