5 Tips and Tricks for Working with a Small Staff & Team

We all know that with small association’s and organizations the staff  wear many different hats. You are the meeting planner, legal team working on contracts, membership recruiter, sponsorship sales, marketing and sometimes the finance department. How can we get the most productivity from our staff and those we work with on our teams when we are all overwhelmed? Below are five tips and tricks to help you manage your teams more efficiently.

  1. Be Flexible
    It seems this day in age one of the most common benefits an employee is looking for is work/life balance. There are school events, extracurricular activities and so much more these days. I have seen many companies that don’t allow for teleworking and while I may not understand that, I do understand that being flexible to staff is a key to retaining them. The more trust put into them, the more they are willing to work even harder to get the job done.
  2. Ask for Input
    The greatest ideas can come from the unlikeliest places. Why not, approach the whole team or staff to ask for their input with a design or concept. What about a contest within the group for theme ideas? Collaborating on projects can bring out people’s creative areas and make them see they are an integral part of the team.
  3. Support Their Development
    One of the best ways to learn is from others. Encourage and support your team or staff to attend local events, trainings and seminars. There is typically a greater association for all fields.  Many fields are ever growing and changing and in order to move along we have to remain current in our knowledge. Can’t afford to have them out of the office?  Look into distance learning. Only have the budget to send one person? Have that person report back and do a program for the rest of the team. Our company has started IN to the 3rd Power to help small business owners and direct sellers increase their sales, marketing efforts and more.
  4. Meet Regularly
    With a staff of 2 it is important for us at The Next Steps to meet once a week. As a former Executive Director with a staff of 3-4 at any one time we also meet weekly and some felt it was a bit too much because we are so small and what would be the point. Yet, with a small staff or teams it’s imperative to meet regularly. This ensures that everyone knows what is going on. It is important however, to set clear goals and objectives so as not to waste anyone’s time. This is a great way to make sure that duplicate work isn’t taking place since everyone wears so many hats.
  5. Give Feedback
    For every negative there should be a positive. It is important to be giving feedback so that you can learn from the past. What worked well? What didn’t work? How can you improve? This will help to determine how you move forward in the future. Giving positive feedback helps your team to feel accomplished, wanted and proud.

Stepping Up

When was the last time you stepped up? Are you sitting there wondering, what do I mean? Well, for example when is the last time you can recall one of the following:

Volunteered to run a social event (work, school, moms group)?
Took on a task at the office even though you weren’t thrilled?
Were vocal about an election or wrongdoings in the community?
Went to an HOA or civic meeting?
Decided to take a leap of faith on yourself and do what you love?
Completed that exercise program you had wanted to try?

For some these come naturally while others have to work hard. Freedictionary.com notes that stepping up is:

To improve one’s performance or take on more responsibility, especially at a crucial time.
One of a series of actions, processes, or measures taken to achieve a goal.

So where do you want to step up to this year? Many of our clients want to take the step to increase their membership, add revenue to their bottom line and others to implement new programs that will make them stand out. We show businesses how to grow by creating unique events and membership experiences.

One of our favorite exercises to do as a team at The Next Steps is our vision for the future. So, we hope you will do this short exercise and then post a pic or comment on how it looks for you. Given there are two of us in the company we each take time on our own and then compare. This exercise can also be done for your personal life.

Step 1: Draw a large circle on a piece of paper and then draw two lines (vertical and horizontal). Now your circle has 4 quadrants.

Step 2: Visualize this circle is 2017 or event a particular month and think of the following:

Upper Left Quadrant: What do you want to BE in 2017?
Upper Right Quadrant: What do you want to HAVE in 2017?
Bottom Left Quadrant: What do you want to DO in 2017?
Bottom Right Quadrant: What do you want to GIVE in 2017?

Step 3: Pull out your phone and set the stopwatch/timer for 5 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind in each of those areas.

Step 4: Take a look at what you wrote.  Does anything stand out to you? Maybe you have overlap in some of the quadrants. Now, go get all you wrote! Choose just 2 or 3 of those and focus on taking the next step and STEPPING UP.