Welcome to your #MondayMotivation with Tip of the Week. In this weekly column, we share tools, time-savers and just-plain-genius ideas that your colleagues and members of the The Association have suggested and tested. Today’s tip is courtesy of Purrfect Pals Sanctuary, where ED Kathleen Olson, CAWA, just conducted a staff survey and has insights to pass on.
P.S. If you’ve been enjoying our past tips and have one to share, leave a comment and tell us about it.
Putting together a strategic planning meeting? It’s always a good idea to do some prepwork to get a sense of your staff’s needs, successes and challenges. In advance of Purrfect Pals Sanctuary’s annual management team retreat, Executive Director Kathleen Olson asked her managers to consider the following questions:
- What work issue is keeping you awake at night?
- Has the pandemic changed your work/life balance?
- Has your program been challenged by the pandemic?
- What changes, if any, have you had to make to your annual work plan?
- What tools do you need going forward to better equip you for your program responsibilities?
- In 2026, what achievements do you envision being able to list for yourself professionally, your program and our organization as a whole over the previous five years?
This allowed staff time to sit with the questions and think beyond first-response reactions, so they were ready to discuss roundtable style in person.
What’s next? Shares Olson, “Each manager will look at their program work plan from 2021 and update it for 2022 in bullet-point format. We discovered that flexible schedules with the ability to work from home some days was a priority for three managers, and will be incorporated into their plans.”
Bonus insight & a question: Olson was struck by the types of resources her staff requested this year in comparison to last year’s needs. “Surprises came when asked what tools they needed,” she says. “Previously, it included additional trainings. This year it was physical items — new cleaning tools, ergonomic keyboard, office chair, new stainless steel sink with a sprayer for the laundry room…”
Managers and leadership teams, are you seeing something similar at your organizations?