By Molly Fast
I’ve had the pleasure of working at Event 360 for 13 years. Here and there tasks have been added and taken away. My job title has changed. And I’ve fielded enough curve balls to play for a professional baseball team. But for the most part, I’ve been doing pretty much the same line of work – recruiting and retaining participants for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®.
I work hard to make my job different while having the same framework from one year to the next. That can come in the form of finding new programs to work with, identifying new ways to fundraise, shifting responsibilities or asking to take on new tasks. I’ve also found recently, due to some staff turnover which included an epic game of musical chairs within Event 360, that bringing on new staff presents a great opportunity to keep things fresh.
We recently brought a group of seven staff members together who fulfill the role of our in-market “face of the 3-Day.” Their job is to keep the 3-Day community active all year long and to be a presence for those who are interested in learning more about the event. Three of them were new and four of them have been around for several years. My first tip for keeping things fresh with your staff is to ask the question, “How can we put together training that creates a culture of learning and development?”
Because we all work from our home offices, we wanted to maximize our in-person time together. There were certain elements we had to cover with the entire group – things that are just easier to cover in person, especially when it requires a lot of involvement from the group and sharing a lot of detailed information. But we also wanted to use this opportunity to do training with the group that they could all benefit from and would help them grow in their jobs.
To that point, we decided to call in Mark Edgar Stephens, a Professional Development Coach who specializes in a host of things including body language, communication, and public speaking. Because a large part of the job of our local coaches is all about communication, we wanted them to benefit from hearing an expert speak. My second tip for keeping things fresh with your staff is to spend resources on experts who can take training to the next level. It may be your first instinct to try and cut costs by pulling resources off the internet or recycling previous trainings, but bringing in an expert helped our team see that we wanted to make an investment in them.
Mark spent a jam-packed two hours sharing public speaking tips to help us feel more confident and have more influence over those we interact with. He also gave each individual a mini body language analysis – which was beyond fascinating and spot on! (Side note: Mark was just voted #8 on the “World’s Top 30 Body Language Professionals for 2017” list.) And he asked each person to share their one-minute elevator pitch explaining the work they do at Event 360. Nearly each of us cried when sharing the meaningful work that we do. While it got emotional pretty quickly, we felt closer because of the exercise and learned a little bit about one another. My third tip for keeping things fresh with your staff is to revisit the purpose of your work and the reason why you do it. Doing this even just once a year allows you to remain connected to the importance of your why. Which, let’s face it, we all can use a reminder to help us through the harder days.
Our day and a half together was filled to the gills with important work – testing our knowledge with the database, a super fun Excel competition (depending upon who you ask!) involving a pivot table, launching a program, getting dirty in social media and the best education on how big of a role our body language plays in how we come across to others. Additionally, an important part of our meeting was just having the opportunity to meet some of our new staff and connect in person. My fourth and final tip for keeping things fresh with your staff is to never underestimate the power of face-to-face interactions. We are a company where nearly all staff works from home. While it’s expensive to pull off in person meetings, the value truly doesn’t have a price tag when you can reconnect, bond, learn and grow together with your peers and leaders.
Hit the comments below and share with us how you keep things fresh with your staff.
Molly Fast co-leads the company’s local operations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day series and is privileged to work with Event 360’s participant-facing team. For over a decade, Molly has been fortunate enough to combine her love of people with the ability to make a difference in the work she does focusing on exceeding expectations and delighting participants along the way. When not roaming around Ireland, Molly can be found taking photos or talking to strangers in Santa Monica where she lives with her husband and their black lab, Clancy. You can find Molly on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and her favorite social media tool, Instagram.