The times they are a changin’ - particularly in terms of technology. And as you know, technology advancements (in some way, shape, or form) always make their way to the workplace.
Just look at workplace communication tools. There’s Slack, Atlassian, Trello, Facebook’s Workplace - and more and more popping up all the time!
That said, are these workplace communication tools beneficial for associations? Are they worth looking into/considering? Well, like any sophisticated tool or system, there are pros and cons for each.
Take a look:
Pros of these technology advancements…
- They boost efficiency - This goes without saying, but platforms like Slack, Atlassian, Trello, and Facebook’s Workplace help employees communicate, collaborate, share information, and complete various tasks and projects.
- They allow employees to work remotely - No longer do employees have to be in the same room to get a project done. These tools allow employees to work from anywhere - and that’s a HUGE benefit for companies and associations.
- They add to/boost your association’s culture - The way you communicate at your association directly impacts and fuels your culture. With some of these platforms, like Slack, you can create channels designated to various topics. (For example, here at MemberClicks, in addition to our department/project channels, we have a channel for fantasy football, a book club, news updates, etc. - and those channels and types of conversations directly fuel our culture.)
Cons of these technology advancements…
- Employees are on call and available 24/7 - These platforms make it even harder to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Because employees have access to these tools 24/7, they often feel like there’s no downtime. (We bet you can relate.)
- Distractions can become more prevalent - Because communication is easier with these tools, employees are bound to do it more. They might share videos, memes, news stories, etc. - and yes, during critical work hours.
- Boundaries can become blurred - As with any technology advancement, people can sometimes use tools in unintended ways, and as a result, boundaries have to be set (or reset sometimes, depending on the situation).
So what’s an association professional to do? Do you let the cons deter you?
Our advice: no. As long as you’re aware of the cons, you can easily manage them. For example, you know that technology advancements mean employees are on call and available 24/7. That said, be cautious of when you ask your employees to do things. Know that for the most part, when they’re at home - even if they have their computer or phone with them - they should be enjoying their time at home. Don’t reach out to them unless it really is urgent.
Another example: If you notice that workplace distractions are becoming a problem because of technology, sit down with your staff and re-establish expectations. If you do this in a calm and respectful way, they’re likely to respect your concerns and wishes.
At the end of the day, when it comes to workplace technology, the pros really do outweigh the cons. Again, they boost efficiency, they allow your employees to work remotely, and they boost/add to your association’s culture. What’s not to love?!
Now speaking of technology, there are ample tools out there (in addition to communication tools) designed to help your association prosper. For example, association management software. An AMS is an all-in-one solution designed to make membership management easier. Dues renewals, event registrations, email marketing, payment processing - you name it, an AMS can handle it. And by using a system like that - one that streamlines processes and reduces administrative overhead - you’ll have more time to focus on your members and your mission.
Want to see what else an AMS can do and how it can help your association prosper? Check out our free guide, What Is an AMS?, below!