• 19 Dec 2016 12:02 PM | Deleted user

    Coinciding with last month’s White Ribbon Day (held on Friday 25 November), the Australian Dental Association Foundation (ADAF) launched the Rebuilding Smiles pilot project to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives. Under Rebuilding Smiles, ADAF volunteers will provide much needed dental care to women and children who have suffered domestic violence.

    The ADAF has already begun working with its volunteers to implement the pilot for Rebuilding Smiles in Victoria and South Australia. ADAF chair David Owen said, “There is increasing awareness about the scourge of domestic violence in Australian society. The injuries that domestic violence survivors experience are wide ranging; and typically include injury to their oral health. In addition to the immediate dental trauma that survivors experience, there could be ongoing oral health problems related to lack of dental treatment.

    “Rebuilding Smiles provides an opportunity for volunteer dental professionals to provide essential dental treatment to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and make a positive difference.” Following a review of the pilot in VIC and SA, the ADAF hopes to expand Rebuilding Smiles into other states, and is calling for individuals and organisations to be Rebuilding Smiles Partners by providing a financial contribution to help this effort. “The ADAF is seeking funding to assist volunteer dental professionals so that Rebuilding Smiles can grow and provide more help to more domestic violence survivors,” Owen said. “If you would like more information on how you can be a Rebuilding Smiles Partner by donating to this project, please get in touch.”

    This article was originally sourced from Bite Magazine

  • 19 Dec 2016 11:55 AM | Deleted user

    InternetNZ welcomes the announcement of Kate McKenzie as the next Chief Executive of Chorus - to start in the job from February 2017. InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter says Chorus is playing a vital part in building New Zealand’s Internet-enabled future.

    "The new Chief Executive will have big shoes to fill and we see some big challenges in this role.” Those challenges are: Truly transition Chorus from legacy copper technology to fibre “The New Zealand telecommunications market is changing fast,” says Carter.

    It is becoming increasingly evident that copper cannot support adequate performance for an ever-growing proportion of New Zealanders - particularly in rural areas. InternetNZ believes that copper is not capable of contributing to the Government’s target of 50mbps for 99% of New Zealanders by 2025.

    Copper is increasingly inefficient - more expensive than fibre, and more expensive than other emerging forms of connectivity. “The challenge for Chorus’ new Chief Executive is how to manage that transition off copper in a way that supports better connectivity for all New Zealanders.”

    Drive utilisation, productivity and benefit from better connectivity

    Unlocking the creative, productive and social potential of better connectivity is another big challenge for the new Chief Executive. InternetNZ and Chorus work together in the Innovation Partnership, which has previously identified that better connectivity could enable $34 billion in productivity gains. “As a country, we have invested in fibre and better connectivity not just for the sake of better infrastructure, but because it lays a foundation for better economic and social outcomes for all New Zealanders. “We want to continue to work with Chorus to realise this potential,” says Carter.

    Help Internet Service Providers and New Zealanders get and use fibre

    Chorus has faced challenges this year in meeting demand for fibre, and InternetNZ hopes that era is over. “Chorus has a responsibility to get New Zealanders connected as quickly and as seamlessly as possible - and we hope that the new Chief Executive is keen to meet that challenge.” That means providing products that meet customer demand as it changes over time. For example, moving the base product from 30mbps to 50mbps. Providing excellent service to Internet users and the Internet Service Providers that support them is core business for Chorus.

    “InternetNZ values our constructive working relationship with Chorus, and looks forward to working with their new Chief Executive to meet these challenges for the betterment of New Zealand.” “Mark Ratcliffe has been a source of stability in changing times for telecommunications. We have disagreed with him from time to time, but we celebrate his achievement in leading the creation of Chorus from the ground up. We wish him the best of luck in his next adventure,” says Carter.

    This press release was originally sourced from Scoop

  • 19 Dec 2016 11:47 AM | Deleted user

    UNIFYING producers, facilitating greater supply chain integration and reinforcing a positive image of beef production - these are the big ticket items on the agenda for new Cattle Council of Australia chief executive officer Duncan Bremner. Mr Bremner will take up the reigns mid-January, following the announcement in October that Jed Matz will step down after ten years with the peak producer representative organisation. Having served as CEO of Animal Medicines Australia and the Australian Road Train Association, and held a range of senior roles in government advocacy and public relations internationally, Mr Bremner said the CCA role was “a return to his roots”.

    His upbringing and early working life was based around the cattle industry, from his family’s grassfed, feedlot and cross-breeding interests in Central West NSW to working on stockcamps in the north. Mr Bremner wants the focus to be firmly on securing the avenues that makes cattle producers, and indeed the entire beef supply chain, profitable and lays the foundations for a long-term sustainable and resilient market place.

    With the majority of our beef exported, we need to continually be looking to maintain and build on our valuable markets,” he said. “Australia enjoys a well-earned reputation for producing the best beef in the world and we have to maintain that edge as competitors like Brazil make themselves known.”

    Key to that would be “greater clarity for the consumer because at the end of the day that is where the buck comes from,” he said. To that end, increasing awareness of the product, the animal and the production process should be a priority, he believes. “Reinforcing a positive image of this industry is something we all need to take on board,” Mr Bremner said. “Mainstream news about our industry is often focused around negatives and often based on misinformation - it’s up to us to change that.”

    Stemming the “running down of the industry” from within would be the first place to start, he said. Acknowledging the relative high number of breakaway producer representative groups within cattle production, he said unity was always a big hurdle for advocacy groups.

    Developing harmony, through working where there was common ground and under a policy of consultation and collaboration, would be the way. “We want to really find the direction this industry wants to go and run that through the filter of public policy and political and trade agendas,” he said. That same collaborative approach should be taken to supply chain integration in order to identify where relationships can be improved to the advantage of the producer, according to Mr Bremner.

    On the subject of CCA’s financial viability, he acknowledged the need for a long-term funding stream and said structures were being put into play that would be the beginning of that. “I am very confident there has been a lot of work done in the last few years in establishing this organisation to be at the forefront of peak beef industry representation,” he said. “It is important Cattle Council continues to be recognised as a robust, influential, effective voice for the industry - through influential policy development, effective advocacy of those policies and positive promotion across the domestic and global supply chain of the Australian beef product.”

    Mr Bremner also plans to turn a keen eye toward growing southern membership. “In 12 months time I would like the entire industry, from the most southern to the most northern producer, to see a deep value in being involved with CCA,” he said. “There is superb work being done and producers can be passionate about their representative body.” CCA president Howard Smith said the appointment of Mr Bremner signified a new era for the organisation. “Mr Matz has contributed significantly to the organisation over the last ten years and thanks to his leadership Cattle Council is in strong position to tackle future challenges and rise to the opportunities presented along the way,” Mr Smith said. “As we welcome Duncan Bremner as CEO, I have every confidence that he will do an exceptional job at leading the organisation into the future and continuing to represent the needs of beef producers across the country.

    This article was originally sourced from Queensland Country Life and written by Shan Goodwin.

  • 19 Dec 2016 11:45 AM | Deleted user

    Dr Robin Youngson, a New Zealand anaesthetist internationally renowned for his leadership in compassionate healthcare, was last night awarded the New Zealand Medical Association’s Chair’s Award.  Dr Youngson is the co-founder of Hearts in Healthcare, which is inspiring change in countries around the world. Appointments include the Editorial Board of the Journal of Compassionate Healthcare and the Global Compassion Council of the international Charter for Compassion. He’s also the author of the acclaimed book Time to Care – How to love your patients and your job.

    Presenting the award, NZMA Chair Dr Stephen Child described Dr Youngson’s work over the past 12 years to advance caring and compassion in the medical profession. Receiving the award, Dr Youngson said he felt completely overwhelmed by the NZMA’s recognition of the importance of his work on compassion in caring. “It’s extremely gratifying to have your work and your cause acknowledged by your own peers, particularly in your own country,” he said. “Compassion really is the foundation of good medical practice.”

    The Chair’s Award is the NZMA’s recognition of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the health of New Zealand. Past recipients include Dr Paul Hutchison, Dr Russell Wills, Dr Sharad Paul, Professor Swee Tan and Dr Tony Fernando. At the same ceremony, NZMA Fellowships were awarded to consultant clinical microbiologist Dr Josh Freeman, a member of the NZMA’s Specialist Council; GP and former PHARMAC medical director Dr Peter Moodie; and former NZMA Chair Dr Mark Peterson.

    This media release was originally sourced from NZMA.

  • 19 Dec 2016 11:41 AM | Deleted user

    The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) has welcomed calls by the Health Quality & Safety Commission, published in the latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal[1], for an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to the prevention of falls, one patient at a time.

    Chiropractor and NZCA spokesperson Dr Cassandra Fairest explains: `We fully support the need for individualised responses to prevent falls one patient at a time, and for leadership responses that promote an integrated approach to reducing the risk of falls in older people. Chiropractors are uniquely placed within the healthcare spectrum as they support better spine and nervous system health which has demonstrated positive effects on balance in the older population, and therefore this would help reduce the future need for a massive increase in healthcare costs. `A growing body of research suggests that chiropractic care may slow the rate of functional decline as you age, preserve your autonomy, improve your well-being and reduce accidents. It could also save New Zealand millions of dollars in the longer term[2].’

    Falls are the leading cause of injury related hospital admissions and death in the over fifties. In 2014, 205,000 New Zealanders aged 50 or over had an ACC claim accepted for a fall-related injury, representing a 20% increase since 2011[3]. Dr Kelly Holt, Dean of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic and his team recently published the results of a research study in New Zealand which has shown chiropractic care in a group aged 65 to 89 can significantly impact several factors that influence the prevention of falls2.’

    Dr Fairest explains: ‘After twelve weeks the group who received chiropractic care had increased ability in identifying where their ankle joint was when they closed their eyes. This is likely to prevent falls, as your brain will be more accurately aware of where your foot is without you having to look at your foot while walking.’ Dr Holt and his fellow researchers in the New Zealand study also found that older adults who received 12 weeks of chiropractic care were able to take a step much faster than the control group not receiving chiropractic care. This is an important finding, because being able to take a fast step to correct balance can assist in fall prevention. Additionally, this study showed that the older adults who received chiropractic care were able to simultaneously process visual and auditory information more accurately in their brain.

    Dr Fairest adds: `This is known to be important and relevant when it comes to preventing falls. Science has shown that as we age we appear to lose our ability to process multiple lots of sensory information accurately and that this leads to distractions that may cause falls’. `We want to encourage New Zealanders to visit their chiropractor to ensure that their spines and nervous systems are functioning well. A local NZCA chiropractor will be able to provide advice on ways to improve posture, enhance coordination and support a healthy spine. A healthy spine and well-functioning nervous system is important for overall health and wellbeing.’

    [1] NZMJ 2 December 2016, Vol 129 No 1446 ISSN 1175-8716

    [2] Holt, Kelly R et al, “Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial,”Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

    [3] Health Quality & Safety Commission. New Zealand Atlas of Healthcare Variation. Falls. http://www.hqsc.govt. nz/our-programmes/ health-quality-evaluation/ projects/atlas-of-healthcare-variation/ falls/.

    This press release was originally sourced from Scoop.

  • 19 Dec 2016 10:05 AM | Deleted user

    New Zealand is finding favour with Australian conference organisers, posting a 33% increase in business events visitors from across the Tasman in September 2016 compared to the same month in 2015. The latest International Visitor Arrivals statistics from New Zealand’s Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment also show Australian business events visitors up from 32,368 for the year-end September 2012, to 39,312 year-end September 2016.

    Traditionally the months of September, October, and November are high-movement months for business events, and when New Zealand experiences the highest delegate arrivals for the year. Lisa Gardiner, Manager Business Events and Premium, Tourism New Zealand, says: "The Australian market is increasingly considering New Zealand amongst their domestic destinations for business events. This has been brought on by favourable exchange rates and increased flight capacity.

    “New Zealand is unique in being able to offer conference programmes where delegates attend business sessions in the morning, jet boat or enjoy a game of golf in the afternoon and top it all off by dining at a vineyard." Major new projects set to expand New Zealand's conference capacity are also attracting high levels of interest. The New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland and new convention centres in Christchurch and Wellington are set to open in 2019, adding further options for large-scale events.

    Increased flight capacity on key routes between New Zealand and Australia, and a new direct flight linking the two capital cities, Canberra and Wellington, have also increased New Zealand's appeal.

    To meet the increased interest, Tourism New Zealand has appointed Samantha Kent in the role of Business Events bid manager, working alongside Helen Bambry in the Sydney office. Kent was most recently Business Development Manager at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

    Gardiner says: "We have identified Australia as a growth market for business events and the creation of this new role reflects this. We now have two full-time bid managers who will be identifying and driving opportunities from Australia. Samantha brings with her a wealth of experience attracting high value business opportunities and we are delighted to have her in the team.”

    Kent adds: "I am looking forward to promoting New Zealand as an attractive business events destination. New Zealand has a range of great existing facilities and ones being constructed that are sparking the interest of those looking to hold an event."

    If you would like to find out more about Tourism New Zealand, please visit

  • 19 Dec 2016 9:56 AM | Deleted user

    Executives aren’t always expert tweeters and bloggers. But in podcasting, they likely have a natural fit. When it comes to messaging, sometimes we’re slow to get the message. Associations stress out a fair bit about their content strategy—a term I don’t exactly love, because it applies a lot of gravitas to what was once more simply called “communications.” But many meeting hours get filled discussing appropriate channels, proper tone, timing, and so forth. One level, I get it: Budgets and time are limited, members and stakeholders can be easily confused about what your association is up to on a good day, so a little extra effort toward clarity can help.

    But on another level, I wonder if some associations have absorbed the lessons about communications we’ve learned in the past decade or so. I think about this in the context of my feature story on association podcasting in the latest issue of Associations Now. While speaking with the three associations that are trying their hand at the form, I had flashbacks twice over. The first one was to circa 2005, when blogging had become a real-deal phenomenon, and associations and corporations were wringing their hands over whether their leadership should get involved. Five years later, and they were having the same concerns over using social media.

    Today many association staffs are likely having the same labored communications talks—sorry, “content-strategy blue-sky f2f sessions”—about whether a podcast might be worth their effort. And the answer is the same as it’s ever been: Anything that introduces an audience to your leaders and experts about what your association is passionate about is a good thing.

    Consider the case of This Week in Microbiology, the most well-established and largest of the three I wrote about. The podcast was originally the passion project of a microbiologist, Dr. Vincent Racaniello, who later caught the attention of the American Society for Microbiology, which now helps produce and distribute TWiM and other related podcasts. The podcast is professionally recorded, and Racaniello is an avuncular host; I’ve enjoyed listening to the show even though microbes don’t rank high on my list of interests. But good production values just provide some shapeliness to what’s the truly important part of the show: experts in the field chatting about what’s new and relevant to their work.

    “We have a couple of working microbiologists discussing a paper,” Racaniello told me. “It’s really a conversation. It’s like you sat down over coffee or lunch in your department and you say, ‘Hey, did you see that paper?’ You talk about it for a half hour. That’s what we’re doing. Everybody’s chipping in. You don’t have to actually slog through the methods and the results. You don’t have to look at all the figures.”

    That casual style, rooted in expertise, is what’s given the podcast a broad audience, and one that’s inspirational to people who are not in your industry. Listeners, Racaniello says, “write all the time and say, ‘Your show has made me want to be a microbiologist. How do I do this? What do I do next?’” Because your mission statement likely involves something about promoting the value of your industry, ASM’s lesson is a valuable one for a lot of associations.

    Well, “valuable” in a broad sense—ASM has attracted advertising revenue through its podcasts, but the dollar figures are modest, and most associations don’t have the same luck. But there, too, I’m having flashbacks to the days of tedious conversations about the “ROI of social media” and skeptics huffing that if all that blogging and tweeting wasn’t going to make money, it wasn’t worth doing. 

    Eventually, we’ve learned (more or less) that the value of all of these tools is in building bases of advocates who may invest in your efforts down the line—becoming a member, attending a meeting—but who won’t do any of those things if they don’t know who you are. Chris Condayan, a producer at ASM, put it straightforwardly to me: “If you’re trying to build a loyal committed audience, I don’t think there’s another medium that really does it quite as well as podcasting does,” he says. “They’ll listen to an episode and if they don’t like it, they’ll go away. If they like it, they’ll continue to listen and they get quite attached. We have serious fans out there.”

    There’s one minor but important difference between podcasting and blogging and social media, though, at least when it comes to leaders. I never really thought it was particularly important for CEOs to blog and tweet. It’s not a bad idea, but not every CEO is a natural writer, especially in terms of the peculiarity of those forms, so their efforts could be a potentially negative thing if the posts looked overly manicured and, well, effortful. But podcasting is talking, and leaders know talking; the popularity of podcasting speaks to people’s interest in hearing experts speak in their own voice, and executives speaking at once off-the-cuff and authoritatively about your work can mean a lot in terms of a listener’s perspective on an organization. Better still, it can connect you to audiences outside of the bubble of the industry, and provide opportunities that more mainstream radio outlets may consider your work too niche for.

    Podcasts aren’t magic bullets in terms of engagement and revenue. But they’re here as much as magazines and Facebook posts are. The content-strategy on this is simple: Get out there and start talking. What has your association done in terms of podcasting? Share your experiences in the comments.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now and written by Mark Athitakis.

  • 16 Dec 2016 11:45 AM | Deleted user

    Professor Brad Jackson, the former Head of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, is clear on the benefits of bringing an international conference to New Zealand: “It helps our students, both young and old, if you bring the world to them, instead of them having to go to the world.” Along with co-organiser Professor Miriam Lips, who is an IRPSM Board member, Jackson was instrumental in attracting the XXIII Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) to Wellington in 2019.

    The event is expected to welcome 500-plus delegates from across the world to share the best research and practice in public management. “It is costly for students to attend conferences internationally,” Jackson notes. “It’s useful for our PhD researchers to present to, and meet the best researchers in the world here, it helps lift their game. A conference like this is also very helpful in terms of raising the profile of the university. This is an area we excel in. In the last QS World University Rankings, Victoria was 50th in the world for social policy and administration.” Jackson is hopeful the event will not only attract academics working within public management research, but practitioners and those working in public service to discuss new approaches to public management.

    “New Zealand has been seen as a leader in public management innovation, so this is also an opportunity to showcase the work being done in our public sector. That not only raises the prestige of the field here, but when these delegates return to their countries it also raises indirectly the profile of public management in New Zealand through the rest of the world.”

    He adds: “The ability to attract 500-odd delegates from around the world not only brings the economic benefits from what they spend in hotels and restaurants; but, longer term, these are the kind of people that we want to attract to New Zealand either to work and/or to study. Their positive experience here brings the potential for people to come work with us on research projects and to bring research money into the country. It benefits us on many levels.” Jackson initially made the pitch to host the event to the IRSPM member responsible for planning conferences in a taxicab travelling between the Birmingham hotel and the University of Birmingham campus during the 2015 event. “They said they would be very keen to see a bid from New Zealand.”

    A joint effort from the Victoria University of Wellington, Business Events Wellington and Tourism New Zealand, via its Conference Assistance Programme, helped seal the deal and bring the event to New Zealand for the first time. “You’ve got to pass the intellectual test, that it would be a good conference, well-run, but also showcase something distinctive about the place of learning, and the fact that the host city and country is an appealing place to spend time afterwards. That’s where Tourism New Zealand really helped, creating a compelling bid document that not only sold the conference but New Zealand and Wellington,” Jackson says.

    “The board was stunned at the quality of the bid document, how well thought-through and visually engaging it was. Feedback in the past showed delegates were not keen on getting in buses and travelling a long way between hotels and venues. So we really pitched Wellington as a walking conference, incorporating a proximity map. Victoria University campus, where a lot of the meetings will be held, is central, close to The Beehive, hotels and the major agencies for specific interests, such as the Ministry of Social Development, or Foreign Affairs. You’d be hard pushed to find that concentration of government anywhere else in the world. Larger plenary sessions will be held at the TSB Bank Arena and Shed 6, which are only a five or six-minute walk away, depending if Wellington’s breeze is behind is you.”

    Jackson adds: “New Zealand’s biggest vulnerability was air travel, due to the costs being hard to justify for international academics, as well as environmental and time concerns. We put a strong feature on that within the bid. Information from Air New Zealand showed how central New Zealand is compared to delegates’ imaginations, and how connected. Plus, scheduling the event for Easter 2019 offered delegates the chance to bring their families and experience Wellington and New Zealand. We included a lot of collateral on how they could spend a week or two exploring while they’re here.” The Conference Assistance Programme also helped with key logistics, including funding a PCO to prepare an event budget to go with the proposal, and funding travel to attend the IRSPM event in Hong Kong in April to present the bid. “What really impressed is the level of commitment to the conference. We’re very grateful to Tourism New Zealand.

    Jackson says the organising committee is now looking at using Wellington in a creative way to create the setting for events. A key feature will be a banquet at the parliament buildings involving senior public officials and, hopefully, the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. “Colleagues from around the world are always surprised and impressed by the level of engagement the school has with practitioners and government, that access and ability to talk to key decision makers. New Zealand’s egalitarian approach, and the fact everyone knows everyone, is very appealing.

    If you would like to find out more about Tourism New Zealand, please visit

  • 16 Dec 2016 11:34 AM | Deleted user

    Can you tell us a bit about Veterinary Association of New Zealand and the goals they strive to achieve?

    The NZVA signed off an ambitious future-proofed strategy in the middle of 2016 which is designed to have the profession as valued as it is trusted, playing a much bigger role in society than it currently plays.

    Centred on a core binding idea - the wellbeing of animals, humans and our environment is inseparable – the strategy provides a framework for focused activity against three big outcomes that will have the profession positively accelerating society’s views on the way we treat animals. Our world is changing rapidly and there are some significant challenges. New Zealand has a national veterinary workforce profession grounded in ethics and science with an appreciation for values that drive society’s decisions, that can play a lead role in helping balance and enhance wellbeing of not just animals, but the people who care for and influence the way we treat animals and our shared environment.

    What are the New Zealand Veterinary Association most successful membership strategies to increase engagement and membership retention?

    The moment we turned our minds away from ourselves – ‘if only people could see things from our perspective everything will be fine’ to becoming curiously engaged in the outside world – ‘what is it that others are struggling with and how can we help?” .

    1. The development of a 2030 strategy built off all the concerns, hope, and dreams the profession has, that will deliver results and align a profession that is diverse and sometimes at odds with itself.

    2. Focused activity, engagement, education and integrated communications to underpin all this.

    What do you personally feel has been the biggest challenge that the New Zealand Veterinary Association has overcome in your time with the organisation?

    Fear of change, fear of what our members might do or say if we led change. We began the journey of overcoming this by developing an ambitious strategy and then backing ourselves to start to make some courageous calls. The announcement in 2015 of the NZVA’s 2030 Antimicrobial Statement was the first example. Other major projects have also commenced in line with our vision for the profession’s future.

    How does the future look for the New Zealand New Zealand Veterinary Association

    Very positive with more challenges and so opportunities ahead; the profession is pretty much repositioned and we’re now reviewing our Association structure and funding models to ensure they are both future-proofed.

    What would you say to someone starting out in the not-for-profit with a view to become a future leader?

    Not for profit Associations have some unique challenges at the governance table given our organisations are all (or in the main) governed by people who ‘belong’ to the Association – insiders.

    These people bring passion and knowledge which is important. They also bring unconscious bias which can slow the pace of change that society is driving, not us, or worse keep us in the grip of maintaining the status quo. Until outsiders are invited in to test our ways of working and thinking, and are sitting around our board tables, we’ll continue to work in a way that is reactive, to multiple issues, attempting to do more and more to prove ourselves worthy to constituents who will always wonder what on earth we do anyway.

    We invited an outsider in. It wasn’t without challenge . We are now beginning to enjoy the rewards with a profession that is outwardly focused, with increasing opportunities to make a difference, supported by a national association that is slowly learning to do a lot, lot less much better. I remember speaking to an AuSAE audience a year or two ago and ended by saying:

    Is the role of the CEO of a not for profit Professional Association to save our members from themselves? I believe it is.

    Julie Hood Chief Executive Officer 

    New Zealand Veterinary Association

  • 16 Dec 2016 10:28 AM | Deleted user

    Five association professionals offer tips on attracting and retaining top talent. Not to be a Scrooge, but here’s some potentially distressing news: Three-out-of-10 employees will likely leave your association within the next two years. That’s what global advisory Willis Towers Watson found in two major studies this year. “Given today’s shifting workplace and how technology is disrupting jobs and labor markets, the need for employers to successfully attract and retain the best employees has never been greater,” said Laura Sejen, managing director of talent and rewards at Willis Towers Watson, in a press release.

    But how do you do it? I asked some association professionals for their ideas, and here’s what they had to say.

    Mission-minded recruits. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science, HR professionals work hard to ensure that their candidates and new hires understand and are enthusiastic about AAAS’ mission and values—and can tie their position and talents back to both. “Human resources attracts wonderful dedicated talented individuals to AAAS by creative and innovate outreach, candidate engagement, taking a very personal approach to talent acquisition, and working in a true partnership with management to help find the best candidate for the position and AAAS,” said HR Director Patricia Sias. Then, once they begin their employment, Sias said AAAS makes sure its HR team is approachable and offers a competitive benefits package. “Human resources has a transparent working environment and are committed to encouraging feedback from our staff, engaging our staff, and providing comprehensive and competitive salaries and benefits,” she said.

    Positive culture. After numerous focus groups and internal research this year, the American Nurses Association has implemented a culture shift. “We wanted employees [and job candidates] to feel valued and excited to be a part of our organization, one that empowers everyone to contribute to desired outcomes,” said ANA’s VP of HR Denise Clark. To that end, ANA created new values for the organization, which include excellence, joy, creativity, respect, trust, collaboration, and empowerment. And from these values, the association created five areas of focus:

    • foster collaboration
    • create a positive work environment
    • promote employee development
    • ensure autonomy and accountability
    • achieve operational excellence

    Moving forward, ANA’s staff will also be evaluated on these values. “It’s one thing to say,We have these values,’” Clark says. “But it’s another thing to put them on the performance appraisals.” Although the culture shift is new, Clark and others at ANA are encouraged by the changes they’re already seeing in collaboration and positivity.

    Competitive salaries. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, recruitment and retention of staff depends on a number of elements, but salary is one of the most important. “The most obvious strength we have is the consistent feedback that we receive praising our competitive compensation and generous benefits opportunities,” said Bettina Deynes, VP of HR at SHRM.

    But workplace perks go beyond pay and benefits at SHRM. It also offers dozens of annual employee appreciation and recognition events, a strengthened succession-planning process that has produced a significant increase in advancement potential, a clear and effective performance-management system that actively supports employee success, and a comprehensive and compelling diversity and inclusion program that is designed to produce measurable results. “For recruiting purposes, we make every effort to communicate these advantages to prospective employees,” she says. “For retention, we work hard at practicing them constantly.”

    Career development. The American Chemical Society makes professional development a priority. “Over the past few years ACS has invested in the onward career development of its staff,” says Scott J. Oliphant, director of human resources. “This includes setting the expectation that managers will develop their teams and supporting those endeavors but, ultimately, you have to empower everyone in the workforce to take control of his or her own career development.” To encourage this, ACS has planned and created tools that allow people to understand what is required for success in any given job or at any level in the organization. “Couple that with training programs or experiential learning opportunities, and you’ve got a pretty powerful story to tell new recruits,” he says.

    Remote opportunities. The American Immigration Lawyers Association instituted a change in its remote-working policy because some top-performing employees asked for it. Theresa Waters, AILA’s senior director of HR and administration, says that these employees weren’t unhappy in the workplace or looking for a career change. Rather, they had experienced a life change—aging parents, marriage, relocation of a spouse—that necessitated a move. “As an organization, we didn’t want to lose talent that we had nurtured and groomed,” Waters said. “And [the staff members] were equally committed to the organization and members that we serve.” So, instead of losing them, they allowed these individuals to move away but still keep their jobs. “There was a commitment from both the staff members and the organization to make this work alternative successful,” she said. “For us, this meant moving beyond fear, being open to a new, broader way of thinking, removing personal biases, and leading with the intention of making such arrangement a success for all.” Just some thoughts to mull over as you’re putting your HR-related New Year’s resolutions together.

    How does your association think about talent acquisition and retention? Please leave us your comments below.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now and written by Emily Bratcher. 

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