Each week, as we hear the latest statistics we learn that a lot of businesses are struggling and more and more people are out of work. Our team is working diligently to provide as many resources as possible to support businesses that are navigating uncharted waters. We are working on adding resources to help essential businesses that are hiring find employees who are now looking for jobs (more to come at a later date). In this post, we are featuring some of the tools, practices and resources our team uses to work toward our goals to support our community. In addition, we are sharing some of the values we believe are important to sustaining our own family friendly workplace.
Practice Gratitude & Understanding
The FFNM team is grateful that we are able to continue our work to support our community and recognize that each day brings its own set of challenges during this time.
The fact is, we are all experiencing and processing this time in our own unique ways. It is imperative to the success of our team (even pre-Covid) and has remained firm within our practices and interactions with one another that we extend the values of gratitude and understanding throughout our work. The extent to which this virus has affected our lives is shockingly unprecedented to each and every one of us so we must embrace the humanity of our collective experiences with kindness.
Be Flexible & Communicate
In our first blog post about working from home with kids, our Founder & CEO, Giovanna Rossi, talked about how to redefine our ideas about productivity because our typical work output will not be the same during a global pandemic. She also highlighted how important it is to communicate with team members about work schedule flexibility and capacity to complete tasks and goals. In our our second blog post about weathering an economic storm, we recommend that one of the fundamental principles to follow is to keep communicating — daily if possible, even via email or text. See below for some of the tools that we use to enhance our communication.
We recognize that each individual is unique and feels creative and inspired at varying times of the day. Many of our team members are managing their work schedules with kids at home who have their own work that needs to be done. We allow enough space to each person to take care of self and family first while we, at the same time, work to support each other to meet important deadlines and benchmarks.
Be Creative and Ask for Help
The team at FFNM has launched several new initiatives to support our awardees, business community and their employees, including a new blog, daily social media posts and weekly Facebook Live presentations. Our team is working diligently each day to deliver value to our communities and are scaling our goals and outcomes to accommodate what is humanly possible to accomplish at this time. We are deeply grateful that we are able to continue our work and recognize, at the same time, that we are all under stressful conditions and must adjust what we expect to accomplish day-by-day and week-by-week. We use many of our communication tools to keep each other posted on our progress and to ask for help when we need some extra support.
FFNM staff have been working as a distributed team for several years. We have established several work practices and technology tools that have helped us stay connected and working toward common goals. While not specifically endorsing any of these individually, we are sharing to demonstrate what has worked for us over the last few years:
- Daily check-ins – our team works in pairs and as a group to get tasks done. Each day, we check in with each other to be sure we are all on the same page about what needs to be done that day.
- Weekly team meetings – we know that we will be meeting weekly every Tuesday morning to review the most important tasks for the week and to review upcoming goals for the month and long-term goals two to three months out. We work off of a pre-set agenda that everyone contributes to by Thursday afternoons.
- Monthly extended team meetings – we have a core team and work with extended team members on longer term goals and objectives. We meet once a month to brainstorm ideas, create strategy and work on plans to execute main strategic objectives.
- We use technology to support our efforts and work to not let technology manage us.
- We use an app called Voxer to communicate with each other on a daily basis. This allows us to record voice messages and listen to them when we are able, replay them at a later time if needed, and simply “like” a message to confirm it was received.
- We have used Zoom for several years to maintain our face-to-face connection when we are unable to be physically present in meetings together because we value whole person interaction. We recognize that Zoom is working on several security issues and we are keeping our software updated and following recommendations for settings to ensure the security of Zoom connections.
- Google Suite has been our document management solution as well as providing email, calendaring and telecommunication. We created a file structure guide that we use to help us quickly locate files.
As we continue to add to our resources for our business community, we invite you to follow us on social media to learn about new initiatives that we will be launching in the near future. You can also share your own values, practices and tools for getting work done during this challenging time.
About the author:
Julianna Silva, COO of Family Friendly NM, is a native New Mexican committed to helping New Mexicans realize economic vitality through her work to support both small business ownership and policies that enable families to thrive. A graduate of the UNM Anderson School of Management, she forged her path in entrepreneurship from her own consulting practice, co-ownership of a family business and by leading key initiatives at WESST. As Chief Operating Officer at Family Friendly New Mexico, Julianna collaborates with the CEO and staff to develop and implement operational infrastructure designed to achieve the FFNM mission to support businesses, their employees and families to thrive.
Also contributing to this blog post is Angelica Archuleta, Project Assistant for Family Friendly NM.