August 5, 2020
There’s no better way to demonstrate the importance of organization than through highlighting one of our own employees. We heard that Goosepond Animal Hospital’s hospital manager, Nicole, is an organization extraordinaire, so we had her walk us through how she organizes her team’s practice activities from mask decorating to their annual Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Day.
The most important thing Nicole emphasized is that she doesn’t organize anything alone. Everything is a team effort, especially now when life feels particularly stressful and the pressure to remain organized is heavier than ever. Communication is important to Nicole which is why she uses email to connect with her team up to three times a week to check in and share ideas. She knows that some team members are more enthusiastic about event planning than others - something she acknowledges is totally okay and just a matter of personal preference - so she makes sure to include them and welcome their thoughts. Her approach to organization gives her team the chance to get involved and creates a smooth planning process that results in a lot of fun.
Nicole has perfected her organizational skills over time in part by leaning on her art degree to map out her ideas. For planning purposes, she utilizes pen and paper, sticky notes, as well as both digital and print calendars to stay on track. She’s the first to admit that, to the average observer, her process may seem messy (is there really such a thing as too many sticky notes?) but every individual element serves a very specific purpose in her planning. For example, when she receives one off ideas from her team members, she jots them down on sticky notes and keeps them visible for future reference. The team recently celebrated School Pride Week, an idea brought to Nicole by one of her coworkers. As expected, it was a success.
Small events, like themed clothing weeks or mask decorating, can be planned with little advance notice but larger events, like their annual Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Day, can take months of meticulous planning. Having planned two wildly successful Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Day events now, Nicole broke down the way she planned to accommodate each of the audiences involved: staff, vendors, shelters, and the local community.
First, she sent out save the date cards to vendors and shelters well before the event because, as she learned after that first year, last minute bookings could be a headache. She then held regular voluntary meetings for team members who wanted to assist with all things related to planning. With the help of her coworkers, she created maps to improve the ease of navigation for event goers and the day before, she hosted a pep rally to boost morale and keep spirits high. What Nicole has taken away from working on such large projects is that it’s infinitely helpful to break them into smaller projects to make them more manageable.
While we’re all looking forward to getting back to planning in-person community activities, in the meantime, don’t be afraid to use Nicole’s tips to plan some fun appreciation events for your practice team. We’re offering additional organization resources throughout the month, so be sure to check back for more.