The week commencing 18th September saw #EventWell17.
The week was the Event Industry's first official national well-being week, following a survey which found that a career as an Events Co-ordinator was cited the fifth most stressful job in the UK.
The HSE define work-related stress as a "harmful reaction that people have to endure pressures and demands placed on them at work". It is reported that 1.3 million people have suffered from workplace stress, whereby 45% of lost work days have been attributed to stress.
Although being highlighted considerably more, there remains a stigma. A study revealed 24.5% felt the need to keep the fact they were stressed to themselves. Nonetheless, long term stress can lead to physical health problems and so employers should take addressing incidences of stress seriously.
The IAM has been a supporter of many other national weeks around stress and well-being and with many Administrative Professionals increasingly being asked to organise events as part of their role, we wanted to show our support for EventWell (You can see other EventWell supporters here).
You might be interested in some of the pieces we made available in support for the week:
IAM Member - Environment, Planning and Engagement Manager - Environment Agency.
1. Tell us a little bit about how you started your career and your career so far?
My career started in administrative and customer service roles, starting with a short period as an Office Junior with a Patent Agents. I then moved into the Water Industry before transferring to the Environment Sector in the late 1980s, initially with the National Rivers Authority which became the Environment Agency in 1995.
I spent 13 years in a variety of Administrative, Finance and Customer based roles and in my mid-twenties decided to study part-time for the Diploma in Administrative Management. Within 6 months of gaining the Diploma I secured my first Team Leader role, initially responsible for all facilities and administrative services for the Nottingham Area and later leading the Customer Contact Team. In 1999 I secured my first manager role and since then have been responsible for a number of departments, my current role being the Area Environment, Planning & Engagement Manager.
2. What does your day to day look like now?
Last year I took the decision to reduce my hours and work on a job-share basis which has been a really interesting change to the way I work. Our department has a broad remit with many customer, partner and stakeholder facing teams, so it's important we are able to respond effectively and efficiently to all of these often at the same time. With this in mind, my job-share partner and I keep each other updated on key issues and every week come together to hold a short leadership meeting for all out direct reports. This allows us to all be clear on business priorities and everyone in the department has the right support to enable them to deliver their roles.
I spend every day engaging with a wide range of colleagues across our area and wider business, but my main focus is:
- Working with other leaders within our area to deliver out priorities
- Managing issues & risks to agree our approach and response
- Reviewing area performance to ensure we are meeting our corporate objectives
- Looking for opportunities to work in partnership with others, both internally and externally
3. What is it like working the Environment Agency?
I love my job! The Environment Agency is a fascinating place to work as we have such a range of responsibilities and we work with so many different stakeholders to improve the environment for people and wildlife. Everyone who works here is a very professional and we are actively encouraged to invest time in our personal department. It is a fast-paced working environment but there is a great spirit of "one team" working, which is particularly evident when we respond to environmental incidents. There is also a great culture of embracing diversity and good flexible working options to help support staff needs which has helped me throughout my career.
4. What challenges do you think administrative management staff face today?
Many organisations with the added pressures that modern working life bring now, operate as efficiently as possible. But this also means there is little flexibility left to deal with the unexpected. So when everything is going well the great work that keeps everything running smoothly can often be overlooked, but when this is disrupted it is often down to the quick thinking and organisation skills that are often found within administrative professionals to fix the situation. I believe this is when administrative management staff come into their own and when their skills are put to the test under the watchful eye of grateful colleagues.
Also in organisations such as the Environment Agency I am surrounded by scientific and other specialists. It is important to do the job well, but it is also important to be seen as a professional in my own right. That is why I strongly believe in continuous development and the credibility provided by my membership of the IAM.
5. Why do you think it is important that people in the administration team are supported and recognised?
Without effective systems an organisation cannot thrive - Administrators use their skills and working practices to enable leaders and specialists to deliver their roles well. Administrators need to be proud of what they achieve each day and recognise that they perform a vital role in their business and maybe when appropriate, gently remind those around you of how many hours you have spent "adding value" and making their colleagues lives that much easier.
6. How has the IAM supported you and your career journey?
The IAM gave me the confidence to recognise administrative skills I had and develop them in a structured way through the various modules we studied. When I sat down at my first evening class, after several years of formal education, I had no idea that 2 years later I would be leading a team of administrators, which in turn led to managing departments whose teams included scientific and technical staff. Being a member of a professional organisation like the IAM provides the opportunity to maintain that learning and remain at the forefront of ideas and technology that would otherwise be much more difficult to access.
For many Administrative professionals, social media is becoming a part of their role, but for many the use of social media for business isn't necessarily clear. Jennifer Corcoran from mysuperconnector, gives us some of her tips to give you a head start if you have been thrown into the role.
Chances are, if you have a business, you have a Facebook business page. They're quick to set up, low cost and are on a familiar platform that's so easy to use.
Facebook business pages can be powerful. But only if they're well-built, well-managed and well-used. I see too many examples where great businesses and solopreneurs just don't make the most of their Facebook business pages. Enough is enough! Work your way through this list and start improving you Facebook business page immediately.
1. Update Your Profile Picture
This must clearly represent you and your business. You are the brand, so you are the first thing your audience needs to see. Use your logo if your page is for a company or if you're not a person-based brand.
4 Killer Profile Picture Tips:
- Use a clear & bright photo that focuses on your face. It should be cropped around your face - someone looking at your page on their phone won't recognise you in a long shot.
- Use a solo shot. A selfie or cropped group shot isn't professional and won't help build the trust or likeability you need to be successful.
- Can't afford a professional photographer? Don't worry about it, few start-ups can. Beg, borrow or buy a tripod and a camera with a timer, or get a talented friend to take a photo of you.
- Get feedback. Check out www.photofeeler for candid feedback on your shot.
2. Get Creative With Your Cover Photo
Your cover photo is a free billboard; you won't get this much free advertising space anywhere else! Use it to showcase your personality, your brand and your business. Not using it is a missed opportunity.
3 Ways To Make More Of Your Cover Photo:
- Think clever. Do you have an amazing opt-in? Then use a strong call to action on your photo and use your button to direct people to your site.
- Take a fresh look. Would a visitor be able to tell you offer? Be honest with yourself! If it's not clear then work on it.
- Do you live with a graphic designer? If not, make friends with Canva. This super-simple "drag & drop" program makes placing text, logos & illustrations a piece of cake. You'll have a professional cover photo in no time at all!
3. Welcome Your Visitors
Use a photo or video to give people an idea of what they can expect on your page. Pin it to the top of the page as a welcome post so all visitors see it!
4. Update Your Contact Details
Are your contact details up to date? If not, change them now...yes; right now. And make sure your website, other social channels, phone numbers and location are included if this is relevant to your business.
You only have 155 characters, so use your "about section" carefully; it's a lot less than you might think! A good example would be "helping female entrepreneurs to share their greatness with the world. Make your social media work for you..."
5. Link Your Business Page To Your Personal Profile.
This helps you expand your business page's reach, especially if you engage in groups. People are naturally curious, and will check our your profile - they'll see your business page and may click through.
Just click on the "about" and "work" sections, add your details and you're done!
6. Make You Button Work Harder.
Are you collecting leads with your button? If not, you're missing out!
Using your button to collect leads is the best way to make you page work for you. Sign up, Book now and shop now are the most popular options for entrepreneurs. The learn more button is a great option for other actions. I believe the "sign up" button is the best - it gives commitment-shy potential clients the chance to sample your business, giving you the chance to increase your enagagement with them.
You can use your sign-up button as the call to action from your cover photo. Simply channel your clicks to your opt-in page; this adds new contacts to your email list and your sales funnel. Bingo!
7. Set Up A Facebook Vanity URL
A Vanity URL is simply a URL which incorporates your business or brand name. Visit www.facebook.com/username and then click on “select a username”. Pick your page from the drop down list and enter your chosen name. Sadly brand new pages can’t set up a vanity URL straightaway – you need 25 likes to use this functionality.
8. Use Original Images
High quality photography and well styled images make all the difference, you will look a lot more professional. Check out my free stock photography listing (you get this when you subscribe to my site) and let your creative juices flow.
9. Make The Most Of Your Tabs
Thanks to some recent changes, there are now many more Facebook tab options for you to work with. It’s easy to edit your tabs – go to “settings”, “edit page” and you’ll see the different options available. You’ll notice there are lots of standard tabs – the most useful will probably be “book an appointment”, “services”, “shop” or “offers”. Facebook provides these tabs to send visitors directly to your products or services.
You really make your Facebook page work hard for you by using Apps and integrations on your page. If you use something like MailChimp for your emails or opt-in, then add it as a tab to start collecting leads. Here’s how…
- Search the name of your provider and then select apps.
- Click the “use now” button and add it to your Facebook page.
- Go back to your page settings (apps) and click “go to app”.
- Configure the app by connecting your account.
- Go to “edit settings” and change the name of the new tab to suit your page. How about “subscribe now”, “book now” or “schedule an appointment”? The world is your oyster!
10. Save Content To Repost
How many times have you seen something amazing that you want to share but been unable to because you’ve been in a rush or because it’s just not convenient? You can save incredible content from other pages to your personal saved tab and then use this as content on your business page. Simply click on the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the post and select “save”.
When you want saved posts, just click on the “saved” link in the left-hand column of your personal profile home page. You should be able to see it under the “Explore” heading.
11. Know Your Audience
Research your audience and you’ll be able to post content that’s more relevant, which does wonders for your engagement. Facebook graph search is a fantastic tool at helping you research your target audience. Some useful items to type into the search bar are:
- Pages liked by people who like [your Facebook Page)
- Posts liked by people who like [your Facebook Page]
- Friends of my friends who like [your Facebook Page]
- Pages liked by [occupation of your dream client]
12. Friday? Fri-yay
It’s official, we’re all happier on Fridays; Facebook’s happiness index says so. We’re all 10% happier on Fridays, so make the most of this and encourage more engagement on this most cheerful of days.
13. Make The Most Of Instagram Sharing
Here’s a fact: Facebook prioritises Instagram shots above images directly uploaded to Facebook. So, link in your Instagram account and see your engagement soar!
14. Check Out Your Page Insights
Get a better idea of the type of content that’s working best for you, and when your most effective posting times are. Click on the word “insights” at the top of the page and you’ll see your insights summary. Use this information to help you plan your future posts.
15. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Decide on a sharing plan and stick to it. It’s better to share less and be consistent than to be silent for a fortnight and then appear quite spammy.
16. Use Emoticons
Using these cheerful little fellas in posts has been found to increase comments and shares by 33% and likes by 57%! I like to add mine in with my iPhone once I’ve posted the original.
17. Ask Around
Your followers will love you even more if you value their opinion. Ask your visitors to vote between two options using the like and share buttons. I did this a lot when deciding on my new logo. This sort of engagement really helps people buy into you, your business and your product, and creates a stronger attachment.
18. Use Facebook Events
These are a brilliant way of expanding your online presence. Whether your event is virtual or face to face, Facebook Events will send out invitations and reminders, giving you content with very little effort, and helping extend your event beyond the date and location alone.
Have You Any Other Top Tips To Add?