The exponential increase in employees working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic generated a surge in tools and tips for people to engage with one another in fun, informal ways online. A quick online search identifies lots of sites with recommendations, including this one for team building activities.

Engaging with one another informally online will become even more important to Queen’s Advancement professionals as we balance our remote-first approach going forward with our natural desire for human connection. Building connections may be different working remotely, but to paraphrase Steve Hornsby – who had no idea I would do this – building connections is not about a place, it is about people.

Building connections with one another is also not dependent on technology, formal programs or organized social committees. Every one of us can lead an activity with our colleagues or take some personal initiative to engage with someone beyond the delivery of work responsibilities – just like the connections we made when we planned a small group social activity or joined a colleague for lunch when we worked together in one location.  

If you have not done so already, you may wish to consider how you will connect with your colleagues in fun and informal ways online this year because deliberately connecting with one another will become even more important in a remote-first work environment.

On-campus plans

Discussions about remote-work arrangement requests for staff in the Office of Advancement and some faculties are now well under-way as the next phase of Building a Better Workplace. In combination with the recently released campus re-opening framework, many wonder when our offices will reopen for staff who seek to return to campus full-time or for a hybrid working arrangement.

Three requirements underpin the answer to this question.
1.    Notification must be provided 
2.    A safety plan must be established and approved as per the campus re-opening framework
3.    A space plan informed by recommendations of Building a Better Workplace and the Remote Work Procedures must be developed

For staff that worked in Summerhill and Old Meds, ALT has committed to providing at least four weeks notice before those spaces re-open. Based on our current timelines for the Remote Work Arrangements pilot, we can also confirm that everyone will continue to work remotely – except for previously identified advancement staff already working on campus – until at least Oct. 1. Finally, to align the Office of Advancement with the university intention to achieve our new normal of on-campus operations by winter 2022, we hope to have our new hybrid working arrangements fully in place before Jan. 1. 

For Advancement staff that worked in faculty offices, your return to campus spaces will be managed by faculty processes and plans.

Quarterly in-person gatherings

In the July 6 edition of ALTogether Now, Scott shared that we hope that Queen’s Advancement staff will gather in-person in October, December, March and June of each year. The week of Oct. 18 has now been tentatively scheduled as the first time for us to gather in Kingston in-person, and our December gathering will be the week of Nov. 29 – Dec. 3. 

Some Advancement-wide meetings will be held during these quarterly gatherings. For instance, in October we hope to hold our Advancement staff meeting in-person on Oct. 20. In all cases, remote access will also be provided for anyone unable to join a quarterly gathering in-person.

Full details for these weeks are still being confirmed, and are subject to change. Details about the participation of faculty-based Advancement staff for instance are still being confirmed, and the duration of the in-person gathering may vary between teams (i.e. some teams may only gather in-person from Tuesday to Thursday, while others may do so for longer. Everyone is therefore encouraged to watch your calendar for updates on Advancement-wide meetings and ALT members will share more information about plans specific to your area as soon as they are available. 

The tentative dates for our quarterly in-person gatherings in early 2022 are currently the weeks of March 21 and June 13.

Please participate in the upcoming survey about the Queen’s Gift Planning program 

Virginia Perry, Executive Director, Gift Planning

You may have heard that Gift Planning is currently working with a consultant to review all aspects of program operations. The goal of this review is to ensure that the program is optimally aligned for achieving current and future fundraising goals. The consultant who we are working with, GG+A, will be sending a survey to all Advancement staff in about two weeks to explore perceptions about roles, priorities, and performance expectations concerning planned giving operations. Responses to the survey will be anonymous and the information will be shared only in the aggregate with Queen’s. Please take the time to complete the survey when you receive it. Your involvement in this process is vitally important to ensuring that the Gift Planning program is reaching its full potential.  

Email etiquette

Emails are a staple of contemporary office communications, and they will remain a critically important way to connect with one another in our remote-first approach going forward. Education Advisory Board recently released a list of six reminders about email etiquette from Harvard Business Review that we may all wish to consider for our own email communications.

Employee Spotlight

One of the recommendations coming out of Building a Better Workplace was to showcase not only new employees, but also current employees in our ALTogether Now. It’s a great way for us to get to know each other, find common ground, appreciate differences, and build relationships.

Learn more about Marnie Girard in the position of Development Coordinator, Stewardship & Benefactor Relations, and the story behind her name. 

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and résumé) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Carla Ferreira Rodrigues or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Apply to available positions

Available Positions
Competition Number Position Unit and Department Closing Date Grade
J0221-0855 Associate Director, Regional Strategy Alumni Relations & Annual Giving July 27, 2021 10
J0721-0758 Relationship Manager, Annual & Class Giving Smith Development & Alumni Relations August 8, 2021 8

Did you know?

According to research conducted by Matthias Spitzmuller, Associate Professor and Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Smith School of Business, the freedom and flexibility to work from home can come with the cost of feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Please read the full article to find out how to create effective, engaged workplace teams after the COVID-19 pandemic and view his research-backed recommendations to help your teams function optimally in a dynamic hybrid work environment.

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