M is for measuring
Increasing productivity or income, decreasing waste and carbon all sound good but how can you tell if the plans you’ve so carefully made are working?
Keeping a record of measurements can help you decide if that very busy but messy hirer actually makes much profit as the not so messy hirer. Of course it would also help you explain why additional cleaning charges are now being levied to the messy hirer.
What measurements you take and keep will of course depend on your interests. Some baseline measurements include – regular utility metre readings, allowing you to see if the new insulation or boiler made a difference or spotting an increase can help discover a leak or other problem early.
Others can just give a snapshot of usage – writing the date you started it on the 25L of washing up liquid, means you can calculate how much is used per month, help set a cleaning materials budget and of course then wonder where it all goes…
An inventory is another form of measuring, and is not only useful for an insurance claim.
- Do you have enough cups and mugs for Area Meeting?
- Enough children’s chairs for the number of children in the meeting?
- How many cushions are there in the cupboards?
- How many post-it pads does one meeting need?
You may discover you have a surplus and can donate items, clearing space and ensuring that the items remaining can be found and maintained easily. Or be able to budget to replace broken or missing items.
M is for Management
Management in businesses and organizations is the function that coordinates the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Wikipedia
Premises are usually the committee who have the responsibility to manage the building of behalf of the meeting as a whole or the owner if that is not the local meeting.
Quaker Stewardship Committee can give advice on how to manage buildings and finances.
In addition to the physical building, there may be volunteers or employees to be managed as well. Quaker Life gives support to both employers, employees and voluntary workers. There are guidelines on good management practice within Quaker Faith & Practice which also talks about good employment practices and the e-list is a useful resource for specific questions too.
Management is often seen as an additional burden for a committee. However, it should be considered a tool that can be used to affirm both the volunteer or employees doing the work in the meeting’s name, as well as a check-list for that work to be measured against.
Never underestimate the value of noticing someone is doing as requested, and thanking them for it!
You may find Quaker A-Z: S is for Sustainability & Stewardship useful too.
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