With the value that Switchboard can provide for institutional initiatives and the betterment of the community, keeping Switchboard top of mind is paramount in giving it the time and attention that is needed to foster a thriving, active community that is supportive and active and helps fulfill the mission of your institution. As busy professionals it’s easy for something like Switchboard to be placed on the back burner as needs and demands arise (e.g. last minute planning for a big event), but if the Switchboard is out of sight, it will be out of mind － a detriment to both the community, the mission of your office, and the mission of your institution.
Keeping Switchboard top of mind, though, is not an arduous, draining endeavor. With a small amount of planning and prioritization, you can establish simple routines and sources of accountability that ensure Switchboard is given the proper amount of time and energy to grow and flourish, supporting your work, the community, and the institution.
How to keep Switchboard top of mind
1. Personal routine
A) Use last 5 minutes of the day to check Switchboard and comment on at least one ask/offer
B) Schedule 15 minutes on one day every week that you devote to Switchboard planning, activity, talking with another stakeholder about it, or data analysis
2. Team/Departmental routine
A) Carve out time in every team meeting to talk about Switchboard updates, plans, etc.
B) Divide a week or two weeks so that each member of the team has a Switchboard task for one day (e.g. comment on a post or two, looking at Insights data, etc.)
C) Monthly 30 minute War Room to dig into the Switchboard with other stakeholders
D) Including in career counselor conversations
3. Consistent reporting to stakeholders and community
A) Sharing updates on Switchboard activity in newsletters
B) Create a standing appointment every quarter to meet with VPs to update them on Switchboard progress
C) Visit with stakeholders from other offices to catch them up on Switchboard progress every quarter
D) Send a monthly email with Switchboard highlights to relevant stakeholders
4. Annual events (e.g. graduation, holiday break, etc.)
A) Always send a message to the community about Switchboard around graduation, start of the school year, and holiday break in December.
5. Including Switchboard in as many events as possible (either giving spotlight or talking about it as a resource)
A) Include information about it in regional events (both from the speaker and any tangible materials being handed out)
B) Career readiness seminars/events for students
C) Alumni Board meetings
E) Alumni panel discussions
F) New student orientation
- Input a recurring calendar reminder to check the Switchboard at least once a week
- Create dedicated time in every team meeting to give update on Switchboard
- Include Switchboard promotion in as many events as possible in next year