Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Report Card or Self-Assessment - It's Time to Check Yourself (or your Business)!

Two weeks ago, I received an email from HR at work informing me it was time to complete my mid-year self assessment.  Perhaps you received a similar email from your employer.  A Mid-year Review is when you and your supervisor discuss your job performance in relation to the goals that were set earlier in the year.  If a mid-year "check-in" makes sense for me as an employee, seems it would make sense for organizations, and small groups to do the same.  Here's how Notaries for Alabama is tracking:

Goal:    Membership
Rating:  Very Good

Last December, we announced we'd require members to pay a $20 Annual Membership Fee.  This would cover the expenses associated with conducting Group Meetings at the Homewood Public Library (room rental, refreshments, supplies).  The financial goal was to grow membership to twenty (20) notaries by 12/31/2014.  As of July 1st, we had twelve (12) Members with paid memberships.  While we haven't reached our goal yet, we are well on our way

Goal:  Notary Training
Rating:  Excellent

Notaries for Alabama conducted its first class, "Notary Basics - Training for Alabama Notaries," on February 28, 2014.  Fifteen people registered for the class.  Feedback from students was very positive.  A second Notary Basics class was held last month on June 27th.  Fourteen men and women attended.  A third Notary Basics class was just announced for Sunday, August 17th at the Comfort Inn-Homewood.  We hope by holding class on the weekend it will be more convenient for those who have difficulty requesting time off from work.  There are still plenty seats available for that class.

Goal:  Group/Member Meetings
Rating:  Average

In 2013, Group Meetings were held monthly at the Homewood Public Library and attendance was strong - on average, 10-12 Notaries.  In 2014, we changed the schedule from monthly to bi-monthly for two reasons:
  1. We wanted to maintain the quality of the meetings by keeping topics timely, relevant & informative. This meant inviting guest speakers from the local and national community. As you can imagine it's a lot easier to book six guest speakers than twelve.
  2. Cost.  Fewer meetings, lower expenses.
Attendance at Group Meetings has declined.  We now only average 6-8 Notaries.  Low turnout at member meetings is not uncommon for many groups and associations.  Yet and still, it would be prudent for our group to take a closer look at what, if anything, can be done to improve turnout.

Goal:    Notary Supplies
Rating:  Very Good

The last thing I wanted for Notaries for Alabama was for it to sell supplies.  To be honest, this wasn't on the original list of goals for 2014.  But after reviewing feedback from Notary Basics students, it was clear they expected to be able to purchase notary supplies at our training sites.  This caused me to reconsider my earlier decision.  Something, by the way, we all should do from time-to-time.  When I learned that Notary Warehouse, an online site I'd been using for years to purchase my own supplies was willing to partner with our group and make supplies available, I jumped on it.  The supplies are high quality and competitively priced.  We are able to offer special discounts to Members and to those attending our training class.  

Goal:    Annual Community Service Project
Rating:  Below Average

This is the goal I'm most concerned about.  Our group has yet to finalize plans for our Community Service Project.  Last year, for National Notary Public Day (November 7th) we offered free notary services in Birmingham.  We're still looking for ideas and, more importantly, volunteers.  Any suggestions?

All-In-All, Notaries for Alabama is tracking well in relation to its goals.  Not bad for an organization that is just a little more than one year old.

How does your individual or business performance rate?  Do you need to tweak anything?  If so, now's the time to do it.  Setting goals at the beginning of the year is easy.  Making good on those goals throughout the year is something altogether different.  Go ahead!  I challenge you to take a few minutes and conduct your own Self Assessment.

If you'd like to learn more about Notary Basics, or become a member of Notaries for Alabama, visit our website.  You can also call us at (205) 626-9399.  Here's a link to our training site.

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