None of us will ever forget the year that was 2020. It created innumerable professional and personal obstacles, while also challenging us to consider new ideas and perspectives. As we move into 2021, ASSP is continuing to adapt to a shifting business landscape and I want to share an update on the state of the Society.
In response to the economic recession caused by the pandemic, the Board of Directors is diligently focused on delivering the highest member value, protecting the health and safety of our member community, and managing both our financial and reputational risks. Based on this approach and since most predictions suggest fall 2021 is the earliest starting point of a “return to normalcy” in the U.S., we are focusing on three goals through March 2022:
1) Meet plan and manage cash.
2) Grow and align our products and services with stakeholders’ key needs.
3) Enhance governance to meet current and future needs of members, customers and the safety profession.
As we have shared with the leaders of our various ASSP member communities over the past few months, we have enacted a range of cost-control measures, such as recession budgeting, eliminating volunteer and staff travel, and reducing the Society’s workforce, to address the projected revenue contraction and operational losses.
In the coming months, we will continue to carefully monitor and adjust to this fluid economic situation. We will also seek to identify new ways to deliver member value, especially as employers spend less on continuing education and business travel in response to the contracting economy and the changing work environment.
As we all know, the timing of a return to large in-person education events, such as our annual professional development conference, remains unclear due to factors such as safety and health precautions in a host city, uncertainty about the widespread availability of a vaccine, and travel and budget restrictions. In light of those concerns, we continue to evaluate a range of options for Safety 2021, and we expect to provide more details on our plans early this year.
As the pandemic continues to stress and stretch us all, it is more important than ever to stay connected to our professional ASSP community. Here are a few ways your ASSP membership can help you during the pandemic:
- Hardship membership program. If you (or a colleague) have lost your job as a result of COVID-19, please contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 (847) 699-2929. Our hardship program can help you maintain your ASSP membership for up to 1 year while you seek a new opportunity.
- ASSP Community. Our members-only platform is an excellent place to share information, ask questions and access resources on a wide range of safety topics, including COVID-19.
- COVID-19 content. At www.assp.org/covid-19, we have posted a large selection of webinars, podcasts and articles that provide expert guidance on worker well-being during the pandemic.
- Free learning resources. Housed at www.assp.org/education/free-learning-resources, our library includes business and leadership skills webinars; webinars produced in partnership with OSHA and our corporate sponsors; and the Math Toolbox articles to help members prepare for certification exams.
- Professional Safety. Each issue of our monthly journal contains a selection of the latest peer-reviewed articles, interviews and best practices articles that aim to help us advance our professional practice so we can help our organizations improve their safety performance.
- Board Connection Series. These regular virtual events are an opportunity to engage with the Board of Directors, ask questions and connect with your peers.
Many members have asked what they can do to help during these difficult times. My best advice: Reach out to your fellow members, ask how they are doing and encourage them to engage in our networking and virtual events. By staying connected and continuing to engage in our professional community, we will create a safer, stronger future.