February 14th, a day that is loved and loathed all over the world. All one must do to prove this, is take a peek at one of their social media feeds and there will be a variety of posts negative and positive about this celebrated day. Whether you are a Valentine’s fan or not, it serves as a good reminder to organizations of all types and sizes to take a look at the ways they are showing the love to their clients, members and employees throughout the year. For associations, this is even more important because our purpose is to deliver for our members. Members expect the association to know their needs and fulfill them with the same level of service they provide their clients. But with a diverse membership base, how does the association management team know that ALL members are feeling the love?
In this post, we will outline 3 STEPS AN ASSOCIATION CAN TAKE TO ENSURE THEIR DIVERSE MEMBERSHIP BASE FEELS INCLUDED.
- Did you know that in Japan on February 14th, that only women give presents? While this may come as a surprise, it brings up a good point. In order to make sure all of your members feel included, we must become culturally competent and recognize that not all members celebrate, learn, or socialize in the same manner. Knowing the demographics, learning styles, and social likes of your entire membership base, can help your association ensure that you are including all members in your planning. Whether it’s deciding on social events for your annual conference or the types of education you will be providing throughout the year, providing services for all styles will only further your member engagement.
- According to the New Member Engagement Study for associations, 77% of associations send a welcome email to new members while only 34% send a monthly email. What better group than new members to gauge how inclusive and LOVED members are feeling at the association? While sending a welcome email is great, in order to really find out if new members feel included, an association must have a well thought out plan to engage new members throughout the lifecycle of their membership. We must realize that each individual is unique and has different communication preferences. Thus, your association’s engagement plan should include a variety of engagement methods including but not limited to email, mail, phone, social media and online meetings and/or in person events.
Have you ever participated in a meeting and discussed WHY you THINK that member retention is down? I’m willing to bet that the majority of us have. I know I have. It is no longer good enough to rely on what we THINK is the reason for member engagement trends. We must have a means to measure member engagement and the inclusivity of our association. Many associations utilize member satisfaction surveys for this. Some associations are taking it to the next level and implementing a benchmarking maturity model that allows members to understand how they use the association compared to their peers. Whatever you are using, be certain to understand the demographics of your survey sample to get a true picture of how your members feel. Simply sending out a survey that asks members how they felt about annual conference or education this year, will not give you the insight to improve your processes. You must be able to analyze the different age groups’ preferences, different regions’ preferences and organizations of different sizes preferences.
We all have the same goal in that we want our members and clients to FEEL THE LOVE. So this Valentine’s Day take the time to review your processes so you can see just how loved your members feel.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT A DIVERSITY & INCLUSION STUDY FOR YOUR MEMBERS? Join us February 27th for an online educational forum with D&I expert Kim Drumgo. Register Here
Kim is a strategic leader with a deep understanding of the complexity diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging best practices and the value they bring to organizations. She provides expertise in driving cultural change through cross-functional team engagement and inspiring a community of understanding. She has successfully led the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion practices, Diversity Councils, training, various tools and programs that foster an inclusive work environment. She is a servant leader with over 24 years of project management, professional services, not for profit, government and technical industry exposure.
Kim is the Chief Diversity Officer at Anthem. She also serves as the chairman of the board for the PhD Project, a not for profit organization whose mission is to increase the diversity of business school faculty.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UNC Chapel Hill and a master’s in business administration from the University of Maryland. She is also a certified Project Management Professional and certified in the administration of the Global Mindset Inventory assessment. Kim and her family reside in Raleigh, NC.