‘Tis the Season to Get Fit, Part 2

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership | No Comments

This is the second in a two-part series on engaging new members from Daxko Engage Implementation Specialist Emily Vonbartheld. Read the first post here.

group-rulesTo help engage new members and help them reach goals you can track their interests or goals. If you have Daxko Engage or another CRM, you can create a group based on new member interests and make contact with those members through an initiative. This can be especially useful when you’re targeting January Joins because in Daxko Engage you can create “Group rules” around join dates.

If you are using a CRM or third-party email client, you can pull a custom membership report from Daxko Operations, sort by interests, and email the members from your current email provider.

When signing a member umember-goalsp, remember to ask the member their goals and mark them in a visible area. This will help staff when they go to regularly follow up on their goal. In Daxko Engage there is a place on the member profile exclusively for their goals.

For example, staff can follow up with Gabriel and refer him to classes and resources based on his goal. Keeping up with these goals shows members that their membership is not transactional. Members want to feel like they are part of a community that truly cares about them and tracking goals is one way to achieve that.

Keep new members from pouring out the back gate by increasing their level of engagement and involvement within your fitness center, club, Y, or J. Help members feel that they are a part of something greater by welcoming them into a community dedicated to helping everyone succeed. It’s easy to view “January Joins” as a monolithic group because it feels like the same routine every year. Intentionally tracking a members’ interests and goals and creating systematic communications to engage them, gives you the opportunity to create meaningful change.

Make sure to establish guidelines within your association, hang reminders around welcome desks, and follow up with staff! Increasing retention means increasing impact in members lives and that’s what it’s all about.

‘Tis the Season to Get Fit, Part 1

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry | No Comments

This is the first of two posts from Daxko Engage Implementation Specialist Emily Vonbartheld talking about engaging January joins. 

“January Joins” are within sight. Open the floodgates and watch as new members pour in after the sudden realization that, maybe, they shouldn’t have eaten all of that pecan pie over the holidays. It is time for us to re-focus on those excited new members and determine how we can better serve them as they’re trying to meet their goals.

Stop right there. Their goals. Do you know what their goals are? Gabriel, for example, says he wants to run a 5K by the end of the year. Why? What is his motivation to run a 5K? What are his expectations for how a gym, recreation center, YMCA, or JCC will help him accomplish his goals? How will we actually meet Gabriel’s expectations? To be able to answer all of these questions, we need to ask meaningful questions. There are a plethora of different reasons that an individual joins a health/wellness organization. Maybe they’re interested in losing 20 pounds before swimsuit season. Maybe they’re interested in becoming more of a vested member in a fitness community. Maybe they just want a reason to leave the house and make friends. Regardless of the reason, staff must be able to identify, track, and respond to members’ goals. We have to listen to what members are really looking for and be systematic about the approach.

There are a couple of places to focus in on to increase engagement and help January Joins achieve their goals. First, in your operations system, when registering a new member, it is crucial to mark the individual’s interests. This way, you can keep them up to date about what is going on in the facility relevant to their interests. This doesn’t have to feel clunky, either. When registering the new unit, simply hand over a card containing potential interests and have them check off boxes that they would like to learn more about. For example, if Gabriel checks that he is interested in sports, this information can be used to send him targeted emails about upcoming sport registrations in an effort to help motivate him and plant roots within the organization.

ops-blog-1

Want to read more?  Our second part of this post is available here with next steps to engaging with new members in the new year!

Step by Step Guide To Assemble An Engagement Team

By | Engage, Engagement, Facilities, Industry, Leadership, Marketing, Membership, Organizational Health, Tips & Resources, Volunteers | No Comments

Even the best engagement plan fails without the proper backing and follow through. In fact, the number one reason engagement plans aren’t successful is the lack of team commitment to execute  the required initiatives. If you are looking to engage more members and improve member retention, then you’ve probably considered putting a member engagement plan in place. Don’t let your engagement goals languish before they even get started. Here is a step-by-step guide to establish a member engagement team and help rally them around your cause:

Gather your stakeholders: Who are the folks most invested in gaining and keeping members at your organization? Who is in charge of membership, marketing and recruitment of members? Stakeholders need a leadership team member that can champion the cause for member engagement at your organization.  Ideally, stakeholders include representatives from:

  1. Leadership
  2. Marketing
  3. Membership
  4. The frontline
  5. Your volunteer baseyour-engagement-team-deliverable-web copy

Keep in mind your Member Engagement Team may only involve some of these representatives, but they need to be aware that they are responsible for driving member engagement initiatives. Gathering all stakeholders on the front end ensures proper communication later in the process. The Member Engagement Team will be responsible for keeping all the teams they represent in the loop while driving member engagement initiatives forward. Learn more about Engagement Team Roles in this Engagement Team  Fact Sheet.

Take time to establish your goals and objectives. Being specific about your goals helps measure success and stay on track. Are you trying to retain members, gain members, or connect your members to your mission? We all want to achieve these items but it helps to nail down one or two things that will lead to these outcomes and make the most impact with a quick win. By creating one goal and attaching a measurement to it you are creating clarity for your staff by defining priorities.

Establish a baseline and a way to measure progress. Once you have a goal in mind it is important to measure your success. By establishing a benchmark from your current status, you can measure your success incrementally based on when you want to achieve your goals.

For example, the team at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast had a goal to engage more members by having quality in-person conversations. They decided to focus on increasing in-person conversations as a percentage of total check ins. They established a baseline that their staff was having meaningful conversations with 3% of check ins. They wanted to more than double their quality conversations to 7% of check ins. By creating a clear goal and maintaining a laser-focus on one metric, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast achieved dramatic improvement to 7,000 monthly in-person conversations across their organization!

Once goals are set, everyone at the organization needs to be very clear on when and how they will be measured. Setting attainable goals at the beginning gives a firm foundation for growth and expanded achievement plans. For example, for the first three months an organization will work to reach 5% of all check ins with a quality in-person conversation. Once that is reached, up it to 7%.

Assign Tasks.  Once you meet with the team to discuss overarching goals and define first steps, you must assign tasks. This is where each representative may consider involving other team mates. Break down your one measurable up-front goal into specific steps. If your goal, like the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, is to have more in-person conversations and to monitor the quality of those conversations, you are going to need to establish the following processes:

  • Create a tool to establish a baseline (this could be as simple as an excel spreadsheet)
  • Train all member-facing staff to track their interactions
  • Set interaction goals per staff member and review the interactions and tally the results
  • Monitor those results

Once you have your tasks, assign them to your team as appropriate.

Rally the team. Get your team invested in the results and be sure to check in regularly to prevent or work through any roadblocks. Member engagement initiatives must be supported and encouraged from the top down. Senior leaders are responsible for setting the tone for the organization and defining goals with achievable expectations. Without that, engagement rarely makes it out of the leadership level. Other ways to rally the team include coaching for staff that are struggling with engagement goals and applauding staff when they meet or exceed goals.

Have you started engagement initiatives at your organization?  How did you assemble your team?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Video: Adapt to Change

By | Engage, Engagement, Fitness, Industry, Leadership, Membership, Mission Delivery, Videos | No Comments

“To change lives, you have to adapt to change.”

That’s the premise of a new video from Daxko, out last week. Daxko is the largest provider of mission-critical software for YMCAs, JCCs, and other member-based health and wellness centers. The video talks about the changing health of communities, the changing ways community members connect, and how health and wellness organizations can stay ahead of the trend with processes and software dedicated to staying with current trends. Watch the video here:

“Community health is changing. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise. Daxko helps you promote healthy living to reverse this trend.

Demographics are changing. From millennials to boomers, Daxko helps you connect with members through social media, targeted email, and text notifications.

Technology is changing. It can be challenging to keep pace. Only Daxko provides the integrated software, predictive analytics, and expertise that allow you to stay ahead of the curve.

With Daxko it has never been a better time to join forces with the largest peer network of community wellness centers, Ys, and JCCs.”