Engagement, It Starts at the Top

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

In most corporations, senior leaders are the visible face of the organization. But, that isn’t always the case for members at health and wellness associations. Many times the only contact members of those facilities have is with front-line and wellness staff. That’s why it is vital that senior leaders take the time to define and champion the engagement strategy throughout the organization.

Senior leaders and board members are charged with setting the strategic direction and cultural goals for most associations to steer non-profits in the right direction and achieve their vision. We’ve all heard that positive attitudes and actions are contagious and can build a culture of engagement that involves and inspires all employees. According to Dan Dummermuth, CEO at the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, “I think a lot of it is the sheer volume of people coming through our doors. What happens a lot of time on the engagement side of things is the capacity of the staff is tested. We already ask staff to do so much, and taking a systematic approach to engaging members is one more thing. So as leaders we have to take a hard look at that. If engagement is going to be a priority, if we really want to help people–and grow revenue by adding members and stem attrition by keeping members– we have to make engaging them a priority. Sometimes we may have people in the wrong roles, or lack adequate training to make engagement successful. So that’s something to evaluate too.”

3 Ways to Measure Staff Engagement

  1. Anonymous surveys – Be sure to stress that employees should be open with their feedback to allow real change to take place
  2. Team Huddles – Organizations with successful engagement strategies often huddles each day to share what was successful and what was not so successful with member engagement. This is also a great way for staff to keep an open line of communication with their team leads
  3. Be present – If leaders make a point to be visible and approachable it sets a tone for the whole organization. Making culture a focus is easier when senior leaders can be seen by everyone in the organization

Senior leaders are responsible for setting the tone for the organization and defining appropriate goals. Setting the tone for all interactions with all levels of staff helps set the tone with how your staff will engage with your members.

Data is Meaningless (Not Really – Hear Me Out)

By | Board, Industry, Leadership, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health, Trends Reports & Surveys | 3 Comments

As the new Daxko Product Manager focused on all things reporting and analytics across Daxko products, I spend 100% of my time listening to users, documenting needs, and forming and managing plans to ensure that what we do now will improve what is delivered to customers in the short and long terms. This is sincerely fun stuff.

In my 13 years of working with data in different jobs — from U.S. Space Command (yep, you can ask me about satellites) to federal child welfare benchmarking (happy to chat about child well-being trends) to Y-USA and Y data (program, membership and impact – you name it!), my hands-down favorite thing is this…

Data doesn’t answer questions well.

Nope, I’m not kidding.

Intuitively, we all know this. If your blood pressure is 160 over 110, you think, “that’s not good” … BUT if it was 170 over 120 when you measured it two weeks ago, then all of a sudden those very same numbers make you think, “I’m improving! This is good (or at least better)”. Those “bad looking” numbers are telling you you’re moving in the right direction.

As you might infer, “how was that collected?”, “so what?”, “compared to what?” and “well, that depends … “ are my go-to responses. That’s because if we don’t answer these questions we are in danger of not understanding what is actually going on and making bad decisions as a result.

Data need to be many things to be meaningful. At a minimum, it needs the following:

#1: It needs to be correct. A nurse measuring your blood pressure needs to not only know how to use the exact model of the cuff they put on your arm, they also need to read, remember, and write-down the right two numbers while using it. To go one further, the doctor who reads what the nurse wrote has to be able to decipher his or her handwriting or the whole process is nullified. The industry word for this is data integrity. It’s self-explanatory why it’s vital, but it’s also very easily not achieved — or even realized if you don’t have it.

#2: It needs to be presented in context. This is how we know what’s good, bad, or trending in a certain direction. In this example, we have blood pressure guidelines for healthy ranges. Not only do those exist, but there are different ranges for how old you are, if you’re male or female, or if you’re on a plan with your doctor to reach a certain goal. Heck, they can even change over time as new research emerges. Good health care providers will also tell you to consider this information in combination with other factors, such as family history, diet, weight, etc.

#3: It needs to be digestible. You could have access to the best information in the world, but if you can’t explain what you have, you can’t use it. If we all needed to explain systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) of blood pressure, many would feel overwhelmed or get stuck on information that doesn’t answer their questions. In this example, if #1 and #2 above are done well, it’s much easier to take-in your blood pressure ratio than also having to take-in all the research behind it.

I’m drawn to analysis and reporting because good data is different than available data. I would argue that meaningful data is more important than Big Data, we’ve-always-collected-that data, and that’s-interesting data.

So let’s revise what’s above…

Data collected via sound methodologies and presented in appropriate context in a way that can be understood answers questions VERY well.

Daxko is working to give customers accurate, relevant, digestible data to our users. Some of the ways we are making this happen:
  • Improving our data warehouse so all customers will have just the right (depending on the needs of their organization) access to the  data they need
  • Elevating the custom reports user experience to provide easy, quick data points in context that will make a difference to the organization
  • A quick and accurate measurement of the positive difference you are making with your members (think of it like a cause-driven nonprofit NPS Score)
  • Refining the Donor Index to allow fundraisers the ability to create targeted outreach  campaigns just for donors

You can reach me at cmiller@daxko.com if you have thoughts about Daxko data and reporting – I’d love to talk to you.

2016 YMCA Membership Summit

By | Engagement, Events & Happenings, Industry, Leadership, Membership, Mission Delivery, Mobile | No Comments

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the YMCA Membership Summit in Dallas. With over 600 executives in attendance and the energy at the event, it is clear that the future of membership is a critical and compelling topic for Ys. After attending sessions, listening to speakers, and engaging in conversation with many YMCA executives, I noticed a recurring theme: change is inevitable; and with change, comes opportunity.

So how will Daxko support our customers through these changes?

  1. MOBILE The newest generation of members and program participants are digital natives. Mobile solutions are simply an expectation. That’s why we’ve been working closely with our customers build out the latest version of Daxko Mobile from the ground up, using the latest in Mobile development tools. Our pilot Ys love the usability and the member experience of the new solution. This project is just the beginning of Daxko’s new member experience priorities that will poise our customers as progressive, member-minded organizations in their communities.
  2. NON-TRADITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS (You may think of this as a virtual membership.) Creating a virtual health and wellness community represents an opportunity to reach the 82% of the US population who don’t belong to any gym. This is particularly true with the millennial demographic who want to work out where they want, when they want, and are accustomed to having a social network integrated into everything they do. With that in mind, we’ve excited by the launch of Daxko Well, which is being piloted by the First Coast YMCA in Jacksonville  and the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. 
  3. DATA As a result of having 600+ YMCA customers, Daxko has more data, over a longer period of time, than any other provider. And we want that to mean something. We are actively working with Y-USA to make that data available and meaningful across the Y Movement.
  4. DAXKO ENGAGE Engaging your members is more than just sending out well-designed emails and short text messages. You can’t impact your members and consistently build relationships without a systematic and intentional approach. That’s why we developed Daxko Engage, the only engagement solution that is powered by data that accurately shows which members are engaged and who’s at risk of terminating their membership. 

I’d like to hear your your thoughts and comments. We can have a much greater impact when we all work together. 

-Dave

Daxko CEO Dave Gray Will Serve on the Board of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham

By | Board, Events & Happenings, Industry, Leadership, Mission Delivery | No Comments

Daxko CEO David Gray recently joined the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham. Gray has long been a supporter of the Y movement and Daxko software runs behind the scenes at many YMCAs across the country. He joins YMCA of Greater Birmingham CEO Stan Law on the board and Gray already serves on the board of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in North Carolina.

“I am honored to serve on the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham,” states Gray. “I am passionate about the work of the YMCA in our community, and I look forward to collaborating with Stan and his team, as well as other board members, to promote the Y values of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility across the Birmingham area.”

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is the Daxko “Hometown Y” and serves Jefferson and Shelby Counties in Alabama. Currently made up of 14 local branches that engage more than 60,000 men, women, and children in the Birmingham area.

The YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly is a 1,200 acre retreat and conference center located in the Black Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Blue Ridge Assembly has a long history of impacting lives through meetings, groups, and school programs.