Step by Step Guide To Assemble An Engagement Team

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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.

How to Get Your Leadership Team Behind Your Engagement Initiatives – Recommendations from the Akron Area YMCA

By | Customer Experience, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Organizational Health, Volunteers, Webcasts | 2 Comments
We recently had an engagement webcast featuring Ken Hoyt, Technology Director at the Akron Area YMCA. Hoyt had a lot of great advice on staff engagement but some things that really stood out were his tips to get the C-level team excited and involved in the engagement initiatives at his association.
According to Hoyt, “We’ve set strategic goals around retention. Knowing that how we engage our members and how we involve our staff in that is a key piece. We are getting absolute support from the top.”
Are you looking to get your leadership team more invested in your engagement programs? Or, are you just looking for ways to prove the value of the things you are already doing? If either of these are the case, these tips from the Akron Area YMCA may prove useful to you.
How to galvanize the leadership-level in staff engagement:
 
  1. Look at measurable data – Hoyt’s first tip is to take a hard look at your data and ask yourself, “Where are we today? Where do we want to be and why is it important? Most people understand the value of having a broader membership base and retaining members is a lot easier than recruiting new members.”
  2. Break down retention goals – “If you are looking at retaining 1%, 2% or 3% more members, how many members is that? Once you have that figured out you can start tying those numbers to financial benefits,” explains Hoyt. All those things help justify engagement initiatives to the leadership team.
  3. Take it back to the mission – “Many people are surprised when you take those membership goals and connect it to the increase in number of lives you can touch every day,” says Hoyt.
Try these tips to encourage your executive-level staff to be more excited and involved in engagement initiatives. If you’d like to hear more information from the webinar, you can access the recorded version and if you’d like to hear more about Daxko Engage, you can always contact us.

48% of January Joins Haven’t Checked-In for Two Weeks

By | Engage, Engagement, Facilities, Fitness, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Organizational Health | 2 Comments

Recently, we posted 8 quick wins to get ahead of cancellations. Providing quick and actionable tips may help keep members active at your center now but to ensure they are with you for the long term, more strategic changes are needed.

Data shows that on average, 48% of January joins have not checked-in over the last two weeks.*
While many new members mistakenly think that more bells and whistles (A coffee bar! Fitness tracker integration!) will keep them committed, the biggest predictor of success is social connectedness. Encouraging members to connect with others will significantly increase the success of their engagement. Those connections can be a personal trainer, group exercise class, a gym buddy, or even having a person at the front desk that greets the member each day [Read more.].

Here are 4 strategic mindset changes to make with your staff to encourage new joins to stick with it throughout the year:

  • Make Introductions: Whether you and your staff are working the front desk, or walking the floor – make a habit of introducing members to others with similar goals to spark engagement, accountability, and increase friendships.
  • Seek Out Introverts: Do you always see a certain member using the treadmill alone, earphones in place, with little interaction with others? Make an extra effort to reach out to those members and compliment them for sticking with it!
  • Make Your Center Less Scary: Reach out to members that look like they need extra help and make it a habit to introduce a new member to another machine or activity they might like. If they are always on the elliptical, maybe they’d enjoy spin class? Have a new member that is taking up running? Encourage them to work on their stamina with a low impact elliptical. By introducing new machines/activities into their routine you’ll help members feel more empowered to try new things, you’ll keep them interested and, encourage cross-training.
  • Offer Rewards: Encourage members to treat themselves after they work so hard. Look for non-food items to give-out that congratulates members for staying the course!

 

*Statistic based on Daxko Operations customer data

Are your new members engaged? Or, are they leaving?

By | Customer Experience, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership | 3 Comments

Mid-February is often regarded as the time when new members who haven’t been engaged and who are not using their membership start to bail. Is your organization beginning to lose new members? If so, don’t lose hope! We have ideas to engage your members and encourage some of them to stay for the long haul.
Here are eight great ways to work your way into the hearts of these new members:

    1. Focus on in-person conversations with new members. There are tools that help staff gain visibility into which new members are in your facility at any given time. These tools help staff understand which members to speak with so they can start identifying what interests them. Don’t have an engagement tool or customer relationship manager (CRM)? Your staff can still work on face-to-face conversations – paying particular attention to new gym-goers or those who may need a little extra love. [Click here to read how the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast is taking their face-to-face interactions to the net level.]
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    2. “We love our Wellness Staff” initiatives. Each week offer a themed gathering to allow members to meet and greet staff members from a particular area. For example, Tuesday night could be “We love our Swim Instructors” allowing members to meet and ask questions with the swim staff.
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    3. Create a group of new members or new members with specific needs and follow that group. This can be done either manually or through your engagement system to give staff extra incentive to follow up with this group. For example, you could build a group of new members that have been absent for the last two weeks to be sure to speak with this at-risk group when they are at your center.
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    4. Group Exercise Open House. Invite your members to join the wellness staff in the Group Exercise room with water and fruit to learn more about the types of classes offered. This can help de-mystify group exercise to someone who might feel overwhelmed.
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    5. Offer newbie-friendly introductory group exercise classes. Offer a series of introductory classes that are shorter and offer more time for setup to encourage new members to try them out. Spin is a class new members may find intimidating so offer a 30-minute spin class and have the instructor go through how to properly set up the spin bike at the beginning of each introductory class.
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    6. Family-night. Offer a family fun night with games or activities that encourage new members to get the whole family involved. Some ideas? Show a movie at the indoor pool? Offer a silly family-dance or Zumba class with glow sticks. Drawing the whole family into the membership makes it more likely new members will stick around.
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    7. Follow up. Have staff conversations with new members from the above events trigger a follow-up task. When staff are speaking with new members, have them try to determine a program or volunteer interest. Then, those conversations can trigger follow-up tasks from a full-time staff member in the area of interest.
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    8. Email Missing Members. Create a list of members that have been missing the last few weeks. Email those members with a little encouragement, an incentive, or a class suggestion.