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.

3 Key Motivators for the Millennial Workforce

By | Engagement, Facilities, Industry, Leadership, Organizational Health, Uncategorized, Volunteers | One Comment

Last year Millennials became the majority generation in the workforce.  According to Pew Research, there are now more Millennials than Gen X or Baby Boomers in the American workforce. You may think of Millennials as social media obsessed, selfie-taking young adults, but don’t overlook their desire for a sense of community, to make a difference, and to take advantage of opportunities for advancement. 

COMMUNITY

Millennials want to belong to a group or community. This seems like a no-brainer considering the success of social media, but don’t think that it stops with virtual communities. Millennials are brand loyal, compassionateand want to be a part of something bigger. According to Adam Poswolsky in Fast Company, millennials aren’t really motivated by financial gain, instead, “they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.” Because this fits with the mission of most community nonprofits, try to appeal to millennials on those grounds by stressing the importance of your organization to make your shared community a better place. 

IMPACT 

You’re likely to find Millennials volunteering their time and money to causes they believe in. Don’t miss an opportunity to get your Millennial staff involved in your cause—don’t assume that just because they work for you that they’re allocating their limited resources to you.

OPPORTUNITY

You may have heard that Millennials are a job-hopping group, but data shows otherwise. Millennials are looking for opportunities to grow in their career and advance in their company.  Poswolsky explains, “millennials will work hard when you get serious about investing in their skills development. Young talent wants the opportunity to learn from someone with expertise; they want that on-the-ground experience to happen today, not tomorrow – and certainly not in five years.”

I’ll leave you with this: Understanding the Millennial Mindset goes further than understanding your staff. Millennials are also the future of your membership. So don’t overlook this pivotal group of game-changers. 

Sharing Your Message by Creating Social Ambassadors

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When working to recruit and communicate to members, word of mouth is still king. According to our 2014 Trends & Opportunities Survey, word-of-mouth referrals are viewed by organizations to be the most effective communication channel for attracting new members, with direct mail and social media in a very very distant tie for second.

So much of what happens on social media is word-of-mouth. How many times have you seen people asking their social networks for advice or recommendations on a product or a service? What if nonprofits were able to combine the power of social media with that all-important word-of-mouth recommendation?

Social media platform HootSuite recently published an article, “Doing more with Less: How Nonprofits Build Social Media Armies,” discussing how important it is to get all your employees and your loyal users/followers on the same page when it comes to social. This article offers advice to help nonprofits engage and succeed with social media:

Give your employees and volunteers a social media education. Many younger employees and volunteers already feel comfortable conversing in the social media realm and you can use that base knowledge to work for your association. Before you give anyone the keys to your social media accounts, be sure that they understand how you would like them to communicate professionally in order to further the mission of your nonprofit. A helpful step is to designate one full-time employee to train and monitor the messages that are put out by others on social media. Be sure to set up social media keyword searches so you can quickly identify mentions from all sources.

Recruit loyal members to talk about your organization to their social networks. Have a running club that meets regularly at your YMCA or JCC? Is the head of the group active in the local running community? Chances are this person has a lot of influence that would be beneficial to your nonprofit. HootSuite offers their “ambassadors” brand education, online recognition, and company goodies to encourage them to participate on social media. In this way, loyal members can become ambassadors for your association and for your mission.

Being active on social media can often be an afterthought, but putting the work in on the front end to recruit employees and loyal members to participate can encourage an active social online community that can enhance your word-of-mouth referrals and further your nonprofit’s mission.