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.

Akron Area YMCA Motivates Employees to Engage More Members

By | Daxko Engage, Engagement, Industry, Mission Delivery, Tips & Resources | No Comments

The Akron Area YMCA launched Daxko Engage in mid-2015. Like other Daxko Engage customers, they are excited to have data that predicts how likely a member is to terminate their membership as well as the ability to segment their membership based on interest or activity and communicate to those groups appropriately. But it doesn’t stop there. The Akron Y is also using Daxko Engage to motivate their staff to create good engagement habits.

I recently caught up with Ken Hoyt, the Technology Director at the Akron Y, to talk about how his Y is motivating staff to keep member engagement top of mind. Ken shared with me that the front-line staff had always done a good job of communicating with and engaging members, but there was no process to record notes and follow-up tasks. He knew that this was a missed opportunity, and set out to bridge the gap.

Months after launching Daxko Engage, notes recorded averaged 75 per month across 6 branches. The Akron Y set up an internal competition and offered prizes to the individual and the branch with the largest quantity of quality notes. Hoyt shares, “The quality of notes is just as important, if not more important, than the quantity. We want to create a habit of entering notes, but not at the expense of notes that include short, generic comments.”

The results of the competition were greater than anyone could have expected. Hoyt shared that during the one-month competition, staff entered 2,300+ notes in Daxko Engage. Hoyt explains, “We have great front-line support that have a competitive spirit. We’re still auditing the notes to review the quality, and will ensure that the branch membership directors are prepared to coach anyone that may need help in that area. All-in-all, we think that the competition was the nudge they needed to try something new.”

When asked how they will continue to motivate staff now that the competition is over, Hoyt said that is yet to be finalized, but he does envision a recognition system at each branch. Next steps also include training staff to be deliberate when choosing which conversations to have; to choose critical members that are at highest risk of terminating their memberships and need to feel that connection.

We look forward to seeing what 2016 brings for the Akron Y. Keep up the great work!