Engagement, It Starts at the Top

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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.

New Member Engagement Takes A Village

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Now is a good time to reflect on your membership. You may have seen the influx of members come and go from New Year’s resolutions. Why have members stuck with it (or not)? This article from Cynthia at SocialWOD advises gyms to encourage members by creating and maintaining a community. Ys, Js, and other health and wellness centers can use this to their advantage as well. Many times whether a member stays at your center or leaves is because you either provided a sense of community or you didn’t. The good news is that it isn’t too late! Here are 7 ways to implement community programs into your practices to retain your engaged members.

  1. Facebook Groups: If you haven’t setup a Facebook page for your facility, you should.  Have you considered setting up pages for particular interests, groups and programs? It’s a great way to keep like minded members connected.
  2. Public Recognition of Success: People love being recognized for their hard work, especially when it comes to exercise – so help them toot their own horns. Encourage challenges and announce the winners on social media so others in the facility can also congratulate them on their success.
  3. Take Photos:Take lots of photos. You can feature personal training, nutrition classes, member milestones, and group exercise. Many members love to be recognized publicly so (once you have permission) use these on social media so members can have bragging rights.
  4.  Targeted New Member Communications: Staff at the YMCA of Pikes Peak use Daxko Engage to check in on new members at specific points in time. “With Engage we really can look to see how new members are doing and now we know more about them. We’ve added a 30-day phone call that didn’t happen before we implemented Daxko Engage. During that call we can prompt members that haven’t used their fitness appointment to sign up and we have noticed an increase in those appointments,”says Member Experience Director Ariella Franco. Whether you have an engagement tool or not, you can set up reminders to check in with members at critical points in their membership.
  5. Tap into their Talents:  Members are diverse, and you can use this to your advantage. Get to know what your members do outside of your walls. Find creative ways to tap into their talents for possible volunteer situations and connect them to others – a win-win for you and them.
  6. Ask for feedback:A simple survey with just a few questions is a great way to give you insight into your members and according to the Center for Association growth it is also a great way to identify those who want to take the next step like donating or volunteering.
  7. Nutrition Challenges: Many centers focus on fitness but very little on nutrition. Helping members set and achieve nutritional goals promotes body confidence and opens members up to a more holistic view of health. Around the Plate offers some good ideas for nutrition challenges you can try.

This concludes our series on new member engagement. Be sure to check out the first or second post in this series for more great new member engagement tips. We hope you learned some tips you can implement and see engaged members in your results!

How Engaged are your Members?

By | Customer Experience, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Mission Delivery, Online, Videos | No Comments

Do you know the proportion of your membership that is highly engaged? What about those that aren’t engaged at all with your center? Daxko recently launched a campaign offering interested organizations a look at their specific member units by engagement level.

engagement-snapshot-image300Our Daxko Engage team was able to take Daxko Operations data and run it through our proprietary Engagement Index to filter membership units by engagement levels. The Engagement Index is a complex algorithm that accounts for a member’s demographics, check-ins, donor activity, and other activity or lack of activity to come up with a measure of how engaged a member is and how likely or unlikely they are to terminate their membership in the future.

To learn more about the value of deeper levels of engagement, check out our Influence Video:

Learn more about Daxko Engage to take your member engagement to the next level.

Do You Know Your Fitness Age?

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If we didn’t need another reason to become involved in a fitness routine, a New York Times article recently outlines why our “ fitness age” may be even more important than our chronological age. This article adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests that exercise and movement throughout the day is vitally important to our health.

Norwegian scientists compared individuals’ aerobic capacity (measured by estimating their VO2max) against death records later in life. Those who had not measured well on their estimated aerobic capacity “had an 82 percent higher risk of dying prematurely” than those who scored better on the aerobic capacity measure.

While fitness age may be a concerning idea for many, the good news is that it – unlike chronological age – can be reduced.

Interested in calculating fitness age? The authors of the study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim have come up with a simple quiz that should pretty accurately tell anyone their fitness age.

This quiz is a fun way to engage members at your organization. It appeals to our newfound love of digital tracking and the idea of the quantified self – that we can track all sorts of biometric data about our bodies typically in order to improve our health. Encourage your clients or members to take this quiz and use it to either pat themselves on the back or to encourage themselves to add a little more exercise into their daily life.