The premiership of Theresa May began on July 13, 2016, when she accepted Queen Elizabeth II’s invitation to govern. Now, just a few days shy of three years into her tenure, Prime Minister May has announced her plans to resign today, June 7, 2019. How does this affect you?
As an association manager (and like Prime Minister May), you represent a group of people organized for a joint purpose. You are serving the unique interests of a diverse set of members. You are working with others to achieve a common goal, and, you’re not in it just for the money.
We’ve seen though, that all the good intentions in the world don’t matter if you can’t deliver on promises or perform on upcoming initiatives effectively. How do you know if your members are satisfied with the services and benefits you’re providing? Can you ensure a vote of confidence by giving members what they want?
Offering a comprehensive continuing education program to deliver impactful, interactive content to your members is one of the best ways to engage with them. Here are three action items for your association to provide value and mitigate a Member “Brexit.”
Get to Know Your Members
Many organizations are missing a major opportunity to target communications by member age and career stage. Very few organizations target members with any sort of consistency, and instead, adopt a “one-size-fits-all” approach across the entire member base. Depending on your size, you may currently have the authority to do that, but it’s not a strong endgame by any means.
Even if you are confident you know your member make-up, we strongly recommend that within your continuing education modules, you monitor learner participation via Q&A, group chat, real-time polling, surveys and robust quizzing. This way, you can detect trends early-on in order to proactively respond to the need for change, instead of being reactive in your approach – doing too little, too late.
Show Them You Know Them
There are stark differences in the way younger and early career members like to be communicated with versus older, more established members. Personalization and segmentation are essential to prove to your members you have them and their needs in mind, and they should stay with you for the long haul. Once you learn your members’ preferred delivery format and you’re working to offer continuing education, be sure to curate a customized education experience and engage learners at their desks or on-the-go.
Align on Their Values and Offer Them as Benefits
The benefits and value members get from being part of an organization change, grow, and evolve as members age and advance in their careers. Many new members join associations for networking and professional development. However, some professional organizations feel their industry goals supersede the personal goals of their members, and thus, are not prioritizing these benefits.
When an organization places little emphasis on what their members want (job opportunities, credentialing, and certifications) it could cause their base to lose confidence in them and start searching elsewhere for an association that offers continuing education and is more attuned to their goals.
Taking all of this into account, what could a Member “Brexit” mean for you? In a very real way, it could mean, a member “bills receivables exit” or “bank reconciliation exit” in reference to assets for your association. On the other hand, creating a scalable continuing education program can have a positive effect by increasing non-dues revenue.
Leaders can only lead when they have followers, and associations can only grow when they have members. So, get to know them, and prove it by working to align your organization with what your members view as valuable. When you do, you’ll be set up for a golden opportunity to guard against Member “Brexit.”