By Sylvia Plester-Silk
Many associations are aware of the importance of measuring membership engagement and satisfaction. In fact, many organizations complete an annual survey to observe how their members are valuing their membership. The challenge becomes what to do with those pesky survey results when they need improvement.
During a recent conversation with my sister, we discussed how her employer conducts an annual survey. However, after completion, the employer does not appear to address the employees’ survey responses. I have heard a similar concern from numerous association members over the years. As a result, the members end up feeling that their comments and concerns are not being heard and that their opinions are not valued, which in turn can result in ending their membership, which results in a loss of membership fees for the association.
From my perspective, this is an expensive endeavor to conduct surveys with no action which might actually reduce member engagement. So let’s look at how to address those pesky areas of improvement.
- Before you administer the next survey, decide what level of engagement would be ultimate for your organization. Or in other words, what is the crucial rating that means we need to take action steps to improve in this area?
- Once the survey is completed, share the results with all your Board Members. Highlight and celebrate your successes. Next review the areas for improvement. Chose 1 or 2 that will be the highest priority for the next quarter. Identify the 3 action steps and commit to them in front of your team.
- Take regular and consistent action to improve those areas. Hire a good consultant to assist you to create and take action on these if necessary. A consultant can help you to keep this project at the top of your priority list.
- At the beginning of the next quarter, review with your Board and membership what action you have taken and ask for input on how it is working. Getting feedforward in real time can assist in making effective and lasting changes in your culture.
- Next, pick the next 2 highest priorities for this quarter. You might need to keep working on the priorities from last quarter if you have not yet achieved real results. Again, share the action plan with your entire team.
- Continue to communicate and select priorities each quarter moving forward.
Taking these action steps will create an even stronger association culture with increased engagement. It will ensure more value from the surveys and help you to improve your results. As association members feel valued, they will give increased commitment and drive stronger bottom-line results for your association.
Sylvia Plester-Silk is a Catalyst and Executive Coach at On Purpose Consulting. www.onpurposeconsulting.ca. She is an expert in team dynamics. By understanding the energy of the team and coaching leaders to shift the culture she enables you to increase commitment and release results.