Associations spend a lot of energy trying to attract members, engage volunteers and recruit directors and staff. But what do you do once you have captured them? Do you make them feel welcome and valued at events? Are you a good “host” or do you leave members to figure it out on their own?
Onboarding is an essential, yet often overlooked, part of association management. It is critical to ensure immediate engagement and ensure members are familiar with the resources and opportunities offered and to feel that they fit within the organization. Otherwise, you risk losing their support before the first year is over.
Turn the focus onto them by anticipating their expectations, needs and wants and help them to fulfill these:
- Identify and articulate the Member Value Proposition (MVP). Ensure leaders understand the MVP of the association, and can easily state how the association addresses member needs.
- Create a new member onboarding process. Ensure they receive extra attention in the first 12 months to get them engaged.
- Director, volunteer and staff training. Ensure that your association leaders are trained to be good hosts at events. This means “working the room” at association events, introducing members to each other and make everyone feel valued and welcome.
The time and effort spent on the front end being a good host and designing good onboarding processes will pay off immediately and contribute to your sustainability and success.
A strong MVP is also one of the 8 elements of the High Performance Membership OrganizationTM