Membership

Daily Buzz: Solve the Mystery Behind Low Member Retention Rates

By / May 31, 2019 (serggn/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Sometimes members leave. But if your association seems like it’s suffering a mass exodus, it’s time to investigate why. Also: how team mindfulness can eliminate workplace conflict.

Dipping retention rates? Before any more members say goodbye, you have to find out why.

“Managing the rate of losses your association’s membership takes is all about noticing what’s driving members away in the first place and fixing those errors,” says Audra Hopkins on the Web Scribble blog.

To move retention rates toward an upswing, Hopkins suggests taking a look at your onboarding process. Does your strategy run smoothly and make new members feel welcome? If it doesn’t, it could be a sign that members don’t integrate properly or have access to the benefits of the organization.

Next, look at the strength of your association’s engagement, specifically when it comes to your online community.

“A premium online member community boils down to just a few things: technology, accessibility and content,” Hopkins says. “If you can master these three components, you’re on your way to better member engagement—and hopefully less members lost.”

If a low member retention rate is still a mystery, consider going straight to the source and asking members for feedback.

“By getting feedback on your performance, you’ll be able to tackle problems before they become big enough to drive away members from your organization,” she says.

What Mindfulness Means for Teams

Some workplace conflict is inevitable, and some is not. One way to reduce tension among employees: mindfulness—but not the intrinsic, inward thinking you might be thinking of.

“Team mindfulness, however, is distinct from individual mindfulness in that it applies to the group as a whole, and to the interaction between its members, as opposed to employees’ individual thought patterns,” write Lingtao Yu and Mary Zellmer-Bruhn,  researchers on this subject, for Harvard Business Review. “In other words, it’s the collective awareness of what a team is experiencing at a given moment, without the prejudgments that come at the individual level.”

To cultivate this practice among teams, Yu and Zellmer-Bruhn say to encourage present-focused attention (such as meetings sans cellphones) and a an openness to collecting and understanding new information before processing.

“This helps reduce emotional or reflexive responses, leaving room for teams with diverse knowledge and different functional backgrounds to reach a greater potential,” they say.

Other Links of Note

So, you’ve launched an online community. But if you’re not considering how to bring new members to the conversation, you’ve missed the mark, says Community by Association.

Do your members read? They should, because it’s often the first step in professional development. The WBT Systems blog explains how to encourage a reading habit among members.

Get selective about the metrics you follow to increase your data’s value. Start this process by developing a data governance team, from the DelCor blog.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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