Membership

Daily Buzz: Develop Professional Growth Programs

By / Jun 13, 2019 (erhui1979/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images Plus)

To keep members satisfied, associations need to deliver value and help members grow. Also: Rely on facts, not beliefs, when there’s a difference of opinion.

Many people join associations seeking an avenue for personal and professional growth. And if your organization doesn’t showcase that kind of value, you might see a dip in membership come renewal time.

The solution: Beef up your member development programs.

“Members don’t join ‘just because’—they do so because they want to benefit from your value,” writes Tatiana Morand on the Wild Apricot blog. “That’s why it’s so important that you find the right opportunities and incentives that draw in prospective members and engage current members.”

So, talk to members about what they are looking for in your association and develop programs based on their feedback. If professional learning ranks highly, then perhaps your organization should look into continuing education, certification courses, or subscriptions to related professional publications.

Another strategy: advocacy assistance.

“A fantastic way to engage your members through your advocacy work is by calling on them to participate as active volunteers,” Morand says. “This opportunity develops a member’s professional exposure and gives them a chance to serve on the front lines of public policy.”

What to Do When There’s a Difference in Opinions

In any work environment, there are always going to be different opinions—and a lot of them.

“But what if we could all benefit from experiencing new ways of seeing our POV [point of view] and that of others without having conflict or competition over trying to convince another before the best communication occurs?” asks Rhea Blanken on Association Success. “This is not about changing anyone’s mind on a topic. It’s more about better human connectivity through a deeper appreciation of the rich and textured diversity included in all POVs.”

To get to this point, Blanken says teams need to look at the facts rather than hone in on beliefs. “Look for gaps in knowledge and either try to fill them or be able to account for them,” she says. “Be careful not to add any interpretation.”

Other Links of Note

Is work-life balance feeling impossible? These three strategies can harmonize your personal and professional lives, from Inc.

Volunteer reviews are an underrated way to engage new audiences, says the VolunteerMatch blog.

An Instagram post without a hashtag strategy is a #fail. The Sprout Social blog explains how hashtags can grow your following.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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