A digital transformation is about more than new technology. It must include a mindset change too. Also: New members feel new longer than you might think.
Going digital? You’re not alone. Frank M. Waechter writes on Boardroom that digitalization is one of the key disruptors of the 21st century. The question is how far your organization wants to take it. While it might be tempting to go all-in, Waechter warns against it.
“Those who are successful take an incremental approach to digitalization,” he says. “Digital organizations don’t become so overnight, they work and rework their strategy until they are able to create new and stronger forms of engagement with their members. Therefore, it is wise to make gradual changes strategically, using carefully chosen digital tools to enhance existing and more traditional operational models.”
So, start small. And that doesn’t mean investing in new tools right away, either. Waechter recommends starting your digital transformation with a shift in mindset.
“Mindset is as important as tools when it comes to the digitalization of associations,” he explains. “The process starts with building digital skills into the association’s culture, bringing key stakeholders on board and breaking down silos before going all out.”
Then, come time to introduce new software, your team will have the foundational background needed to make the solution a success.
Why You Need a More Robust Onboarding Program
— Amanda Kaiser (@SmoothThePath) September 16, 2019
How long are new members “new members”? Ask them, and you might find that their answers differ from the defintion your association operates on—which likely means your onboarding program might be lacking too.
“While most new members feel like new members from 0-3 years, many onboarding efforts only last 1 to 30 days. Most associations are not onboarding for nearly enough time,” says Amanda Kaiser on Smooth the Path.
According to the New Member Engagement Study, groups with onboarding programs that extend seven months or more are more successful than shorter ones.
“If your new member retention rates are not where you want them to be, try extending your onboarding program to take members from feeling new to feeling engaged,” Kaiser says.
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