Apologies for the two-fer post, but I have been galavanting around Europe without a reliable internet connection, and blog posts became difficult. Doing a recap and preview together is one way to try to catch up.
Our October SHRMChat was about membership, and you can find the questions we asked here. Once again we had a small-ish turn out, but the dedication and knowledge of those who managed to stop by was top shelf (as always).
Paul Hebert participated in our October chat, and I need to give him special thanks. In case you don’t know, he is an incentive and recognition specialist, and his insights and suggestions about those areas – so crucial to membership recruitment and retention – were invaluable. His blog is a great source of information if you want to know more.
Early in the conversation it was made clear that recruiting and retaining were two different sides of the membership coin, each group with different motivators, so the strategies and tools necessary to maximize each group are going to be different. It was suggested that it may help your state and/or local to split the membership committee into two different pieces to effectively manage each group.
It was suggested that people join SHRM locals because they are looking to learn, network, and have fun – probably in that order. Making sure you promote and enhance those aspects of your chapter will help if you are looking to increase your membership numbers. As Paul Hebert stated (shown above), make sure you don’t have barriers to entry.
But keeping members seemed to be more difficult, and some “barriers to leaving” that were suggested were (1) more rewards for volunteers, (2) medals or levels based on longevity and engagement, (3) badges, points or other gaming recognition for attending or contributing. potentially redeemed for rewards. Asking the members by way of survey is often used by chapters/councils to determine engagement levels, but it was cautioned that what members say and what actually works are not always the same thing.
NOVEMBER PREVIEW – PROGRAMS
Without learning programs of some kind, SHRM state and local chapters would cease to exist. Many groups ramp up their program efforts in the fall, after taking a summer break or at least slowing down for the summer. But finding the right kind of programs at the right price for many groups is difficult. So this month we are going to chat about programs – where to get them, how much they can/should cost, and what types work best. Here are the formal questions:
- How do you determine programming for a year, and how far in advance are programs scheduled?
- Do you pay for speakers, or other parts of your program, such as room rental or food?
- Where do you find most of your speakers? Do you actively recruit them?
- Are there other programs besides a traditional “speaker with power point” that you are doing?
- How do you evaluate the success of your programs?