Regardless of where you stand with new member onboarding (you have a solid strategy in place or you’re still trying to get a process sorted out), there’s ALWAYS room for improvement. And it’s worth dedicating some time to, given that new member onboarding directly plays into membership retention.
Without having to completely overhaul your existing strategy (if you have one), check out these two simple ways to strengthen your organization’s new member onboarding process:
1. Ensure interaction from the “higher-ups”
It’s important to have at least one touchpoint (even if it’s not face-to-face) between your new members and your most senior leader - your executive director, president, CEO, etc.
Think about when you’re at a restaurant and the manager comes over and asks how you’re enjoying your meal. It’s nice, isn’t it, to have someone you know is busy simply acknowledge you and your experience?
Well your new members will feel the same if your president or CEO welcomes them to your organization. If you send a new member welcome email (which we hope you do!), try having it come from that most senior leader. Names and titles do carry weight, and in this case, that’s a simple gesture that WILL have an impact.
2. Involve your existing members
When it comes to new member onboarding, the more you can involve your existing members, the better. Here’s why:
- Your existing members were once new members. They know what worked and what didn’t when they were onboarded, and therefore, they can provide invaluable feedback.
- Having your existing members communicate key information to your new members instantly adds credibility to those messages.
- Your existing members are about to be your new members’ peers. The earlier you can get them connected and facilitate new relationships, the better.
Ok, so how exactly can you involve your existing members? Well for starters, if you don’t already have a new member onboarding committee, it might be wise to start one. (More hands - and minds - on deck!) Another tactic you might want to try: If you host a new member orientation webinar, consider having an existing member either host it or co-host it. (Again, that adds credibility to the messages you’re trying to convey. Plus, those members will be able to share information they wish they knew when they first joined.)
We know you’re busy, but new member onboarding really is one place worth investing some extra time and energy into. For more tips on getting your new members up to speed, engaged, and comfortable, check out our free guide below!