4 Finds to Boost Staff Satisfaction and Manage Change
There is a lot written about how to increase member engagement and satisfaction. But have you considered an often overlooked group: your own staff? Motivated employees who feel appreciated, valued, and supported by the association they are a part of are your most engaged group of members. In turn, they can be the drivers that get all of your other members more engaged, as well.
The same change management principles that help you improve your member engagement can also be used to boost employee satisfaction. Nobody will be a more enthusiastic, dependable advocate for your causes than your own staff. Here's how to utilize smart change management and a good software solution to improve employee satisfaction.
Create a Story That Resonates with the Staff
An enormous amount of research has gone into determining what makes organizational change management work versus what doesn't. One of the most profound differences between success and failure is the organization's ability to develop and communicate a compelling story that resonates with employees. While this seems like common sense, what is less predictable is how staff workers see themselves in those stories. The unsuccessful association will develop a story that tells what the proposed change means to the company. In reality, staff needs to hear how the change will impact:
- The members
- The association
- Their own team
- Their own selves
It isn't good enough to just tell a story about how great the association is going to be after all the changes are made. Take your story-telling to the next level and paint a picture that shows just how impactful the vision for the future is.
Employees Must See Their Leaders Modeling Change
The problem with change is that everyone usually thinks that others need to change. We rarely see the need for change within ourselves, and this is most pronounced among the top leaders. For employees to embrace new AMS software or get on board with other changes the association needs to make, they need to see their managers and executives making an effort to change themselves. Leadership needs to have clarity about the expectations during the change and alignment about what that change will bring. Seeing this change embraced and openly discussed at the top will ease many staff fears and serve as a calming presence to those tempted to worry.
The Changes Must Be Reinforced with Sensible Systems and Processes
Employee change management is just one piece of the puzzle. The right processes, procedures, and systems have to be in place to support their part of the change, or they will quickly feel defeated. With the right systems, the changes fall into place.
Before you expect your staff employees to make changes of their own, you need to support the new way of doing things with the right processes and systems. For example, it's not enough to say you need to begin collecting certain metrics on member engagement. You need to have the AMS software implemented that will allow them to collect and track those metrics. But you can't just go around talking about how great everything is, either. You have to present both the pros and the cons. No employee is going to buy into it if you pretend everything is going to be perfect after the changes are made. They'll buy in more readily if you spill the beans about what won't be perfect, too.
The Changes Have to Be Backed with Skills Building for the Employees
Finally, you have to back the changes up with the skills it takes to do things the "new and improved" way. But training and support go further than that. When you invest in skills building, training, and learning, you are making an investment in your staff. When you invest in them, they feel valued. Furthermore, you'll get much more ROI for your investments (like your AMS) if your staff knows all of the ins and outs, ups and downs, quirks and oddities of your system, and can use it to the maximum benefit of your association.
Change management can be daunting, because if you don't get buy in and your system isn't fully adopted, you'll eventually have to do the whole change management thing again with a new system, and employees aren't likely to buy into another round if the first one didn't work so well. To learn how to set the right expectations and how to navigate the waters of an implementation, check out our eBook.
About Jennifer Barrell
As the Director of Content, Branding & Buzz at Aptify, Jen oversees the strategy and execution of brand management and content production across the organization’s global offices. She thrives on bringing compelling content and useful information to associations to help them grow and engage their membership. She's also an avid fan of mid-century modern design and all things science fiction.