• Kristine Metter, MS, CAE

Things Change

Me: “That’s what we’ve always done.”

My husband: “Things change.”

Well, we sure are in a period of substantial change and while I am ready to embrace some changes, others are harder to navigate. I’ve learned to buy groceries online and I love the curbside pickup some retailers now offer. I’m even embracing Zoom along with everyone else

I struggle more with the thought that going to a Nats game or the theater will have a cloud of worry over it for a long, long time. I anticipate missing personal contact with family and close friends as we think twice about that hug.

How does this translate to association management? I imagine some of our members will struggle with changes related to receiving their benefits at a distance. They might feel disconnected from the association’s community. They might simply be overwhelmed.

Here are two ways we might be able to mitigate this angst.

1. Identify ways to make it easy to participate digitally. For example, provide by email direct links to various programs and services, create detailed “how to” instructions that explain how to engage online, remind members of their usernames, and ease barriers to access such as the number of steps it takes to login.

2. Tilt your association’s communications to a more personal tone. As members crave personal connections, your written communications can fill a bit of that void by acknowledging these are stressful times and emphasizing that we’re all in this together. And if it makes sense, even have a little fun with some of your communications. The bottom line is that anything you send out should be authentic and natural.

If these don’t work for you, think of other ways you can drive personal connections and make it more comfortable to adapt to changes in your operations. Members will surely appreciate your efforts.

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