I’m working closely with the American Nurses Association on a wide-ranging member engagement project, and I wanted to share with you some of their thoughts on the topic. Our work involved first helping them define what engagement means for them. From there, our collaborative work team did an extensive audit of all the engagement activities and touch-points at ANA, then organized them into a matrix to measure whether each activity was high or low reach and high or low “stickiness” (meaning providing reasons for members to come back).

Then, we created a gap analysis and identified opportunities to create new engagement activities or to move existing ones towards higher reach or higher stickiness. Through that process, we are now in the stage of ideation and testing a couple of new ideas through a process of learning through MVPs (minimum viable products).

Below is my interview with Janet Haebler, Co-Chair of the Member Engagement Collaborative Work Team at ANA.

What were some of the biggest insights or “aha” moments you had once you clarified your definition of engagement? 

It is critical to have a menu of engagement options since engagement is unique for each member, contingent upon their stage of life / career, experience with other engagement activities and potentially their generation.

How did getting clearer on the details of how stakeholders affiliate with your organization shed light on choices you needed to make around engagement? 

It reaffirmed our aha moment. We need options from which current members may draw as well as anticipate what will attract future members. A volunteer bank was identified as desired.

Sometimes, stakeholders will engage outside your sphere (like at the local level, for instance). How does that factor into your engagement strategy?

We have learned that our members do like to engage locally and need to find ways to facilitate. The federated model of our association makes this a bit easier.

Have you been shifting your engagement strategy to address the unique needs/perspectives of the Millennial generation?

We are fortunate to have many millennials on our team creating engagement opportunities and continue to seek ways to address this generation’s preferences. We also want to be sure to find balance to our approaches and continue to represent other members.

Maddie Grant is known for her experience as an expert digital strategist who has helped hundreds of organizations engage with their customer base and build capacity for using social media and online communities to achieve business results. Recognizing the transformative and human-centric power of social media early on, she helped organizations integrate social media into their culture authentically, rather than attempting to bolt it on a new process.

Maddie Grant is known for her experience as an expert digital strategist who has helped hundreds of organizations engage with their customer base and build capacity for using social media and online communities to achieve business results. Recognizing the transformative and human-centric power of social media early on, she helped organizations integrate social media into their culture authentically, rather than attempting to bolt it on a new process.

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