If you’re running a business or leading a community organization, you may be wondering how to build camaraderie among your members. When it seems there’s always so much to do, carving out time to connect with your team can easily fall by the wayside. But it’s easier than you might think — and can be exactly what’s needed to retain members and grow your organization. Providing opportunities to connect gives everyone a sense of belonging and improves morale. Here are six tips for engaging your network.
1. Build Team Spirit
Ask the group to brainstorm ways they can create a team-oriented atmosphere. For instance, think about designing something for the group members to have or wear to represent your organization; members can come up with possible designs! Consider making it a contest, with the winner receiving a gift card or group-themed swag.
2. Remind Them of the Benefits
Remind your members why they joined the group in the first place and how they’ll continue to benefit by being involved. A community sports team, for example, offers members the opportunity to get to know each other better while honing their athletic skills, great for people who like to make staying in shape a group effort.
The benefits of membership extend both ways. Take time to thank your team and let individual members know how much they contribute to your group’s cause and goals.
3. Encourage Disengaged Members to Plug In
With local organizations, you may have a small subgroup of members who are heavily involved, while others are not as committed. Attempt to connect with less-involved members by letting them know how much you appreciate them and inviting them to become more engaged. A text, phone call, or kindly-worded email can go a long way toward getting fringe members of your group more connected.
If disengaged members drop out permanently, find out why. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of schedule conflicts or major life events, such as moving to another area. But if their reasons for leaving are connected to some aspect of your organization’s culture, conducting “exit interviews” can give you some insight into how to make changes that increase the likelihood of retaining members.
4. Ask for Their Feedback
Find out what your members are looking for in your organization. Ask what motivates them and helps them feel connected to the rest of the group. Then, do your best to provide it. Get them involved, too. For instance, if your team wants to meet up occasionally to get to know each other better, let individuals or small groups of members take turns planning or hosting dinners or game nights.
5. Plan Events to Bring Them Together
While we’re on the topic of dinners and game nights, special events can provide a more laid-back atmosphere for your members to get connected and have fun. Holiday-themed gatherings, informal workshops, and celebrations to acknowledge achievements of individual members or your group as a whole can get your team more involved in supporting its mission — and each other as they work to accomplish it.
6. Provide an Online Platform to Connect Your Team
In the digital age, online channels of communication are a must in nearly every organization or business. Social media has made it easier than ever to keep your network up-to-date, ask questions, and encourage people to get connected. You can use the platform for sending out newsletters, and automating tasks such as issuing reminders. If yours is a group that requires people to formally register as members, you can use the networking tool to allow people to apply or renew their memberships online.
Understandably, though, some people may be leery of sharing sensitive information online, as privacy never seems to be a guarantee.
Go2s offers a welcome respite from the traffic and sometimes questionable security measures you’re likely to find on traditional networking sites. We provide a secure space for groups to share information and encourage members’ input. Admins can control privacy settings to regulate the visibility of posts and comments and ensure that personal information can’t by seen by anyone who shouldn’t have access to it. Go2s is a trusted site used by childcare centers, community groups, and non-profit organizations to strengthen their networks. If you’re ready to transform yours, sign up for a free account today.