CCMIS - Governance - Planning - Membership Surveys

CCMIS - Governance - Planning - Membership Surveys

The first step in marketing

by Barry Morgan on 01/31/16

Often we are told that the first step to building a solid business plan is to develop a future vision for your organization, and mission and values.  Perhaps!  But knowing what YOU want to achieve does not move you forward very effectively in terms of what your customers or members need and expect.  A better question than, "What do we want to do", might be "Which needs (of our customer) can we best fulfil".  To answer the former, we need to look inwards and understand our organization's capabilities.  However, to answer the latter we must understand our customer's needs intimately.  Armed with this information our introspection takes on more purpose and value and determining which of our capabilities will best deliver on the customers' expectations becomes a much more efficient process.   Conducting extensive research on existing customer is, in my opinion,  much more useful than corporate navel gazing in a vacuum.

A truly effective operation may require a fundamentally different approach

by Barry Morgan on 02/18/15

There is so much power and success locked away in every organization.  Drawing forth the employees' engagement and empowering their creativity is every leader's challenge. And a challenge that is only more difficult if the structure of the organization works against it.

By definition, a traditional top down hierarchy concentrates power towards the top.  Engaging the grass roots necessitates giving people a voice throughout the organization.  But consensus decision making tends to be an arduous process.  Herein lies the dilemma.

It may be time to begin to explore another alternative in how we govern our organizations. "Dynamic Governance" unlocks the trust, transparency and equivalence that is necessary to make distributed leadership possible. This approach facilitates the development of extraordinary leaders, focused teams, and effective operations.  Efficient, focused decision making at all levels makes the organization flexible without sacrificing the organization's Vision, Values and Mission.  In fact, organizations that use this method of governance spend less time in meetings, and create a working environment where employees are engaged, accountable and inspired.

For a brief outline of this concept: http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/ANowDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=18309

End of Season Reviews - A great opportunity to get ready for next year!

by Barry Morgan on 09/18/14

With the arrival of fall and the closing of yet another summer season, this is a great time to take stock of Member opinion and develop a list of priorities to improve Member satisfaction for next year.  Member's opinions are still fresh in their minds as the season winds down.  They welcome an opportunity to tell you what they liked and where services might be improved. 

Membership input is extremely valuable to the success of your operation.  By acting on what you will learn in an end of season survey, you are almost guaranteed that next season will be better than the last.   The winter season provides the time needed to implement strategies.  It also offers plenty of chances for you to communicate what you learned in the survey and how you intended to address issues raised by the Membership.  This alone heightens Member's awareness that the Management Team is responsive. 

In addition the survey will provide you with a concise list of Club strengths and membership concerns and opportunities for improvement.  Armed with a clear focus on what needs to be done you can budget accordingly, and direct your limited resources where they will have the most impact.

It's a New Year full of Opportunity

by Barry Morgan on 01/13/14

The New Year is always a good time to stop, reflect, and move forward in efforts to enhance the service being provided to Members and guests.   In order to improve anything, in other words to get different and hopefully better results, it is usually necessary to do things differently.  And doing thing differently can only be achieved long term by changing the way you think.  Attempting to change the way you do anything, from losing weight to implementing a more effective communication system at the club, requires a change of mindset in order to succeed long term.  If how you think about a goal or process remains the same, and you attempt to take different actions, your results may change short term, but in the long run you inevitably slip back into old habits.  Facilitating real change, requires the courage to step back and look objectively at your past performance, be open to changing your systems to make the impossible possible.  For example, if you have resigned yourself to the impossibility of ensuring that every Member always receives a prompt and appropriate response to their input, it is unlikely that it can happen.  However, its not hard to accept that being continually in touch with your membership and being responsive to their concerns and issues is a great first step to enhancing the service you provide.  Armed with this overarching objective,  making improvements in responsiveness then becomes a simple matter of ensuring your systems are actually facilitating effective interaction. CCMIS has developed a Member Input Tracking System  for precisely this purpose.

Ongoing Input Key to Being Responsive

by Barry Morgan on 10/11/13

While occasional surveys of the entire membership are an good tool for measuring Member satisfaction, it is also important to keep tabs on ongoing issues that may arise between formal reviews. 

A system that encourages members to provide "on the spot" input offers the opportunity to capture immediate concerns in a timely manner.  A prompt response by an appropriate individual within your organisation helps reinforce the perception of responsiveness by ensuring that every comment receives a response and that nothing slips through the cracks.

Tracking input over an extended period can also be helpful in providing indications of recurring issues and possibly trends that warrant further investigation.

As a companion to a more comprehensive review, a system to encourage and track ongoing input can also serve as a means to test the results of action initiated in response to the review's results. To view such a system follow the surveys tab on the sidebar menu.

When should you conduct a survey?

by Barry Morgan on 08/21/13

The best time... no, the only time to conduct a survey is when you are prepared to act on the results.  Surveys which do not lead to action dash the expectations they invariably create.  When a survey is conducted, your participants make an effort to provide a response.  This effort deserves that something be done as a result of what is learned.

Determining what actions you plan to take in response what you will learn, prior to developing the survey, helps ensure that the questions you ask get you the information you need.

If your business is seasonal, be sure to time your surveys so that you will have enough time to meet the expectations of your participants.  Mid-season surveys offer an opportunity to address issues prior to the end of the season.  End of season reviews provide an opportunity to develop strategies prior to the start of the next season.  Early season reviews highlight deficiencies in training, or service that can quickly be addressed.

When the survey is ready for release, properly timing the release and reminders can improve the response and completion rate.  Studies by SurveyGizmo indicate that Tuesday surveys tend to get the highest response rate, but that more surveys are completed on Fridays.

Effective questions lead to useful results.

by Barry Morgan on 06/21/13

When you decide to conduct a survey of your organisation's stakeholders, the first questions to ask are, "What do I need to know?", "Why do need to know it?", and most importantly, "What do I plan to do with this knowledge when I find out?”

These questions help establish the goals you wish to achieve with your survey and bring focus and clarity to the survey development process.    If you know exactly what you are trying to learn as a result of this survey, the task of formulating the questions to draw an unambiguous response from your stakeholders is easier.

If the survey is properly designed, you may discover insights you had not anticipated when the results are tabulated and analysed. This additional wisdom is a bonus and may add depth and understanding to help facilitate use of the results.

But if you didn't know what you needed to know before you started, the challenge of recognizing what you may have learned increases significantly, and most certainly the opportunity to take action on these "unexpected" results is diminished.

Survey with a purpose

by Barry Morgan on 05/30/13

Survey results that do not spark meaningful action are wasted effort or worse.  When you ask your membership, residents, clients, or customers for input, a level of expectation is created, that someone will act on the results.  Actions taken based on what is learned, validate not only the purpose of the survey itself, but also the energy and effort put forth by those who participated in the survey.

Starting with a purpose in mind helps formulate effective research.  Knowing what you want to learn and what you intend to do with this knowledge, helps design appropriate questions and helps ensure that the initiatives based on the information gained are focused and more likely to succeed.

When considering a survey, establish clear objectives BEFORE you start writing out the questions. Once you have determined what you what to acheive, you are better able to decide what you need to know.  Armed with a plan you will be much more efficient in developing the tools and resources needed to succeed.

Manage to Meet Expectations

by Barry Morgan on 05/06/13

Throughout my career as a club manager, I was responsible for significant capital expenditures at each property for which I assumed responsibility.  Delivering successfully on these projects provided me with career milestones.  Communication was likely one of the most important factors in achieving these successes.  Not all of the projects were completed precisely as originally intended.  However, all were completed as expected because we took great care to manage the expectations.  Keeping members informed as the projects proceeded was a critical to ensuring that when we delivered the news, good or bad, it was never a surprise.

Developing a transparent operation is fundamental to establishing trust with the Membership.  When members know what to expect, they can and usually will offer opinions as to the outcome they prefer or desire.  Knowing what members want is key to giving them what they expect, or at the very least, puts you in position to consider ways that you might go about changing those expectations.

In determining what members want, it is important to give the "usually silent majority" a voice.  You likely already know what the "vocal minority" are seeking.  However, their views may not be representative.  One of the best ways to determine what the entire membership wants, is to ask them.  Using a properly developed poll or survey for this purpose can provide quantifiable results on which to base plans for change in the future.

Are Members Really Survey Shy?

by Barry Morgan on 04/19/13

There is sometimes concern that the Members' are tired of surveys and don't like being asked to offer their opinion.  However, we often ask Members to rate the survey process as part of our review and overwhelmingly they support this opportunity.  They particularly like being able to offer their input confidentially.  Routinely, the response to a Membership Satisfaction Review should be approximately 60% of the Membership or more.  Since the Members have a stake in the operation, when given the chance to tell you how to improve their enjoyment of the Club, they seem to welcome the opportunity.

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confidential membership surveys and benchmark information services to the club industry in Canada since 2006.